Chicks dig the long ball. Some readers might not recall that iconic commercial from the 1990s, but the point remains; home runs sell tickets... which brings me to the hero of our story, Giancarlo Stanton.
Much has been made of Stanton's contract, and the contract is definitely colossal, like each one of his 259 career home runs. And home runs are what the fans look for and remember when they make it through the turnstile and head to their seats. Unless you witnessed a triple play or a no-hitter, your memories of the game are reduced to who won and who hit the homer, not necessarily in that order.
Home runs fuel the highlights each night on ESPN. The guy that threw a quality start or the catcher that threw out a couple runners isn't getting air time. Dee Gordon can steal 1st, 2nd and home, but all you'll see is his steal of home while hearing mention of the first two. Nevery Giancarlo blast is making the show.
Home runs wrote the $325 million dollar contract signed by our very own Giancarlo Stanton and, most importantly, home runs put butts in the seats. Which leads me to the point; Giancarlo must stay.
You can point out that average attendance for the Marlins on the year is 20,678, which is down from last year. And that would be true. But that only tells half the story. This is a year of transition in a city that is still grumbling about paying for the ballpark to line the pockets of an owner they detest. This is a team that fights back and forth with teams like the Phillies and gets swept by the Nationals.
So why must we keep Giancarlo? Because he is the face of the franchise. Because chicks dig the long ball, and everyone digs Giancarlo. Because new ownership is coming, and when they enhance a middling team with an iconic slugger, the city of Miami is going to notice. Winning and slugging (and National Dog Day) put butts in the seats. And if you leave your seat empty, Stanton will hit the long ball that finds it. Don't get up for a beer or a hot dog. A Marlins winner is on deck and you don't want to miss it.