Marcus Stroman speaks beyond tattoo tales, stormy tweets to fit into Yankees’ mold

Yankees pitcher Marcus Stroman at Tampa training facility and with his tattoos.

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From head to toe, Yankees’ Marcus Stroman is a walking canvas, with his first tattoo – a teenage declaration of “MEB” with “Family First” stitched above – reflecting his core values. “It’s a reminder about priorities,” says Marcus Stroman, hinting at the smart yet complex individual beneath the ink.

Marcus Stroman arrives with a reputation as a “troublemaker,” the antithesis of the Yankees’ squeaky-clean image. But he insists this is just one of many misconceptions. As fans and media speculate on his fit with the team, one thing’s clear: Marcus Stroman’s story, like his tattoos, is multifaceted and waiting to be unfolded.

The pitcher asserts that his presence with the Yankees indicates their confidence in him. Marcus Stroman emphasized his grounded nature and stated that he did not feel compelled to alter himself for anyone at this stage of his life. But, in reality, he is doing that.

“First of all, if the Yankees had any doubts about me, I wouldn’t be here today, right?” Marcus Stroman said. “I’m a grounded person, and at this point in my life I don’t have to change for anyone.”

Marcus Stroman is about more than tatoos and twitter

Marcus Stroman isn’t just another arm for the Yankees rotation. This All-Star sinkerball specialist has the potential to be their biggest pitching addition since Gerrit Cole in 2020. While he can break down the mechanics of his signature pitch with the best of them – grip, release point, gyro spin, you name it – his story extends far beyond the technicalities of the game.

Marcus Stroman is a multi-faceted individual. A Duke University graduate with a sociology degree, he’s penned two children’s books and has another in the works. His philanthropic pursuits reach beyond the mound through his namesake foundation, empowering underprivileged youth and demonstrating his commitment to making a positive impact off the field.

With Marcus Stroman, the Yankees get more than just a talented pitcher; they gain a well-rounded individual who brings passion, intellect, and a desire to contribute to the community. His arrival could resonate far beyond the win-loss column, making him a truly impactful addition to the team.

Marcus Stroman’s story isn’t a simple one. The All-Star pitcher’s philanthropic efforts stand in stark contrast to moments of fiery online exchanges, leaving some confused. This very discrepancy played out in 2019 when the Yankees, hesitant about his perceived volatility, passed on acquiring him at the trade deadline. Stroman’s public frustration toward GM Brian Cashman only fueled the narrative.

This time around, the Yankees dug deeper. Before meeting with Marcus Stroman, they engaged in conversations with his father, a retired police officer, gaining insights beyond the headlines. Team executives sought to understand the man behind the occasional impulsive online persona.

There is considerable gap between Marcus Stroman’s public image and his true character, hoping to reconcile the perception with the reality. The pitcher himself told that misunderstandings about individuals are common. He acknowledged the influence of the media and how false information can spread when repeated by those who consume media.

“That’s the just world we live in, there’s a lot of misunderstandings about a lot of people,” he said. “The media is what it is, and a lot of false things can be spewed. And then it’s (repeated) by the people who are reading media.”

“So, yeah, you can be misunderstood, especially when the people who are reporting or portraying to the public haven’t had similar experiences.”

Marcus Stroman explains misunderstanding, racism, and threats

Marcus Stroman expressed his perspective, noting his identity as a Black, African American, and Puerto Rican individual. He highlighted the lack of representation like himself in baseball media, emphasizing the need for diversity among those who understand his background and voice.

He pointed out the potential for misunderstanding, particularly when individuals reporting or presenting information to the public lack similar life experiences.

Marcus Stroman highlighted the significance of diversity in the major leagues, expressing that after being in the league for approximately a decade, he finds it challenging not to notice the lack of diversity. He emphasized the importance of having individuals of similar ethnicity or heritage reporting on him, as it contributes to better understanding and relatability.

