It was there for the taking, and it still might be but what’s the point? The Miami Marlins have suffered a heartbreaking defeat, not at the hands of another major league team but, this is an opponent they have fought and lost to for the past three seasons, injuries. Giancarlo Stanton injured his groin Sunday and will be lost for the remainder of the season.
This is no longer breaking news to the Marlins; it’s just a reoccurring nightmare. Stanton is the heart and soul of the Marlins, a team that’s in the hunt for a postseason berth but that all may come crashing down as quick as it went up. Stanton means everything to the Marlins and with his production missing from the lineup, one of the worst offensive teams just became borderline invisible.
The Marlins must be scratching their head trying to figure out how and when it all went wrong. Freak injuries happen all the time in sports, but Stanton has become a regular on the DL and the Marlins, very quietly must be kicking themselves for giving the league leader in season-ending injuries $325 million to become a spectator. But they can take solace in the fact that there are not the first team to experience such hardships with a superstar.
The Cincinnati Reds dealt with the same issues when they got Ken Griffey Jr in 2000. Griffey would’ve been enjoying his prime years with his home team, but injuries robbed the most talented player of reaching a God-like status and brought a World Series Championship to Ohio. Much like Stanton for three straight season Griffey played no more than 83 games as it was injury after injury but by the time his body was healed he was already 35 years old. Stanton is still young and can bounce back but is the damage already done to his legacy and reputation?
The Marlins are still, technically on the hook for another 10+ seasons of his contract but can they trust Stanton’s body? The Marlins took a risk and so far the reward has disappointed, much like the Reds and Griffey marriage.