Giancarlo Stanton’s defense of his slow base running is just ridiculous

Giancarlo Stanton is running to the base during the Yankees vs. Astros game on August 5, 2023.
John Allen
Monday August 7, 2023

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NEW YORK — On Saturday, Giancarlo Stanton’s slow running cost the Yankees a run against the Astros. Following the uproar over it, he explained the reason behind it on Sunday. However, his unusual reasoning leaves many questions answered.

Led by Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe, the Yankees secured an impressive and cherished 3-1 victory over the Astros on Saturday. However, the margin of victory would have been higher had Giancarlo Stanton run at a higher speed.

The Yankees player confessed to intentionally slowing down during the play when talking to reporters on Sunday.

“If you want me to slide there or whatever, I had a mishap before that,” Giancarlo Stanton said to NJ Advance Media. “I thought I felt something,” Stanton said. “So once there … that was it”.

The slow baserunning incident

In the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees found themselves in a promising situation as DJ LeMahieu hit a single to right-center field with Giancarlo Stanton on second base. However, his lack of speed proved to be a costly factor as he embarrassingly got thrown out while attempting to score. It was evident that most MLB players would have easily made it home, but Giancarlo Stanton’s slow movement raised eyebrows among fans and spectators.

Giancarlo Stanton’s baserunning was a topic of discussion following his double on Saturday during the third inning of a tied game. After DJ LeMahieu‘s hit to center field, Stanton jogged to third base and was signaled to go home by third-base coach Luis Rojas, but he continued jogging without picking up the pace.

Despite Giancarlo Stanton’s initial advantage, Dubon’s throw reached home well ahead of him, resulting in the frustrating out.

Giancarlo Stanton’s unusual defense

Giancarlo Stanton’s unsuccessful dash from second base on a two-out hit has become a viral sensation on the internet. The following day, Stanton confessed to intentionally slowing down during the play.

According to him, he was unable to slide or do something different because he had a mishap earlier doing that. The Yankee mentioned that he thought he felt something, and once he was on the base, that was the reason for his actions.

The slow running of Giancarlo Stanton deprived the Yankees of a run against the Astros on Aug 5, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

However, he probably referred to a mistake or misstep he made before the play in question. Giancarlo Stanton’s recent form has made him one of the Yankees‘ most productive batters. The team can ill afford to lose him to the injured list while they aim to secure a playoff spot.

Since 2019, Giancarlo Stanton has faced numerous stints on the injured list, amounting to 47 percent of the Yankees’ 657 games through Saturday. Almost all of these injuries have been strains. This season alone, he missed 43 games due to a grade 2 hamstring strain, sidelining him for six weeks.

Given Giancarlo Stanton’s concerns about feeling something while running the bases, it raises questions as to why he remained in the game until the end. Considering his recent injury history and the potential risk he felt during Saturday’s game, it would have been a prudent decision to rest him for Sunday’s series finale against Houston to avoid further complications.

Despite the concerns over his potential injury, Giancarlo Stanton is not only included in the starting lineup but is also positioned in right field.

The reason for Giancarlo Stanton not being a designated hitter is apparent: Aaron Judge, who is dealing with a sore toe, played in right field on Saturday and isn’t prepared to play in that position for two consecutive days.

When asked about his health on Sunday, Giancarlo Stanton responded with a single word: “Yes.”

If he is genuinely in good health, the Yankees are eager to have his bat in the lineup, as they remain 3 ½ games behind a wild-card position with 51 games remaining in the season. Giancarlo Stanton’s overall season performance has been modest, with a .212 batting average, 17 home runs, and 42 RBI in 61 games. However, he has been on a hot streak lately, recording 10 home runs and 22 RBI in his last 22 games leading up to Sunday. He even hit home runs in three consecutive games before contributing with a double and an RBI in Saturday’s game, which marked the Yankees’ third win in their previous four matches.

The slow running of Giancarlo Stanton deprived the Yankees of a run against the Astros on Aug 5, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

Giancarlo Stanton’s sluggish approach to home plate was almost comical, and he nearly came to a complete halt just a few feet away from the plate when he noticed Maldonado standing with the ball in his glove. He acknowledged that he needed to try to put his team ahead in that situation, but he mentioned that Maldonado had the plate blocked by the time he reached there.

Giancarlo Stanton’s explanation for slowing down didn’t align with what Yankees manager Aaron Boone had stated during his pre-game press conference. Boone believed that Stanton’s lack of effort in running hard was due to the fear of potentially feeling something, rather than the fact that he had already felt something while running the bases.

Boone explained that Giancarlo Stanton’s decision to slow down while running to home plate was likely because he wanted to preserve himself and avoid potential strains or injuries. Due to his history of calf, hamstring, and quad strains, the player is cautious about pushing himself too hard during games to prevent any undue stress on his body.

As it turns out, some aspects of the explanation provided earlier were not entirely accurate. Giancarlo Stanton did, in fact, experience some discomfort in one of his leg muscles.

During Sunday’s game, Boone came up with a rather unusual justification for Giancarlo Stanton’s lack of effort on the basepaths. According to him, the player sometimes prefers running in a straight line, and if his steps aren’t timed properly, he gets into tricky situations. He acknowledged that the play didn’t look great, but emphasized that Giancarlo Stanton’s intention was to avoid putting himself in a risky position considering his history of lower-body injuries over the years.

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