« The remaking of Rafael Furcal | Main | Henderson Alvarez organizes Venezuelan peace protest among Marlins players (w/photo) »

Loss-weary Giancarlo Stanton: "I'm not a loser"

JUPITER -- One can understand any frustration Giancarlo Stanton might have simply by looking at the Marlins' won-loss records during his four seasons in Miami. The Marlins finished 80-82 in 2010, the year he made his debut, and it's been downhill ever since: 79-90 in 2011, 69-93 in 2012 and 62-100 last season.

No wonder Stanton said he is tired of it.

"I'm competitive, so I don't take losing well," Stanton said Thursday to a group of reporters. "I'm not a loser. That's not what I'm accustomed to. That's not what I like to do. So obviously it hasn't been ideal so far. And I don't want a career like that. So we've got to push it forward and start turning it around."

Stanton has said he wants to see matters begin to stabilize with the Marlins, which has been a roller-coaster ride for him ever since his arrival, before making any plans to stay with the club long-term. Stanton is in his first year of salary arbitration and can hit free agency after the 2016 season.

"It's been a circus -- low, high-low..." Stanton said of the up-and-down years with the franchise.

Stanton said he likes the additions the team made during the offseason, but that's it's too early to begin making any kind of predictions. He remembers too well what happened in 2012 when the Marlins, as they prepared to move into their new ballpark, went on a free agent buying spree, gussied up the roster, and fell flat on their face.

"You can't just get a bunch of big names that aren't going to win together on the field," Stanton said. "Baseball is that one sport where you can't bring a bunch of guys in and expect it to click right away. So there's the chemistry that translates to how you play on the field."

Stanton said it's more important to stay healthy and play as many games as possible, something he's had trouble doing, than to establish personal goals such as home runs and batting average.

"If you're there the whole season, then you don't have to worry about home runs and average," he said. "It's the little out for three weeks (with injury), out for his long, that sets you back for everything. It sets your timing back. It sets everything back. If you're there every day of the season, it's (statistics) going to pan out for itself."

On a side note, Stanton said he had a 50-yard line seat at the Rose Bowl when Florida State defeated Auburn for the national championship. Stanton, a former standout in football in high school who decided to play baseball for a living, respects FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, a reliever for the Seminoles' baseball team.

Asked if he would like the chance to stand in against Winston on the baseball field, Stanton replied, 'Yeah, that would be cool. I've seen him thrown from the outfield, and he's got an arm."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sunny Dee

Actually, of all the major sports (baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer) baseball is the sport where one teammate's performance has the least amount of influence over another teammate's performance. Baseball is the most individual of all major sports, and other than some chemistry between a pitcher and a batter and shortstop/second base, chemistry has little to no influence on results.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Sunny Dee, I must disagree.

While you're correct that baseball is the most individual of all sports, in comparison to football and basketball and others, chemistry has EVERYTHING to do with production, which is what a baseball player's performance is all about.

What you call chemistry is known in business as a "culture." Every organization has one. For example, Hewlett Packard is known for having a corporate culture that emphasizes creativity and innovation from their employees. And the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox had to dismantle a club culture that tolerated fried chicken, beer, and video games in the clubhouse WHILE THE GAME WAS IN PROGRESS!!!

Chemistry (in the form of organizational culture) often DETERMINES results in baseball, in the form of whether maximum productivity is achieved. That is the job of every manager, in baseball AND business, to do everything in their control to put players in a position to produce and succeed. That's when they look like geniuses to you and me (and that Juan dude).

Whatever the Marlins culture is right now (besides the cheapness and hopeless feelings conveyed by the owner, who Stanton is directly referring to in the 7th paragraph), it allows even fringe players to mouth off to and disrespect a coach (Tino last year). That does not make for a winning atmosphere, and Stanton knows that.

bob

You know, I think Stanton's the only one in the organization who has given a flying f what happens to it since Joe Girardi was managing.

