Stanton says he's past anger over Marlins purge
He called the offseason "interesting."
Irate fans have used even more colorful adjectives, and shortly after the Marlins' blockbuster trade last November that culminated their purge of players, Stanton tweeted he was angry about it.
On Friday, as the downsized Marlins prepared for their first full-squad workout of spring training, Stanton said he's ready to turn the page.
"You're not going to linger on something and cry about it all day. You let it be known how you feel and push forward," he said.
"There's no reason to be mad. I'm healthy. I'm ready to play and be part of the team. All the other nonsense, let it be what it is. There's not going to be any pouting."
The comments about the trade were Stanton's first to the South Florida media since All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and four other players were dealt to Toronto. The deal left Stanton as one of the Marlins' few established players, and there were offseason questions about whether he might soon join the exodus.
He declined to say whether he would be willing to sign a long-term contract with the Marlins.
"I haven't been offered one, so that decision isn't ready yet," he said.
Stanton will be eligible for arbitration in 2014 and free agency after the 2016 season, when he could sign with one of the big-spending teams in his native California.
He said his relationship with Marlins management isn't beyond repair.
"There are always ways to look past things," he said. "It can be rebuilt. There's time."
He had only one communication during the offseason with owner Jeffrey Loria, he said.
"One text," Stanton said. "It was `Merry Christmas' or something quick."
Reyes, speaking at Blue Jays camp, said Friday he feels sorry for Stanton. When the comment was relayed to Stanton, he laughed and said other players have expressed sympathy to him.
"A lot of people have," Stanton said. "But I'm not one to say, `Hey, everyone, feel sorry for me.' What is there to feel sorry for me about? I'm in the big leagues. I play a game for a living."
This season he may have to carry the lineup. The Marlins are widely considered candidates for a 100-loss season, only a year after they were the talk of baseball and touted as playoff contenders following an unprecedented spending spree.
"Last year it was all about us, and everyone made it a point we were going to contend," Stanton said. "Now there's not as much focus. It's a night-and-day difference in expectations."
The 2012 Marlins were a bust, finishing last in the NL East, but not because of Stanton. He finished second in the NL last year with 37 home runs, won the league slugging title and made the All-Star team for the first time. He'll play for Team USA next month in the World Baseball Classic.
In three seasons with the Marlins, Stanton has 93 homers. Only four players -- Met Ott, Eddie Mathews, Tony Conigliaro and Alex Rodriguez -- hit more before their 23rd birthday.
New manager Mike Redmond is getting his first close-up look at the 6-foot-5, 245-pound slugger.
"He's a monster," Redmond said. "And he's a monster in that lineup. It's going to be a tremendous opportunity for one of these guys to hit behind him and have a chance to drive in a lot of runs."
Stanton said he has no idea who's going to bat in front of him or behind him. But he wants to cut down his 2012 total of 143 strikeouts, even if teams pitch around him and he must endure the frustration of taking frequent breaking balls in the dirt.
"It's more frustrating," he said, "if you do swing at them."
As Stanton has learned all too well, playing for the Marlins requires patience.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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