The Marlins’ Mike Stanton is a beast, but he’s been a sidelined beast this spring, battling a leg injury. He made his spring debut yesterday, however, and he murdered baseballs:
Stanton not only left his indelible mark on the scoreboard — a tape-measure line-drive shot that traveled an estimated 500 feet — but also the Boston Red Sox and a sellout crowd at Roger Dean Stadium.
Stanton smashed two home runs on the afternoon, and when he was lifted for a pinch runner after knocking in his seventh run of the afternoon with a sharp single to center, many in the pro-Red Sox crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Because he’s a Marlin he doesn’t get as much press as guys like Jason Heyward or Buster Posey, but in many ways, there may not have been a more auspicious debt last season than Mike Stanton’s, even if a lot of people didn’t realize it at the time. He may take some time to figure out the strike zone — he struck out 123 times in 100 games last year — but lord have mercy does that young man have power.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.