Gary Sanchez finally receives a dose of truth and reality from Brian Cashman. Will he sulk or suck it up to be all he can be in 2021?
Gary Sanchez has been the most pampered and doted on Yankee over the last six seasons. His enigmatic career has garnered more space in Reflections On Baseball, a total of 38 articles, more than any player or a single topic.
In nearly all of these stories, the theme has been constant. How is it that Yankees brass, and in particular, Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone, don’t see and recognize what journalists and fans so plainly see in Gary Sanchez?
As suspected, though, both did see what we saw. But in deference to their player, they held themselves in check, choosing instead to quietly shop Gary Sanchez at the same time they extended him with a more than earned $1.35 million boost for the 2021 season.
Gary Sanchez: Hear This!
That is, until today, when both Cashman and Boone opened up with the “truth” in Dan Martin’s story for the New York Post.
Specifically targeting Gary Sanchez’s wonderment about being benched in favor of Kyle Higashioka during the 2020 playoffs, Cashman now refers to the episode as “head-scratching” and blindness on the part of Sanchez to any sense of reality regarding his performance.
In case you missed it, this was Gary Sanchez a few weeks ago:
“Feeling like I couldn’t contribute was very hard,’’ Sanchez said in Spanish. “I always kept supporting my team. But the reality is, they never told me why I was benched. I didn’t know why I wasn’t playing.”
Three months later, Brian Cashman finally lowers the boom on Gary Sanchez with this chilling dose of reality:
“You’re pretty self-aware at that point. You had a horrible year on both sides of the ball. You lost your job at the most important time of the season, which is October baseball. I’m not sure an explanation is necessary.” Dan Martin, NY Post
Cashman, as the Yankees General Manager, is the hatchet man. He trades and releases players at will. However, this juxtaposes against Aaron Bonne, who is charged with getting the best out of every player in the clubhouse.
Unlike Joe Girardi, who took Gary Sanchez head-on for his failure to hustle in blocking sliders off the plate thrown by Luis Severino – in full view of YES cameras in the Yankees dugout, Boone the “communicator” has gone to all lengths to shield Sanchez.
Even to the point of adding that if the Yankees had moved on to the ALCS, Sanchez “probably would have been my Game 1 starter.”
Cashman/Boone – Good Cop Bad Cop
Chew on that for a minute, but it’s suspect if Aaron Boone is a believer – or someone simply doing the job he was hired to do.
This is why we see more of the same old same old from Boone after the dual interview when he dives into the outstretched arms of Gary Sanchez, seeking refuge:
He’s right. What else can he say? The Yankees made no effort we know of to pursue J.T. Realmuto, Yadier Molina, Austin Romine, James McCann, or any other top-tiered catcher as a replacement for Gary Sanchez for the 2021 season
All of which follows in the Yankees’ “game plan” for Sanchez, because minus the “spanking” given by Cashman, Gary Sanchez is still on the Yankees roster, and Boone will have him scheduled to be the Yankee’s Opening Day Catcher.
Yankees fans, including this one, have no choice but to remain in the Sanchez camp in the same way Boone does. But soon, the emperor will appear with no clothes once the season begins, and once again, performance will rule the day.
Sanchez spent the better part of the offseason playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, his home country. Results are mixed, and he’s now in Tampa, close to the Yankees Spring Training complex.
Gary Sanchez Chomping At The Bit…But
MLB has already announced a delay in the formal start of Spring Training for all teams; the hope is that all players will have an opportunity to receive the vaccine ASAP.
In all probability, this is the worst news Gary Sanchez can receive, as more time equals more stress between now and the time when he gets on the field to “show” he’s made the climb and ready to resume his all but aborted rookie 2016 season.
The more the 2021 season is delayed, and there will likely be more COVID-related delays, the worse it gets for a player like Sanchez or any player looking to prove themselves amidst recent failure.
Of interest, though, is the Yankees’ adherence to having both an offensive and defensive-minded player as their catcher. At least, that’s the hope Gary Sanchez can fulfill.
Though Girardi helped the Yankees win a Championship without a potent bat, and Jorge Posada provided pedestrian coverage behind the plate with occasional and clutched power, is the gamble on Gary Sanchez made on faith or logic?
The jury is out, but the Gary Sanchez story remains the most enchanting and meaningful story as we look forward to the Yankees 2021 season.
On a Yankees team with plenty of offensive power and lineup production guaranteed (if healthy) to drive pitchers nuts, Sanchez can, if the Yankees permit, fly under the radar with another sub-standard season as a catcher in the major leagues.
Gary Sanchez: Soon, It Will Be “Showtime”
There will not be another word about Gary Sanchez from either Cashman or Boone from this point forward.
They’ve sent their smoke-signal message to Sanchez loud and clear. All that remains is not more “words” from either camp but numbers and performance on the Yankee’s favorite son’s field.
In one sense, Gary Sanchez is doomed as a person, though not necessarily a player, to rebound from a wayward major league career.
Trouble arises when a person (such as myself or anyone) attempts to get into the head of another person – albeit a useless and counterproductive exercise.
Nevertheless, when Aaron Boone feels it necessary to point out that Gary Sanchez is in “a really good frame of mind,” do we not need to take a measure of what he’s saying for what it is – as unusual, though not in this context?
With a dash of improved defense, let the bat from Gary Sanchez do all the talking henceforth. I’m as tired of this dance as you (probably) are…