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With new name, Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton poised to raise profile
“The man of a million names,” Stanton said.
For the first time, that’s the way he’s identified on the Marlins’ roster. That’s also the name on his paycheck and above his locker. That’s what team owner Jeffrey Loria calls him.
“I respond to many names,” he said. “It’s all good.”
The Marlins expect to see his surname in a lot of headlines this year. He has 56 career home runs, and in the past 40 years only Ken Griffey Jr. (60) and Alex Rodriguez (56) have hit at least that many before their 22nd birthday. Stanton turned 22 in November.
“This kid has potential that’s unbelievable,” new manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Marlins’ cleanup hitter and right fielder is thickly built at 6 feet 5 inches and 250 pounds - thus the nickname Bigfoot, which dates to his year at Single-A Greensboro. In two major-league seasons he has developed a reputation for mammoth homers, and his batting-practice sessions tend to draw a large audience of teammates and opposing players.
Guillen said he’s not interested in tape-measure homers.
Stanton said he doesn’t care how far his homers travel. Last season he hit 34 while batting .262 with 87 RBI.
This year he’ll play in a new ballpark for a team with a much higher profile - and a new name. So the timing of a name change for Stanton makes sense.
In school, the California native went by Giancarlo until the fifth grade.
By Tammy Bruce
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