Another spring training day, another set of players chiming in on the 2017 Astros' electronic sign-stealing scandal. Pretty much every team in the league has had a bunch of players firing back. But some the most prominent remarks have come from, not coincidentally, the Yankees (whom the Astros beat in the 2017 ALCS) and Dodgers (whom the Astros beat in the 2017 World Series).
It was Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton who weighed in Wednesday. He told reporters -- including Erik Boland of Newsday -- that the Astros' World Series title should be stripped and that they were "only really sorry because [they] got caught."
While Stanton certainly has bias for his current teammates, it should be noted this isn't a case of sour grapes because he played for the Marlins in 2017. Stanton is not alone with this point of view, either, but it's interesting because he's generally quiet when it comes to talking about opponents.
The quote of the day from Stanton, however, came when he imagined what his 2017 would've been like if he had the same illegal advantages as Houston hitters.
Giancarlo Stanton: "If I knew what was coming in 2017, I would have hit 80 home runs."— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) February 19, 2020
Any initial glance at "80 home runs" these days seems outlandish, but Stanton hit 59 that season for the Marlins. If his team had a sign-stealing system, could he have added 21 to that total?
That's a big leap forward, but let's not make any mistake here about what a difference knowing what pitch is coming makes. Every player agrees knowing what is coming is much more helpful than anything else (i.e. getting stronger due to PEDs) in having success at the plate. Anyone who has ever played at a level with even decent pitching knows this is the case.
Also, it's fun to think about Stanton shattering Barry Bonds' single-season homer record, so let's just dream about it without thinking much harder.