As hard as it is to believe, two of the most beloved players in baseball were Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams and yet at different times in their careers they were both booed by the fans. When they were asked by the press how it felt, they both responded with the same answer, “Today I stunk and I deserved to be booed.”
Giancarlo Stanton is the reigning National League most valuable player who, after an incredible first game where he hit two home runs, has had a couple of games in which he has struck out five times. Stanton has heard the booing from the Yankee fans yet just like the Mick and Ted Williams, says that he would have booed also. Stanton said after a game, “I hear them booing but understand the situation.” The one thing that we must remember about this young man is that he truly is a professional hitter. For that matter as Mr. October Reggie Jackson recently said to me, “Stanton is the whole package, don’t worry about him. He will figure things out when he has his rough moments.” The major league scout that has seen Stanton as much as anyone is Atlanta Braves scout Tom Giordano. T-bone, as he is affectionately known, says that the Mets have had as good a pitching staff as anyone throughout the last few years and he feels that Stanton was always able to do some heavy damage against the Mets and there is no question about the damage that he will do in the American League.
Giancarlo Stanton asked Reggie Jackson, during a hitting session in spring training, if there was anything that Reggie saw that he felt he should work on. Reggie told me that he told him that his work ethic is so strong and his concentration on the little things is so good. “I didn’t want to mess with him, even though Giancarlo is a power hitter like I was.”
It is also nice to see that the Yankees hierarchy has a full understanding and total support for Giancarlo. It makes the adjustment period that much easier for this very talented and good natured young man. As I used to say when Reggie was “the man” in the 70s. “I’m just going to strap in and enjoy the ride.”