Sunny Dee

DT - Point taken. I assumed he was referring to how the players interacted ON the field. We've seen teams pick up players and win immediately (97 Marlins, Yankees, etc..). I agree with you that clubhouse culture makes a difference overall. Although the 86 Mets may beg to differ!

Dionysus Thelxinoe

In a future MIB sequel, it will be revealed that the '86 Mets were actually aliens from another planet, which explains everything.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Where do you think they got the name Mets? Martian Extra Terrestrials!

Stan M

Is there some contradiction within Stanton's self description? He claims to have a fierce desire to win, yet his at bats often showed a reluctance to put that force into action. He was much too often timid and taking pitches he shouldn't. I realize one skill is mental and the other physical, but I feel that we just might have won a couple more games had he been more aggressive when circumstances required the necessity.

DT, I believe we differ on Redmond's value as a manager. In some respects this argument about team chemistry reinforces my position. That whole Tino episode would never have reached it's boiling point had there been a more competent leader at the helm.

bob

If the Marlins had a more competent leader, he would have given Loria an earful and been run out of town already.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, I don't think we differ at all on Redmond. He's not an MLB caliber manager, imo. My reference was to managers in general.

As for Stanton's at bats, I think there are mitigating circumstances. Not trying to excuse it, just explain ... imagine being forced to work at a company where you KNOW you have no future (at a point in your life where your future is your focus, like Stanton). I've been there and it just wears on you, psychologically and emotionally.

Add in the fact that he's had no lineup protection. If you're a pitcher facing the Marlins last year, you resolved to NOT get beat by Stanton and count on the rest of their sub-.300 OBPs to do the rest for you. I'm amazed Stanton hit as well as he did last year with that lineup around him.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

As for the team chemistry with Redmond at the helm, he's in over his head and he knows it. Successful managers convey an expectation to their players that they will win. I think Buck Showalter is an arrogant sob who needs to be knocked on his butt, but he brought that winning attitude to Baltimore. So did the Red Sox manager (fogging out on his name). Billy Beane has created that culture at Oakland and they've accomplished amazing things, despite being outspent by truckloads of cash.

Redmond, otoh, is tentative at best. And that tentativeness and uncertainty trickles down to the players. Whatever the Marlins accomplish this year, it won't be because of him, it'll be because of some talented young arms they have. Personally, I think he'll be this year's scapegoat, and the only thing that can save him is if no one else in their right mind will work for Loria (a distinct possibility).

Stan M

DT, agree with almost everything you said with one major exception. Stanton was no rookie, and he simply took too many strikes right down the middle. I'm not referring to flailing at low outside curves. There was that, too. However I can't condemn him for a fault of many ML hitters. It was those damn strikes he kept taking. I will grant that some part of that tendency was probably mental. Personally, I thought there was a complete change in his approach in the field about mid way through the season. Perhaps it was after seeing Ozuna show how RF should be played, but there definitely was a change. But I didn't see it carry over in his ABs where the pitchers were eating him alive and I still feel there was a certain lack of aggression there. Regardless of the compliments around him, he was "the man" and he should have been hacking more often.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, you're probably right. Cynical as I tend to be, I usually give people the benefit of the doubt, and as you well know about me already, wherever Loria is involved there is nothing but doubt on my part. I actually found Stanton's early 2013 injury a bit suspicious and I suspect that if he had been playing for a contender, he would have played through it. Just a feeling (and I can't say as I honestly blame him, if my hunch is true).

employee

Stanton will endure another losing season with Miami this year that will add to his mistrust of the FO and will fuel his desire more so , to get out of Miami the 1st chance he gets. Hoping for a trade,then the FA market. Take it to the bank. He knows that after playing for Loria , anywhere else is a breath of fresh air,instead of the same recycled stench of BS over and over.

MBL

Unfortunately for Stanton, he may not be a loser but his owner is!!!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment