Giancarlo Stanton’s painted body graces Sports Illustrated cover

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Giancarlo Stanton is no stranger to peculiar magazine photo shoots. This week he adds another to his resume, as the Miami Marlins slugging right fielder is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a white Miami jersey painted on his quite muscular upper body.

Good stuff. The $325 million man has been seeing plenty of national attention, and it’s all well-deserved. The Marlins have to be enjoying all the positive publicity surrounding their All-Star, as the franchise image has been vastly repaired since its tumultuous offseason just over two years ago. Even though Miami is still considered a “small market team” by baseball standards, the Marlins have been one of the big stories around MLB this winter. Signing Ichiro Suzuki and Michael Morse and trading for Mat Latos and Dee Gordon have certainly put the baseball world on notice of what might be brewing in South Florida.

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Stanton becomes the first athlete to have his body painted for a Sports Illustrated cover. So, there’s that.

If you’re keeping score at home, this is the sixth time the Marlins franchise has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The last time was the infamous “Marlinsanity” issue with Ozzie Guillen and Jose Reyes on the cover. Ouch. Dontrelle Willis earned a cover appearance in 2007, the World Series teams of 1997 and 2003 each got their own issue, and Marlins ironman Mike Piazza graced the SI cover in 1998, shortly after being traded to Florida. In just 22 years of existence, and considering the team’s relative irrelevance in all but two of those years, that’s not such a bad track record.

I think Major League Baseball should let Stanton play games with his painted-on jersey instead of a physical uniform top. Maybe all that shirt material has been bogging down his true power potential all these years.

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