Garvey On Stanton: "If I Struck Out 125 Times, I'd Be On Trading Block"

Stanton has more career strikeouts than Garvey despite playing less than half as many games

The DA Show
May 21, 2019 - 3:02 am

Video of Steve Garvey joins | CBS Sports Radio

April was not a great month for baseball – and not just because of the weather. For the first time in MLB history, baseball went a full month with more strikeouts than hits.

It was ugly.

“It’s almost sacrilegious to think that (could happen),” former World Series champion and 10-time All-Star Steve Garvey said on The DA Show. “I think I averaged 60-something strikeouts a year and got 200 hits for six or seven years.”

Garvey, who played in the bigs from 1969-87, struck out 70 or more times in a season just four times – and 80 or more times just twice. He also, as noted, had six 200-hit seasons – and one with 192.

“My whole approach was hitting down through the ball,” Garvey explained. “Think right-center. If it was inside, I bring my hands in – and it worked. Rarely do you see a closed stance now, except for Giancarlo Stanton, who, I love seeing him closed. But everybody else is open. So now they’re open, they got to step into it, they got to stop, they got to pivot.”

Stanton, who is in his ninth season, has more career strikeouts than Garvey despite playing less than half as many games. Garvey averaged 0.43 strikeouts per game. Stanton is averaging 1.17 and has finished with 120+ strikeouts in seven of eight seasons. The only season he didn’t? That was 2015 – when he was limited to 74 games.

Garvey can’t even imagine striking out that often.

“I used to work hard for my money,” he said, laughing. “If I struck out 125 times back then with 20 home runs, I’d be on the trading block.”

Garvey, 69, was NL MVP in 1974 and a two-time NLCS MVP – once for the Dodgers and once for the Padres. He entered the game just prior to free agency.

“It was a time when you could keep a team together,” he said. “Free agency was coming in, but still, the smart guys like Al Campanis, the GMs, signed guys knowing that if I could get him for four or five years after free agency is starting, I can keep a team together and it’s going to be consistent and win.”