Giancarlo Stanton has become one of the most polarizing players in all of Major League Baseball. As Travis Honeycutt covered earlier, the rest of the country has started to warm up to Stanton’s muscles, monster home runs and even bigger paychecks. The buzz around Stanton has picked up recently following his record setting contract, coupled with the horrific incident that ended his 2014 season. Now, every time this man picks up a baseball bat it warrants discussion. Every step he has taken thus far in spring training has been well-documented, in the face of skeptics questioning his ability to bounce back from being hit in the face by a pitch.
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Yesterday Stanton saw 10 pitches in live batting practice, but he chose to watch all of them. Today, Stanton stood in against Henderson Alvarez, and was hit by a pitch during his third at bat. The good news is that he was fine and continued to play. The better news is that Stanton’s psyche appears to be unaffected.
The unknown is always scary, and while Marlins fans never really doubted whether Stanton would make a complete recovery from the incident, the fear in the back of our minds was definitely there. Now all of those speculations can be put to rest, and Stanton can go back to doing Stanton things. You know, hitting 900 foot home runs, building rockets, and stealing your girlfriend.
In all seriousness, its great to see that the Marlins didn’t make a “325 million dollar mistake” in extending their superstar. Stanton is the backbone of the Marlins franchise, and will be critical in expanding their brand and becoming a perennial contender. The Marlins have never really retained a player long enough to have a national celebrity, but Stanton is certainly getting there. The on-field benefits are clear, and he has surely taken over the reigns from Lebron as the face of Miami sports. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief and get back to watching Giancarlo destroy baseballs, instead of vice versa.
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