Giambi declines invitation to Derby
Yanks slugger to spend All-Star break at home in Las Vegas
TORONTO -- Despite receiving an offer by Major League Baseball to participate in Monday's State Farm Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, Jason Giambi will not take part in the event.
The Yankees' slugging first baseman had stated his desire to compete in the event if fans lifted him onto the American League All-Star team with MLB.com's Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote. Giambi was one of five candidates for the final position, but he was edged out by the Rays' Evan Longoria. As a result, the 37-year-old has opted to return home to Las Vegas for the All-Star break instead of participating in the Derby.
"They asked me, but I said no," Giambi told MLB.com. "The only way I would have done it is if I was playing in the [All-Star] Game."
Giambi won the 2002 Derby, played at Miller Park in Milwaukee. He became the second Yankees player to turn down an invitation this year, as third baseman Alex Rodriguez also declined, claiming the competition would have a negative impact on his swing.
The Yankees launched a "Support the 'Stache" campaign in an effort to get their slugger elected to the final All-Star Game to be played at Yankee Stadium. On Wednesday, the team handed out fake moustaches to the first 20,000 fans to arrive at Yankee Stadium as a way of honoring the slugger's unique facial hair.
Giambi entered Sunday tied for sixth in the AL with 18 home runs and was batting .249 with 54 RBIs.
Justin Morneau of the Twins accepted his Derby invitation on Sunday, completing the field of eight. He and Longoria will compete alongside the Indians' Grady Sizemore, the Rangers' Josh Hamilton, the Astros' Lance Berkman, the Brewers' Ryan Braun, the Marlins' Dan Uggla and the Phillies' Chase Utley.
Gregor Chisholm is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.