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Jack McKeon wants Mike Stanton to steal 30 bases for some reason

Jul 18, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

Mike Stanton, Paul Janish

Not satisfied with Mike Stanton being perhaps the best young slugger in baseball, Marlins manager Jack McKeon wants him stealing bases now too:

He needs a little polish on the bases. But that’s because he has not had that much experience. I gave him the steal sign one night a while back and he stood there standing up. I was like, “Get in position to steal.” All of a sudden, boom! He steals it easy. This guy has so much explosive speed. His first step, you can’t believe.

I told him, “You can be a 30/30 guy, easy.” I’ve just got to sell him on the idea that this is what you’ve got to do.

I realize McKeon can do no wrong right now, but when it comes to Stanton why exactly is that “what you’ve got to do”?

For one thing, a very athletic 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds is still 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, which makes attempting 30-plus steals per season an injury waiting to happen. For another thing, Stanton has eight steals in 189 games for the Marlins and he’s been thrown out four times. He also never ran much in the minors, stealing a grand total of eight bases in 324 games.

I’m all for young players becoming more well-rounded and certainly Stanton becoming a better, more efficient base-stealer could benefit the Marlins, but asking a 21-year-old, 6-foot-5 slugger to do something he’s never done before is a whole lot of risk for not much payoff. He’s much better off being a 40/5 guy than trying to join the 30/30 club.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I’m encouraged when men like good ole Jack there fully embrace senility. Does he try to hide it? No, real men carry it with pride and flash it around some.

    • Old Gator - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      I beg to differ. Senility should be hoarded, like platinum. Keep it somewhere safe.

      As far as Stanton’s speed, I agree with Rondo. He’s too heavy to risk coming down on an ankle hard at full speed and spending a season in a cast waiting to have the pins removed. On the other hand, someone who understands sprinting ought to coach him on accelerating after line drives and fly balls without popping a tendon here or there. If he’s got the natural speed – which he does – let’s refine and put it to work where he does most of his prowling.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Platinum hoarding? Is that where all of your neighbors catalytic converters went to Gator?

  2. jimbo1949 - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Shock and awe works wonders, next time they’ll be watching; even Grumpy steals once a year.

  3. joshftw - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Of course Stanton needs to run more. If the Marlins are going to continue their quest for last place they need to get worse on the basepaths too.

    • addictedzone - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      You noticed of course that the Marlins have the best record in the National League over the last ten games?

      • joshftw - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        Yeah, and it’s quite the tribute to their season that they can be en fuego and still be in 5th place.

    • Old Gator - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM

      The Feesh already have Hanley to commit the baserunning boehners…heh, I mean, boners. Stanton would, at best, be a backup basecockupster. And you think Cousins whacked Posey? Imagine being a lightweight shortstop flattened in a takeout play at second by the Iron Giant. They’d carry you off the field in a pail like Odo taking a nap.

      • cur68 - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM

        Which is worse: Stanton bearing down on you or Fielder. I’m going with Fielder; that beard will add a burn to go with all the injuries that starts with ‘multiple’.

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