Thursday, February 22, 2018


Like many Yankee fans, I am getting excited as each video clip of batting practice and pitcher warm ups leak out onto the Internet. One of my favorite clips so far has been Giancarlo Stanton taking questions at his new locker on Friday when he showed up early to spring training. Maybe it’s that Stanton is the new guy on the block, and easily the Yankees’ biggest acquisition in the off season. Maybe it’s the fact that It’s been months since I’ve seen live baseball, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’re starving for the Yankees to take the field and play ball. The whole presentation impressed me, and if he holds to form, we may have something even more special than his ridiculous hitting stats would indicate.

Source: Associated Press
The fact that he showed up early says something to me. This is not something a prima donna would do. I expected that his arrival would have been a grand spectacle, with reporters and microphones and flashing cameras pointed at him from all angles. I’ll be honest, I was worried about him having a need for attention that would disrupt the team dynamic. He certainly has the name recognition to generate a media circus. Instead, he just sat there and took questions, like any player would. Yesterday, he went out to the cages to take some swings and get his work in. He expressed more concern about getting the rust off his swing than the fact that he hit a few over the fence.

Source: Associated Press
If you ask me, this is critical for a guy as conspicuous as he is. The Yankees had a really good dynamic last year. It’s something Aaron Boone has to be very careful to protect. Stanton’s arrival was a stark contrast to some of the higher profile acquisitions in the Yankees’ past. Who could forget Randy Johnson’s literal run-in with the media that needed a public apology? How about the paparazzi surrounding Alex Rodriguez’ arrival that created a chill with his teammates? If you’re old enough, you might remember Rickey Henderson stepping in it with reporters when he first walked into the Stadium clubhouse as a Yankee and announced, “I don’t need no press now, man”. That went over like a lead balloon. To be fair, these were huge personalities, accustomed to reporters and cameras orbiting them like planets around the sun.

Source: Associated Press

Stanton is just as huge. So far, he is doing the smart thing and staying focused, fitting in, and making sure he’s ready to contribute. He doesn’t have a spotless record with the media, occasionally being unavailable for reporters after a game. The New York media is no walk in the park, and the fact that it has gone as well as it has for him is a great sign. This team has a lot of the key ingredients for a championship run. The less time they spend thinking about how to answer questions about their new teammate and the more time they get to focus on the game, the better. If he is the real deal, on and off the field, we have a lot of reason to be pumped about him this season.

--Ike Dimitriadis
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon

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