'He said, ‘Hey, if this doesn’t work down here, I’m gonna be a free agent, and I’m gonna sign with the Yankees and you’re coming with me.'
On Sunday night, new Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton was feted by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America at a gala dinner, during which the former Marlin was gifted with his 2017 National League MVP award. By all accounts, it sounds like it was a fun night for Stanton, but during his speech, things took a melancholy (if not bittersweet) tone when he brought up his former teammate in Miami, Jose Fernandez, whom Stanton says saw this moment coming way back in July 2016 with eerie precision.
Giancarlo Stanton says that at the 2016 ASG, Jose Fernandez predicted Stanton would hit 60 HR and win NL MVP in 2017. Fernandez also said that if things didn’t work out in Miami, they’d be teammates on the Yankees someday.— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) January 29, 2018
(Stanton did, obviously, win the MVP last year, and he hit 59 home runs in the process.)
Fernandez, unfortunately, didn't live long enough to see his friend reach those goals or put on the pinstripes, as he died in a boating accident in September 2016. But that doesn't mean Stanton has forgotten about him or left him behind.
"Well, now I’m here," he told the assembled crowd, "and I’m gonna take a little piece of him with me and bring it to New York. It’s great to be here."
Equally as eye-opening as Fernandez's prediction, though: the sight of Stanton and fellow Bronx Bomber Aaron Judge (who was on hand to accept his AL Rookie of the Year award) wearing impossibly huge tuxedos.
Pity the poor tailor who had to find the right fits for them.