I love baseball season for a lot of reasons. Baseball season brings great weather. You can watch your team each night and build a more intimate relationship, than with other sports that only play once or twice a week. Ballpark food can be phenomenal. I could go on.
For all of the great things that accompany baseball, there is a significant issue I have with the sport. The players, owners, managers, announcers, and just about anyone whose job is tied to the sport are slow to change. Changes in strategy or rules happen about as often as the cicadas come out to fill our summer with their white noise.
So from time to time throughout this baseball season I’ll give an out of the box thought that a team or the entire league should consider. Here it goes……
Giancarlo Stanton should record zero at bats this entire season:
This off-season Marlins owner, Rachel Phelps, I mean Jeffery Loria, decided to trade key players, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck to the Blue Jays for a couple prospects, 3 free spray-tans, and a Jimmy Buffett Adirondack chair. Baseball rightly approved the trade, but in the process left Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton as the only above average player on the Marlins roster.
This season the Marlins will roster a team that resembles the clown show that was the FICTIONAL roster in Major League. Ageless wonder Juan Pierre will bat lead off, who coincidentally might be the exact same age as Wesley Snipes. Batting in the cleanup spot will be the home run hitting Placido Polanco, and in the three hole will be poor Giancarlo Stanton.
The Marlins starting lineup minus Stanton has a combined 218 home runs in their career. Stanton has 93 career home runs in just over 2 full season. If you are the opposing pitcher what is your incentive to throw a single pitch over the plate when facing Stanton? Other than hubris there is no excuse to pitch the man. Every time he steps to the plate the pitcher should walk him. Who is protecting Stanton in that lineup? What other player should a pitcher fear? Placido Polanco and his career 400 slugging percentage? Stanton has next to nobody around him that can hit the ball hard, which is why Stanton should finish the season with an average of .000 and an OBP of 1.000.
Teams will still pitch to Stanton even when there is nobody on base in front of him, cause that is just the way baseball is played. And when the Phillies, Braves, or Nationals miss the playoffs by 1 game they can look back and remember the 2-1 game they lost to the Marlins in May because Stanton hit a walk off moon shot over the left field fence.