Before you start freaking out, no, Mike Stanton did not fake his reported name and age. He's not even from the Dominican Republic -- where the majority of these false identity cases are coming from -- but grew up in a suburb in L.A. His full name has always been Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton, and instead of continuing to go by Mike, he's asked to be known as Giancarlo Stanton from now on.
The explanation for this name change is simple enough. Stanton went by "Mike" when growing up, as it was easier for his teachers to pronounce and it prevented confusion. Now that he's become a famous ballplayer and no longer has to worry about people mispronouncing his name, he's decided to revert back to his original first name, Giancarlos.
As Jeff Sullivan points out over at Baseball Nation, this is too awesome:
Great players should have interesting names. Babe Ruth. Barry Bonds. Honus Wagner. Roger Clemens. Willie Mays. As Mike, Stanton had an uninteresting name, but as Giancarlo, Stanton has a very interesting name, and as bizarre as it sounds I think this is going to help him achieve greater renown.
Not convinced? Try saying Giancarlo a few times. Giancarlo. Giancarrrrlo. Giancárlo. It rolls off the tongue, and it has the potential to make for some fantastic home run calls going forward. "Gigante Giancarlo does it again!"
The Marlins got a new name this off-season. Their former closer, Leo Nunez, switched names to Juan Carlos Oviedo (forcibly, to be fair). And now, the Marlins' young stud has rechristened himself with an exciting, unique name. What's next? My money is on Ozzie Guillen deciding to drop his last name and go solely as "The Ozzie".