On Tuesday, Giancarlo Stanton finally made his debut in the Bronx as a New York Yankees ballplayer and well … it could have gone better.
New York Yankees fans had been anxious all day, throwing around questions like, “Is the game going to be postponed again?” and, “Will the Yankees have to play 25 double-headers just to make up for the fact that Mother Earth forgot baseball season started?”
The one question that wasn’t being tossed around was, “How is Giancarlo Stanton going to do in his first game in the Bronx as a Yankee?”
Well, regardless if fans were asking that question or not, Stanton gave us an answer—absolutely terrible. The 2017 NL MVP struck out five times in his five at-bats.
Stanton really hearing the boos after striking out for the fifth time today
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) April 3, 2018
That is literally a historically bad achievement. Stanton’s debut went so poorly that by the end of the game, Yankee fans were actually booing him. For some, Stanton went from “back-to-back MVP” to “just as worthless as Chris Carter” within a single week.
But let’s back off Stanton after his rough first outing in the pinstripes.
There’s no excuse for striking out five times, but the fact of the matter is the Yankees won the game. Wins forgive all poor performances. Thanks to an incredible effort by Didi Gregorius, Stanton avoided an even bigger hit with fans by avoiding being the direct cause of an early divisional loss.
When Brian Cashman signed Stanton, fans knew what was coming. We knew that we were getting another huge slugger that was going to hit the ball a mile one at-bat and then miss it by a mile the next. On Opening Day he smacked the life out of two home runs. At the home opener, Chris Archer made him look like a rec league reserve player.
It’s just a rough day that happened to come during a game where all eyes were on him. He’ll right the ship and return to being the MVP caliber player everybody knows him to be.
We as fans should also look into the underlying reasons that Stanton had such a rough day at the plate. Maybe he just doesn’t want to hit a home run until John Sterling promises to change his call. Maybe seeing a snowstorm for the first time during baseball season made him reconsider his move to New York and now he’s trying to get himself traded. Or maybe he just had a rough game against a tough pitcher on a cold, disgusting, rainy afternoon.
Let’s just think positively and wait for him to return to mashing balls. After all, Didi Gregorius is more than capable of locking things down without him.
Another silver lining is that Stanton just accepted the fact that he was getting booed because he knew he played terribly. He didn’t make excuses, he didn’t say, “Hey, remember those two opening day home runs.” He just understood that his past accolades mean nothing to Yankee fans if he doesn’t come in, work hard and win games.
He also gave all the praise in the world to Gregorius for picking up his slack on offense. That’s the kind of attitude I like to see out of one of the Yankee stars. He’ll win over the home crowds in no time.
And another silver lining is Jordan Montgomery who quietly showcased an absolutely fantastic outing in less than ideal conditions. The New York Yankees rotation isn’t looking too much like the weakness many analysts seemed to think it would be.