Marcus Stroman isn’t shying away from sensitive topics. Before even gracing the mound in Yankees pinstripes, he’s sparking conversations rarely broached within the organization. While the team hasn’t even held its first full-squad workout, Stroman is poised to be a vocal presence in the months ahead.

His transparency extends beyond the ballpark walls. He’s known for his active social media presence, engaging (sometimes fiercely) with critics on Twitter. Although Marcus Stroman’s online presence has cooled down since the platform’s recent rebranding, the potential for fiery interactions remains. He noted that it’s simpler for the media or outsiders to suggest quitting or walking away. Marcus Stroman added that if those individuals were in the players’ shoes, it would be challenging to expect them not to react similarly.

Pitcher Marcus Stroman is reportedly interested to join the Yankees in 2024.
Eve Edelheit-Wall Street Journal

He acknowledged the prevalence of social media and its significant role in modern life. Marcus Stroman emphasized that even athletes who choose not to respond to criticism are still impacted mentally by it. He explained his approach to handling criticism, stating that he responds to it to move past it quickly. Marcus Stroman suggested that this ability to address criticism promptly has contributed to his sustained high-level performance over the past decade.

However, despite his resilience, Stroman’s armor is not impenetrable, particularly when he faces challenges on the mound. It’s during these times that the insults directed at him can be particularly harsh and cutting. He mentioned the nature of the direct messages he has received, hinting at the presence of death threats and racist remarks among them.

In a tweet from 2021, Marcus Stroman asserted that denying the prevalence of racism in society is futile, emphasizing its undeniable presence. He noted that those who deny it often contribute to the problem, mentioning that such individuals are often responsible for sending death threats and using derogatory terms online. Marcus Stroman concluded by affirming resilience in the face of adversity, stating, “As always…we RISE through it all!”

Unlike some athletes who shy away from intense markets, Marcus Stroman craves the bright lights. He had the opportunity to join a team with a less demanding fanbase, but he deliberately chose the pressure cooker of New York. For Stroman, the prestige and challenges of being a Yankee outweigh any potential downsides. He’s ready to step into the spotlight and prove his mettle on one of baseball’s biggest stages.

He mentioned that at a certain stage in their careers, everyone desires to don the Pinstripes. Even when they express reluctance about becoming a Yankee, it’s important to recognize that the idea of being associated with the Yankees has been ingrained in them since childhood.

He remarked that over time, individuals begin to entertain the thought of being a Yankee themselves. Marcus Stroman smiled and expressed, “So here I am. I’m ready..”

Marcus Stroman getting fit into Yankees mold

Marcus Stroman arrives in the Bronx not just as a talented pitcher, but as a captivating enigma. His body, a canvas of tattoos, tells a story of priorities and passions that extend far beyond the baseball diamond. From his intellectual pursuits to his philanthropic endeavors, he defies easy categorization.

But beneath the layers lies a competitor, one who thrives under pressure. He could become the Yankees’ most impactful pitching addition since Gerrit Cole, not just for his arm, but for his fire and personality. While some might question his fit within the organization’s traditional image, Marcus Stroman embraces the challenge, choosing the bright lights of New York over quieter pastures.

His willingness to tackle sensitive topics before even throwing a pitch speaks volumes about his character. Marcus Stroman is not afraid to engage, to spark conversations, and to be himself, both on and off the field. Whether his unfiltered style meshes perfectly with the Yankees’ culture remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: His arrival promises to be anything but ordinary.

“At some point in their careers, everyone wants to wear the Pinstripes,” he said. “Even when they tell you, “I don’t want to be a Yankee” just remember they’ve grown hearing Yankees, Yankees, Yankees, their whole lives. After a while, you start to think, “I want to be a Yankee, too.”

Marcus Stroman is a walking story, waiting to be unfolded, each inning a new chapter, each interaction a brushstroke adding to the complex portrait of the man beyond the pinstripes. Whether he becomes a beloved hero or a thrilling enigma, one thing is undeniable: Marcus Stroman will leave his mark on the Bronx, his story etched not just in ink, but in the memories of Yankees fans for years to come.

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