Don Mattingly on Giancarlo Stanton, pressure of playing in pinstripes
Don Mattingly spent 14 seasons donning the hallowed pinstripes of the New York Yankees, so he knows a thing or two about the pressure-cooker intensity of playing in New York.
With the Miami Marlins at Yankee Stadium this week for two-game set, the Yankees icon and current Marlins skipper weighed in on the alarming, early-season struggles of Giancarlo Stanton, who he of course worked with in Miami.
Mattingly was asked by the New York media ahead of Monday’s game whether Stanton can handle the intense scrutiny inherent to playing for the Yankees.
“I think that’s the one thing you never know,” Mattingly said, via the New York Post. “That’s the only thing you really don’t know. Anybody that comes to New York — I’ve seen a lot of guys come into New York from other organizations while I played here, it’s just a different place. It’s just not the same. So you gotta go out and prove yourself on the field.
“You don’t really have any money in the bank. You come here as a free agent, you have no collateral. You gotta go show it.”
Stanton is of course off to a horrific start in his Yankees career. After Monday’s 12-1 victory, Stanton is slashing .210/.310/.435 with three home runs and 27 strikeouts in 62 at-bats. Making matters worse, Stanton has been subjected to an outbreak of boo birds in the Bronx early on this season, with a pair of five-strikeout performances in front of the hometown fans.
The same thing happened once again during Monday’s game, as Stanton went 0-for-3 with two more strikeouts. A foul pop-out — with the Yankees leading 9-0, no less — elicited another hostile reaction from Yankees fans.
Does Mattingly believe Stanton, obviously an outstanding player, can overcome his rough start amid all the pressure?
“It’s New York,” Mattingly said. “You struggle, you pay, that’s all there is to it. It’s a day-in, day-out place. It doesn’t matter what you did last year. I’m not surprised by it, but also in the same sense, I know it changes once he gets his feel and stuff like that.”