I keep saying that the extra days off are annoying, but on the bright side they give ballplayers a chance to mess with beat writers’ heads:
Is there anything wrong with your foot?” I asked Chase Utley yesterday.
“No,” he said.
“Is there anything wrong with your hip?”
“No,” he said.
“Would you tell us if there was?”
I wouldn’t tell them either. Still, given Utley’s erratic play at second in the NLCS, there was a lot of speculation that he is or, at the very least was, in fact hurt. Speculation that is supported by these kinds of statements from Utley:
“I think the days off right now are pretty special. You don’t have many days off during the regular season. You let your body relax, heal up. It’s a good thing.”
So there’s another silver lining to all of the days off. The injured (or not) Chase Utley is now healed (or not), and healthy ballplayers make for a better series.
At least until A-Rod slides in hard to second base on a would-be 6-4-3 and the throw goes wide . . .
Everyone knows that Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Everyone knows the Marlins traded him to New York. Most people also know that, before that trade happened, the Cardinals and Giants had deals in place for Stanton that he rejected via his no-trade clause. Now, for the first time, we get some real flavor of how all of that went down from Stanton’s perspective, courtesy of this profile of Stanton’s eventful offseason from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated.
The best part of it comes when Derek Jeter and Marlins president Michael Hill had a sit down with Stanton while the Giants and Cardinals offers were pending. In that meeting, Reiter reports, Stanton was told in no uncertain terms that he’d either accept one of those deals or else he’d be stuck in Miami while the roster was dismantled. Stanton responded thusly:
“This is not going to go how you guys think it will go,” Stanton said. “I’m not going to be forced somewhere, on a deadline, just because it’s convenient for you guys. I’ve put up with enough here. Derek, I know you don’t fully understand where I’m coming from. But Mike does. He’s been here. He can fill you in. This may not go exactly how I planned. But it’s definitely not going to go how you have planned.”
Even adjusting for the likelihood that it wasn’t put quite as smoothly as that in real time as it was in Stanton’s recollection of it to Reiter, it’s still pretty badass. Stanton had the power in that situation and he did not blink when the club threatened to call his bluff. In the end, he got what he wanted.
Beyond that, it’s a good profile of Stanton as he’s about to begin his Yankees career. Definitely worth your time.