TAMPA, Fla. — It doesn’t take much to understand why Giancarlo Stanton’s mood was so dour as he roamed the home clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field early Friday morning. Really, all you need to do is look at him: he seems cast out of iron, a testament to a year-long commitment to fitness and exercise.
On a spring morning two years ago, asked about how important it was for him to tend to his body daily, he said, “It wouldn’t make sense to me if that wasn’t as much a priority to a baseball player as his hitting, or his commitment fundamentals. I take pride in being an athlete – not just ‘he’s a good athlete for a baseball player.’ This is how I make my living. This is important to me.”
It was easy to recall those words as Stanton shook his head sadly and tried to explain just how exasperating it was to him to have his body betray him one more time.
“I mean, it makes it seem that I don’t take care of myself,” Stanton said, his voice barely above a whisper, “which makes it that much more frustrating.”
Wednesday afternoon Stanton was doing a basic outfield drill when he tried “a little re-direction” and suddenly felt something all wrong…