Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Giancarlo Stanton—guy who played 18 games last year—says he would hit 80 HRs if he cheated liked the Astros

February 19, 2020
Cleveland Indians vs New York Yankees
Paul Bereswill

Tuesday was a big day for Astros bashing across the Majors. As was Monday, as was Sunday, as was Saturday, as was, well, you get the picture. The hottest thing in baseball right now isn't Tommy John or "openers," it's sh*tting on the 'Stros. And rightfully so. They cheated. Or rather they cheated in ways that exceeded baseball's arbitrarily established cheating threshold. They won. Not just a lot of games, either. A World Series, or as commissioner Rob Manfred recently put it, "a piece of metal." Not since the 2009 Yankees, had a team flaunted the rules as successfully as the Houston Astros, and now people are pissed about it. Like, really, really pissed. And at the vanguard of the pitchfork and torch-wielding uprising? Those very same New York Yankees! Shocker, I know.

On Tuesday, Aaron Judge donned his powdered wig and rang his gavel, solemnly decreeing the Astros' 2017 World Series championship null and void. And maybe he was right. So far in his major-league career, Aaron Judge has been a model citizen. He's earned the hype. He's stayed grounded. If anyone should be passing out discipline in the MLB right now, maybe it's Aaron Judge.

But then, moments after Judge finished his passionate-but-measured response, fellow pinstriped rock monster Giancarlo Stanton lumbered up the podium and opened his gigantic pearly maw, undoing whatever shred of goodwill Judge had drummed for baseball's reigning Hypocrite League pennant holders, offering this wonderfully selfish, entitled little gem. Can't say the man isn't a Yankee through and through . . .

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Hahahaha. Bruh, you played 18 games last year. That's an average of over 4.4 home runs a game. We know the porch is short at Yankee Stadium, but it isn't that short. But fine, for the sake of argument, let's take Stanton at his word. Let's assume he isn't constructed of your grandmother's antique porcelain and doesn't have old rubber bands for hamstrings. Let's look at 2017, when Stanton whacked 59 homers on his way to National League MVP honors with the Marlins (no small feat). If Stanton truly "knew what was coming," would that have been enough to generate a 42% in increase in his overall home run output? Or perhaps the more important question: Did the Astros really know what was coming? We're genuinely asking, because no one else seems to be.

We've heard plenty about how the Astros communicated fastballs and offspeed pitches to their batters, but did they also have a system in place to denote sliders from curveballs, sinkers from cutters, and changeups from knuckleballs? Did they know whether the pitch was going to be up, down, in, or out? If the answer is yes, maybe Stanton does hit 80 three years ago when he could still take BP without separating a rib and contracting the Coronavirus. If not, then maybe it's time for Mr. Stanton to revaluate his goals: 80 home runs? Let's try 80 games first and see how far we get.

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