With Giancarlo Stanton, you can’t help but get the feeling he is on a mission to rebound from a season that never existed. It’s a simple matter of pride…
Giancarlo Stanton, with a nightmarish season fully behind him, will make a statement in 2020 that stems from the heart – because enough is enough and like his teammate, Aaron Judge – the Yankees are on a mission to take no prisoners this season.
Giancarlo Stanton was a prisoner of his own body last year. First, it was this, and then it was that until the season had vanished, finding himself on the field only eighteen times as his team almost, but not quite, found a way to win that elusive 28th World Championship.
Yankees: Recall The Day When You Woke Up…
To fully absorb the last two years, recall the day when Brian Cashman rescued Stanton from Derek Jeter‘s hapless Marlins fresh off an MVP season and award.
And how with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, it was almost too good to be true.
Put Giancarlo Stanton, paired with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the same lineup day after day – and you know you are condemning pitchers to sleepless nights before their start.
It’s been a promise never delivered, though. Stanton, in 2018 contributed his part with 38 home runs and 100 RBI, but Judge was racked with shoulder issues that limited him to only 112 games.
Gary Sanchez was even more of a non-factor appearing in only 89 games while dealing with even more pressing issues on defense.
Dial forward to last season, and we see none of the trio able to stay on the field for a full season, with Stanton nearly always absent and Sanchez struggling to (still) find himself while managing only a .232 average and 92 hits over 106 games.
Alas, The “Plan” Never Materialized
Obviously, this was not the plan when Cashman and the Yankees took on the contract of Giancarlo Stanton, together with the persisting hope Gary Sanchez would soon mature into the player they insisted he can be.
So, here we are again on the cusp of a new season with the same hopes and dreams.
Presumably, Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez are in a ready, set, go mode – fully healthy and biting at the bit to execute what everyone knows they can – and should.
Of the three players, Gary Sanchez continues to provide the most considerable risk, no matter what the Yankees say.
Something is missing there, and despite what the Yankees say, no one can put their finger on what it is.
Still, 34 home runs last year, and not much else might turn out to be the very definition of who Sanchez is and will always be. Why complain?
Judge is a gamer, and he is now a full-fledged major league ballplayer earning $10 million this season.
Judge also has grit, and he was not shy about saying he was pissed off when the Yankees lost to Houston in the ALCS. And he was not referring to sign-stealing – he was just plain angry.
Anger Is Good – And It Will Propel The Yankees
Anger is good, and this is where Giancarlo Stanton enters stage left. Aaron Boone has already gone on record, saying Stanton is poised to have a “monster year.”
Of course, he said the same thing last year at this time.
But there comes the point in time when a professional athlete’s pride takes over – and it’s a good bet that Boone is on target because Stanton has something to prove in 2020.
Not only to the Yankees who are bankrolling his substantial salary, together with the rest of us as fans who want him to be the best.
And because he knows he let his team down last year – even though it was for reasons beyond his control.
The Yankees have many reasons to be angry. CC Sabathia has been unrelenting and sympathetic in his f-laced rants about the Astros “stealing” his and the Yankees chance for a title.
But it is Stanton, not Sabathia, in control of the here and now. The weight Stanton carries will always be there, and rightly so.
Ironically, it’s for that very reason Stanton will indeed have that monster season Boone has predicted.
We’ll see you back here in October, but it’s more (pride) than a wish and a prayer it’s going to be so then…