Bob Gibson wonders why everyone fusses about the World Series starters going on three days’ rest:
“What’s the big deal? I don’t get it. I don’t think it’s going to kill somebody. A pitcher can’t pitch with three days’ rest? Some of those guys make $8 million a week . . . I don’t imagine you’d want to do that all year, but for playoffs and World Series … if you can’t do it then, when the hell can you do it? I don’t quite get it.”
Gibson’s point is taken — Old Hoot kicked all kinds of butt pitching on three days’ rest in three different World Series — but he’s also missing a larger point: It’s not the number of days’ rest itself. It’s the fact that it’s shorter rest than a guy is used to. Gibson pitched in the era of four man rotations, so three days’ rest was normal rest. Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee pitch in the era of five man rotations, and three days is short rest. Asking someone to change their routine and force their body to adjust to it so quickly is a taller order, I think, than Gibson is giving today’s starters credit for.
And as the article reminds us, Bob Gibson actually pitched on short rest himself in the 1964 Series: two days’ rest before the clinching Game 7. And he was great. But (a) he’s Bob Gibson, not some mere mortal like Andy Pettitte or A.J. Burnett; and (b) even he said that he “didn’t feel really dynamite after that.”
So let’s cut these guys some slack, huh?
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.