Giancarlo Stanton is having a tremendous year. He leads the NL in WAR, and he's carried a plucky young Miami Marlins team that is without ace José Fernández to a .500 record and within range of a Wild Card spot. On a normal team, a season like this would leave a player like Stanton feeling enthused about the franchise's prospects for the future. The Marlins are not a normal team.
After last night's game, in which Stanton hit his 150th career home run, he was asked if the team's surprising competitiveness had affected his view of the organization as a whole:
The question was whether the events of this season had altered his top-down view of the organization. He'd raised his eyes, thinking.
"Five months," he said, "doesn't change five years."
You can read this as a direct shot at ownership, or just Stanton plainly stating what everyone already knows about the Marlins: Present-day success never guarantees future stability in Miami, because cheap-ass Jeffrey Loria is always one step away from completely blowing up his roster and signing his team for a few more 100-loss seasons.
Stanton can become a free agent in two years, and he's going to command a huge price on the free-agent market. Given his current team's history, there's no reason for him to think that Loria will make an honest effort at keeping him in Miami, and so there's no reason for him to express enthusiasm about the team's future. No player in Marlins history has ever been sacred. Not Miguel Cabrera. Not Mike Lowell. "Mr. Marlin" Jeff Conine played for the damn Mets.
But few players have ever been as fun to watch on a daily basis as Stanton. Even someone as shameless as Loria might have trouble justifying letting a player who is as good, young, and entertaining as Stanton walk away. Even if Loria decides he does want to keep Stanton, though, he might be shit out of luck. Stanton's not talking like a guy who's just ignored the Marlins' history of fuckbaggery.