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Best Show In Town

The Browns released Joe Haden. NFL preseason is wrapping up. The Celtics and Cavs are close to finalizing their Kyrie for Isaiah trade. Ohio State opens its season tomorrow night. Florida State and Alabama meet on Saturday, but there’s only one place to start today: Washington, DC, for a showdown between a team that’s nearly 30 games over .500 and one that’s barely over .500. Why? Because this happened

Giancarlo Stanton meet Edwin Jackson. Edwin Jackson, Giancarlo Stanton. Number 51. And yet again, another one that was absolutely smoked and at the moment, G is the best show in town.

Want some more numbers? That’s his 18th in August, his 25th since the All-Star break, and he’s now on pace for 63. I know there’s nothing more tired in baseball than “on-pace guy,” but Stanton is on-pace for something special. I don’t know if he can keep it up, but I don’t care. At this point, I’m enjoying every moment of it. And that’s something we all should do. It might be time to start appreciating what this monster is doing every time he steps to the plate.

I know we’re all gun-shy of getting excited about someone hitting a ton of home runs. That guys like Barry, Sammy, Mark and everyone else left us with so much scar tissue that we can’t enjoy something like this anymore, but try to enjoy it. Let go and enjoy the show. Because it is one heck of a show.

Stanton has said that Barry, who was the Marlins hitting coach last season, has continued to be valuable this year. “Barry’s been huge for me. We talk all the time. He’s guided me along this year.” One piece of advice that he received from Barry is that “you’re going to get less pitches to hit, you’ve got to be ready for them, stuff like that.”

Which raises a great point. Giancarlo is going to get fewer pitches to hit, but at this point, I’m wondering why he gets any pitches to hit. Why are pitchers trying to pitch to him at all? I mean, you do know that he doesn’t have Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds hitting behind him, right? It’s just Christian Yelich. Nice player, but he’s no Giancarlo Stanton. And if you gave me the option, I’d rather face Christian than Giancarlo.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. And I respect it. And I want them to keep doing it, but at this point, you know what’s going to happen, right? It’s like a Jackass stunt. “I’m Edwin Jackson and this is a fastball to Giancarlo Stanton.”

Throwing fastballs to Giancarlo Stanton is like Knoxville and his gang doing Wasabi Snooters, the Toro Totter, or the giant high-five to the face. Except the pitchers aren’t going to get gored by a bull, covered in feces, or end up with their junk stomped. Not literally at least.

But I love it. Part of the reason he’s still getting pitches is because he doesn’t take a lot of pitches. In other words, he gets a lot of pitches because he swings at a lot of pitches. But it’s also because guys go after him.

I totally respect any pitcher who’s willing to go after G. You have to. The smart play is to walk him, but you can’t be smart all the time. You’ve got to test yourself sometimes. Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth told ESPN that Stanton keeps getting pitches because guys are just competitive. “That’s how Barry [Bonds] hit 73 homers. That’s why baseball is so great and so pure. From first pitch to last pitch, people want to compete.”

Truth. And I love it. Keep on competing, pitchers. See if you can beat him with a belt-high fastball. I dare you. No, I double-dog dare you.

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