Gary Sanchez will either be traded or released this winter – or so the headlines read. Why is that he’s baseball’s click-bait machine?
Gary Sanchez has consumed more writing space and words in previous Reflections On Baseball stories than any other individual. As the author of these columns, it gives me comfort in knowing my time and effort will not be wasted, and readers will flock in parade style strides to “get the latest” on the Yankees‘ most enigmatic player.
Like most fans, I am intrigued by Gary Sanchez. I don’t know or begin to understand what makes him tick. Not that it’s any of my business, except he happens to play for the team I root for, and as a fan, I expect something in return for my loyalty from him or any Yankees player.
A few of us are even obsessed with Sanchez. There is a myriad of reasons for this phenomenon, and none of them are recent. They’ve been brewing and cultivating over the last six years.
The stories never change. Gary Sanchez leads the league in average exit velocity at 91.6 MPH, but what good is that if he strikes out in almost half his at-bats?
Gary Sanchez has the potential to reach the heights of baseball’s greatest catchers. He can be Johnny Bench, Jose Molina, Gary Carter, but why is that Gary Sanchez is more easily identified with Hobie Landrith, Ryan Doumit, or Ed Taubensee?
Or, how about the storyline that unequivocally states that Gary Sanchez is lazy, and no matter how many personal coaches the Yankees bring in, Sanchez lacks that inner desire even to be an adequate major league catcher.
Gary Sanchez: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
The trouble, though, is that Sanchez is his own worst enemy. He keeps feeding the monster with images and videos that are irrefutable, no matter how many times Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman lamely come to his defense.
There’s the video of Gary Sanchez nonchalantly jogging to first base, the last out in a Yankee loss in 2018.
And who can forget Joe Girardi‘s “heart to heart” talk with Gary Sanchez in the Yankees‘ dugout for not hustling to block Luis Severino‘s devasting slider, leading to this clip of Girardi explaining why Sanchez will not be in the lineup for a couple of days.
It’s all too familiar and far too repetitive.
The only difference now is the Yankees are leaking the story themselves. The team is listening to offers from clubs interested in a trade for Gary Sanchez.
Better late than never, most will say, but honestly, Brian Cashman is not the celebrated GM he is if he hasn’t been quietly sending out feelers seeking potential suitors for at least a year – and there haven’t been any takers to date.
Time’s Up With Gary Sanchez – Or Maybe Not
D-Day is coming in about three weeks, though, when the Yankees must tender a contract to Gary Sanchez. If the team goes that route, the book is closed on any further discussion, and Sanchez is a Yankee for the 2021 season.
Financially for the Yankees, there’s nothing significant at stake. They don’t do pay cuts anymore, so the Yankees are obligated to give Sanchez what amounts to a longevity raise, usually about ten percent of last year’s salary – meaning he will make about $5.2 million next year.
However, the real story, and the one many of us want to read, is that the Yankees have stood on their hind legs, deciding instead not to tender Sanchez a contract, thus parting ways with their click-bait superstar.
Sayonara, adios, arrivederci, adieu, ta ta, goodbye, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
An Emotional Rollercoaster With No End
These are emotions seldom attached to a ballplayer. But that’s the way it’s been with Sanchez. The smirk, the grin (never a smile), and that sweet sound we hear when a ball reaches the seats in a nano-second off his bat – always the bad and the good minced together.
Always just good enough to outweigh the bad, so one year spills over to the next, and before you know it, six years have flown by – and the Yankees are still titleless with Gary Sanchez as their catcher.
I have a feeling the Yankees will hang on for another year, hoping beyond hope that Gary Sanchez will somehow rehabilitate himself.
So that a day will eventually come when, as Richard Nixon once said of himself, we won’t have Gary Sanchez to kick around anymore.
No more clickbait, no more stories to tell…