I’d bet good money that the first thing Stanton thinks of when he realizes he’s facing Fiers is that day he was drilled in the face back in 2014, nearly ending his career. Probably the first thing he thinks of when he goes on deck to face Fiers and I’d bet it pops into Stanton’s head as he gets into the batter’s box.
And I don’t blame him.
Stanton got SMOKED. I would think he’d have some something similar to the yips when he first got back in the box. And he may have, but he’s obviously gotten over it despite having a friendly reminder of that terrible day attached to his helmet to (hopefully) prevent something like that from happening again.
So when Stanton gets a pitch around the face area he’s going to be rattled, more so than the average player. Totally understandable.
When he gets a pitch up and in from Mike Fiers, well we saw it on Monday, that’s going to piss him off.
Totally fine with what he did. That’s just as much fear as it is frustration from Stanton. I think most assume Fiers didn’t do it on purpose, but that cannot happen given the past.
It’s not as if he just drilled Stanton two years ago after a moon-shot, he almost ended the guy’s career. Totally different circumstances than, let’s say Tyler Austin v. Joe Kelly.
So I also get why Stanton showed up Fiers after he hit a home run off him in the next at-bat.
Both guys were asked about the incident after the game. Stanton basically said he’d never forget. Fiers handled it a bit differently.
“I understand that he’s pissed, but the way he handled it was kind of childish. He’s going to act how he’s going to act, but it kind of shows his character.
“Getting his revenge and this his bat and pointing. That’s not part of this game. Yeah, you’re supposed to have fun, but I think that’s kind of childish.”
Honestly, I don’t think it is one bit. HOWEVER, if Stanton does the same thing next time he hits a home run off Fiers, which I bet will happen again, THEN he needs to just treat it like ever other longball in his career. Because at that point Stanton would become the agitator, and he, of all people, should be the one that wants to put that event to rest.
Something tells me this happens again though. As much as it’s in Stanton’s head to some extent, I think it’s in Fiers’s, too. He was distraught when he drilled Stanton back in 2014 and I’m sure it crosses his mind once he comes to the plate. And if that’s in your head on the mound, there’s a good chance it’s going to come to fruition.