It is obviously Giancarlo Stanton week here at Marlin Maniac and it culminates today. Stanton and the Marlins front office had the official press conference to announce their thirteen year, $325 million dollar contract.
Jeffery Loria gave a short statement followed by Giancarlo, then Stanton and the entire front office took questions from the media for about half an hour.
Loria opened the floor by saying that the Marlins are “committed to our community and we’re excited to demonstrate our commitment to him…players like Giancarlo are critical.”
Stanton then stepped in, saying, “we’re gonna start pushing forward…we’ve had some bumps in the road and that’s baseball…it takes time and patience…this is for the city of Miami…we need a winning environment, a winning city…I’m glad to be here for my foreseeable future.”
Both Loria and Stanton were very honest with answering their questions. It is no secret that the entire organization has taken heat from moves Loria has made in years past, and they both answered questions head on.
Peter Gomez asked Loria why this time it’s different compared to big moves in the past. Loria replied, “(about Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle) It just didn’t work. I push the reset button and it wasn’t popular. I didn’t care. few had talent coming up. Those players didn’t win and it wasn’t working…we changed management…now it seems to be working.” Again, Loria knows he has been unpopular. This answer changed a lot about how I feel about Loria. I appreciate his honesty and how blunt he was.
Other media members had less class. One asked Loria, “You are despised in this community..the building of the stadium with taxpayer’s money…can this wash that much bad blood away?” Other members of the Marlin front office were very diplomatic in answering this question.
Loria also mentioned that he has no level of concern with the contract because of how Stanton’s season ended in September. He actually said that Stanton was hit in the neck with a 95 mile per hour fastball from Jose Fernandez two years ago in practice. “You’re looking at a special young man, strong as hell. I don’t have any other way to say it…he passed every test he had to take with flying colors…there is no concern.” Both he and the media laughed at his statement about Stanton’s strength.
Stanton was pressed by one media member whether he was embarrassed about the size of the contract condsidering his daily income is more than the national yearly family income. Stanton was poised. “Not exactly…I know I have a lot of expectations to live up to…this isn’t like a lottery ticket and peace out…this is the start of new work and a new job for this city…it’s a huge responsibility and one I’m willing to take.”
The most telling moment of the day for Stanton was when he was asked about why he has an opt out clause in his contract. “I wanna make sure that we keep moving forward, that was for my own protection…in a sense a push for everyone to keep moving forward.” It is comforting to hear him say that with Loria right next to him.
The front office was asked about what pieces are next for the team, but they did not really answer with any specifics. “We made a promise that the two things we would try to do is flip rocks…any spot…a trade, free agency…team first mindset…if it makes sense and it makes us better then we’re gonna move in that direction.’
Stanton closed with “The tough part of my decision was the uncertainty of the past, but you can’t always look at the past…the future looks good.” The future definitely does look good for this young team. With the Winter Meetings set to take place in just a couple weeks, we will keep you posted on what else the Marlins have up their sleeves.