Due to inclement weather, the game on Tuesday lacked the pomp and circumstance of a New York Yankee home opener, but, as it turned out, no introductions were needed—-Didi Gregorius introduced himself with two home runs to the crowd to a chorus of cheers, while Giancarlo Stanton introduced himself with five strikeouts to a chorus of jeers.
Yankee fans were at their best despite the cold drizzle that plagued the game, Brett Gardner was reported by Dan Martin of the New York Post as saying:
“The conditions out there were not ideal,’’ Gardner said. “But there were a lot more fans than I expected and they were a lot louder than I expected. …”
In other words, weather notwithstanding, the Yankee faithful expected to see the Stanton that Blue Jays’ fans were treated to on Opening Day in Toronto when the slugger went 3-5 with two home runs and four RBIs. Instead, Stanton struck out five times and the booing commenced.
As Stanton admitted to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times after the game, the boos he heard from the crowd after his fifth strike out were warranted:
“You put up a performance like that, you should get booed,” Stanton said after the Yankees’ 11-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. “It’s not ideal, but we’ve got another one. We’ve got plenty more.”
Stanton owned his poor performance without making excuses, and Yankee fans will, indeed, get another chance to see Stanton in action today against Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Snell is a 25 year old righty, formerly the Rays top prospect, who came on strong in the second half of ’17. Stanton was 0-3 against Snell in 2017 with one strikeout.
Snell pitched a gem against the Red Sox on March 30 with 5.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, two walks, three strikeouts in a no-decision 1-0 loss.
Yankee fans hope that Stanton will introduce himself to Snell in as rude a fashion as possible this afternoon—-with a homer, or at least a hit—-and turn those jeers he heard yesterday to cheers today.
And Stanton hopes that Yankee fans remember that there’s “plenty more” baseball coming this season.