NEW YORK -- It was Giancarlo Stanton's choice to take on the challenge of playing for the Yankees, drawn in large part by the allure of playing for a team that expects to be the last team standing every October.
Life in New York has approached what Stanton expected when he paced the hallways of his Miami home last December, instructing his agent to tell the Marlins that he would approve a trade. Stanton played for the first winning team of his big league career with the intent of adding more.
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"All in all, a lot of things were different for me, and that's life," Stanton said. "That's coming to a new team. The Yankees are more magnified than most, but you know, you're aware of that going in, and you adjust for things you maybe didn't think about or process before."
Though Stanton's offensive numbers fell short of last year's performance, when he earned the National League Most Valuable Player Award by hitting 59 homers and driving in 132 runs for Miami, he finished 2018 batting .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs and 100 RBIs in 158 games.
"A solid year," Stanton said. "Not the way I would have liked in terms of full consistency, but solid overall."
During periods when several of Stanton's teammates like Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were absent due to injury, Stanton played, making 85 consecutive starts from May 28 through Sept. 1.
"Part of it, I think, was good for us," Stanton said. "We benefited from it, from having to survive without being full strength. … We were still able to put up a 100-win season and still find a way to scrape by when we weren't full strength. I think full strength is coming at the perfect time."
As the Yankees went through an on-field workout at Yankee Stadium, two days after wrapping up with a Game 162 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Stanton marveled at how quickly the conversation can change.
"It's a quick turnaround from 'How did your season go?'" Stanton said. "That season is over. That's already in the past, even though it's a couple days ago, but now it's postseason. Now it's a brand new start, and we've just got to show up. We've got to be there and not try to do too much, not try to come out of what we've done all year, and just stay in line."
Stanton's teammates have told him what last year's postseason felt and sounded like at Yankee Stadium, when the building seemed to take on a life of its own after every big hit, fans leaping for joy as their beers and sodas flew through the air.
"And I anticipate it as crazy as ever tomorrow," Stanton said. "I've heard stories about last year, so I expect it up a notch from last year."