Ah, that glorious summer of 2010 when Lebron James announced that he would be coming to South Beach to play with the Heat. It was like a perpetual Christmas morning for Miami fans, they couldn’t wait for the season to begin. Hell, even the preseason was hyped up and then scrutinized down to every little facet of the game. Sound familiar yet?
Fast forward 8 years and we find ourselves on the opposite end of the spectrum. Different sport, but our superstar left town for a bigger market and a flashier team. I’m of course talking about Giancarlo Stanton in New York. Even though the shoe is on the other foot this time for the city of Miami, there are still many similarities in how these two stories parallel each other.
Two things that jump right out at me as we continue through spring training are the excitement and build up that surrounded both teams. Along with the expectations. Case in point, this past weekend, Stanton was moved to play left field for the first time in his major league career. Aaron Boone and they guys wanted to try out something different just in case they ever find themselves in that position of having to shuffle around Stanton and or Judge.
But of course what happens? Stanton losses track of a fly ball and it comes down and hits him. Right away the headlines begin, “is Stanton a liability in left field?!!” Please, give me a break already. Stanton won’t be playing there come the regular season. That’s the first thing. The second point to mention is that it’s spring training! If it was early September and this kept happening, then yes, you may have an issue. But it’s early March. So let’s not get carried away here.
Which brings me to my second point on how the Lebron led Heat and this Yankee team parallel each other so much. Expectations, maybe at times crushing expectations. They haven’t even played a regular season game yet and people are jumping in front of traffic over a dropped ball in the outfield.
For the Yankees, this spring training is not only about getting ready for a long season, but also getting mentally prepared to handle a suffocating media that will scrutinize and criticize every little thing that you do. On and off the field. And more than normal for New York. This is going to be different for Stanton, he was used to no one caring down here in South Florida. Now, it’s championship or bust.
That’s the burden that comes with a super team, no matter what sport you’re in.