Gian­carlo Stan­ton: Base­ball’s main at­trac­tion

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass in Car­bon­ear. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­

I hence forth pro­claim that from this day, July 18, that Gian­carlo Stan­ton will for­ever be known as Ma­jor League Base­ball’s main at­trac­tion.

There re­ally isn’t an op­tion. Not af­ter the dis­play the Mi­ami Mar­lins slug­ger put on at the an­nual Home Run Derby July 11 from Petco Park in Sand Diego.

The strap­ping six-foot-six­inch Stan­ton crushed 61 home runs, the long­est of which came in at 497 feet. Ac­tu­ally, he did that twice and had six other long balls come in at dis­tances be­tween 480 and 491 feet.

A cou­ple of times, Stan­ton hit the gi­ant wide screen be­yond the left field fence at Petco.

Stan­ton’s home run to­tals from the evening oblit­er­ated the old record for to­tal home runs in a derby. The White Sox’s Todd Fra­zier hit a to­tal of 42 last year.

It was a dis­play of beauty that comes along at the right time for pro base­ball. While there are still plenty of power hit­ters in the game, pitch­ing tal­ent is at an all-time high and its show­ing at the plate.

The MLB should start pro­mot­ing Stan­ton af­ter this power dis­play. He should be on their web­site and YouTube chan­nel.

Never be­fore in his­tory have we seen so many top-of-the­line hurlers to­gether at the same time.

From Clay­ton Ker­shaw, Madi­son Bum­gar­ner and Chris Sale to Felix Her­nan­dez, Justin Ver­lan­der and Aaron Sanchez, pitch­ers are dom­i­nat­ing the game at a sur­pris­ing clip.

Stan­ton’s run in San Diego was im­pres­sive. Watch­ing live, I was struck by how easy he hit the ball a ton.

His swing was ef­fort­less as he un­corked ball af­ter ball into the strato­sphere. It was amaz­ing to see how eas­ily Stan­ton pro­duced power.

In a game where de­trac­tors reg­u­larly say base­ball is bor­ing, Stan­ton proves the home run is the sin­gle most ex­cit­ing thing in the game.

Sure, no-hit­ters and per­fect games are great, but they only ex­cite you in the later in­nings as the pitcher inches closer to his­tory.

The ca­sual fan doesn’t tune in to see a dom­i­nat­ing pitch­ing per­for­mance. Reg­u­lar fans love to see those things, but not Bill who likes the long ball.

He wants to see mam­moth home runs. He wants to see if Stan­ton is go­ing to hit a ball out of the sta­dium, not to see him strike out four times, although that hap­pens.

Base­ball needed Stan­ton’s home run derby.

Peo­ple dig the long ball. When balls are fly­ing out of the sta­dium, more peo­ple get ex­cited about the game.

The MLB should start pro­mot­ing Stan­ton af­ter this power dis­play. He should be on their web­site and YouTube chan­nel.

He could be the game’s next great power hit­ter.

Now, if only he could hit for a bit of av­er­age.

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