Giancarlo Stanton is human, and he has feelings. Like his peers, he is not a robot doing things we can’t do on a baseball field. He hurts.
For many fans, Giancarlo Stanton gives us three-hundred and twenty-five million reasons not to share empathy with him. He should, we say, be on the field at Yankees Stadium every day earning the money the Yankees are paying him.
There are no excuses or reasons for not showing up to work every day, as many of us do, tired, sick, bored with our job – or not.
But just the same, if we do not see the difference between Giancarlo Stanton and Jacoby Ellsbury, who unabashedly raped the Yankees and took up far more space in these columns than deserved, with a series of injuries and non-injuries, then there’s something wrong with us – not Stanton.
We could go elsewhere to find other examples, but let’s stay in New York and another rape, this time between Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets – a saga that ended abruptly when Cespedes pulled up stakes while leaving no word with the team he was opting-out for the season.
Giancarlo Stanton’s Frustration Runs Deep
“This is my life; this is what I do”, Stanton said in a revealing interview with ESPN.
Injuries for athletes are their life, too. Some experience more setbacks than others, but no one has been able to pinpoint why that is the case.
The notion that a player’s time on the Injured List is “time-off” from work may have applied to Ellsbury, but not Stanton. In fact, most players say it’s easier to play than not to play.
“The slugger (Stanton) knows how you feel, but it is nothing compared to how slowly those days on IL have gone by for him, the months he’s’s put into trying to prepare to avoid getting hurt.” (New York Daily News)
Only to have it happen again and again.
More tests, more doctor’s exams, more of Yankee’s medical staff telling you what you can do, what you can’t do, and what you shouldn’t do.
Giancarlo Stanton is no outlier with an agenda like a Cespedes. He listens and does what he has to do, day in and day out, to get back on the playing field.
Feeling sorry for Stanton is not called for, and that’s not what this is about. Having some empathy is, however.
Giancarlo Stanton: A Haunting Refrain
“It’s my life, and this is what I do” keeps coming back to me as a haunting refrain. But at the same time, Giancarlo Stanton finds a way to remain upbeat doing the only thing he can do – follow the doctor’s advice, work like crazy, and dream of the next time you’ll be in pinstripes helping the Yankee’s cause.
Stanton and Judge are similar in ways more than their physical stature.
Judge wants very much back in the Yankee lineup, and he’s a bit ticked that he was placed on the IL in the first place, insisting he’s 100% (whatever that means) and wants in the lineup tonight.
But the Yankees say no, and Judge has nothing but respect for their decision(s). As a competitive burning athlete, Judge (and Stanton) see only the next game as the one they want to play in and make contributions to a Yankees win.
The Yankees, instead, see 35 games remaining on their schedule, plus (hopefully) a deep run into the postseason.
The two sides balance out, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Giancarlo Stanton to sit idle in the Yankees dugout while his teammates do battle without him.
The saving grace for Stanton, perhaps, is the 16-6 record Stanton’s team is posting without their two All-Stars in the lineup.
That, plus knowing his current injury is not career-ending, and there will be a day this season when Aaron Boone can once again write the name Giancarlo Stanton on the lineup-card he presents to the umpires at home plate.
If we can image the bull romping and stomping in the chute at a rodeo, waiting for that gate to open – the play the beast “lives for” – then maybe we can sneak a peek into the mindset of Giancarlo Stanton – as he awaits for his gate to open again.
If any doubt remains in your mind regarding the sincerity and tone behind Stanton’s words, please take the time to read them (almost in full) – in this New York Daily News story.
I’m not ashamed to say I buy into everything Stanton says.