Marlins Way: Giancarlo Stanton still the talk of the baseball world

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Jul 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; National League outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) of the Miami Marlins reacts as he bats in the first round during the 2014 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Giancarlo Stanton has been all over baseball news this first week of Spring Training, for various reasons. I guess after you sign the longest and most lucrative contract in the history of North American sports, some attention might be expected. There’s also the fact that Stanton had his face blown up by a baseball last September, in what was one of the more frightening sports moments I can recall (hockey player Clint Malarchuck bleeding all over the ice after having his carotid artery severed during a 1989 hockey game is up there, too.)

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The start of Spring Training marks Stanton’s first on-field action since the horrific injury. It also marks the debut of his custom face-guarded batting helmet. And now, Stanton’s painted body is featured on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Yes, Giancarlo Stanton has ascended to the realm of celebrity status. Miami’s right fielder is living the dream, and making more money along the way than any of us could ever humanly fathom. That’s something Marlins fans aren’t too familiar with. But get used to it. The franchise might be enjoying its most widely popular — dare I say, famous — player to ever wear a Marlins uniform (or have one painted on his abdomen). And the best part is he will be around for a very long time.

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