Giancarlo (don't call me Mike) Stanton will miss the 2012 Home Run Derby thanks to arthroscopic knee surgery. As a result, this year's event just got a whole lot less interesting.
I love watching Stanton hit baseballs. Call me crazy, but there's just something fun about watching a 6'5," 250-pound guy take out his anger on things being thrown at him. So the opportunity to see Stanton hit softly tossed, batting practice-style pitches in a competitive environment at the Home Run Derby practically had me salivating.
Now viewers have been robbed of the chance to watch Stanton put on a hitting display that surely would have been the talk of All-Star week.
In 330 major league games, Stanton has 75 home runs. As a rookie in 2010 he belted 22, followed that up with 34 last season and already has 19 this year.
Stanton is in the midst of his best season as a big leaguer, as he is hitting a career-high .284, and also boasts career-highs in on-base percentage (.364), slugging percentage (.554) and OPS (.918).
The thing about Stanton is that he would almost certainly put on the kind of show that people would remember. Regardless of who would have won the derby, the Marlins outfielder would have hit the kind of shots that people would be talking about the next day.
Now that Stanton is out, the event just doesn't have the guys participating that I'm really interested in watching. Sure Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo and Prince Fielder could be interesting to watch, but they aren't Stanton.
It's a shame the 22-year-old won't get a chance to participate this time around. Here's hoping we get to see him next year.