Yankees Gary Sanchez: When Will They Take The Blinders Off

Gary Sanchez, NY Yankees ( Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)
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The Yankees experiment and faith in Gary Sanchez is now entering its sixth season. When will they say enough is enough…

Admirably, the Yankees continue to stand by Gary Sanchez. And it’s hard and risky for fans such as myself to look inside the fishbowl to question the team’s judgment. But at the very least, can we stop with all the accolades sent his way by the Yankees every time his name comes up?

The redundancy of the Yankees coming to the defense of Gary Sanchez is relentless. As recently as a few days ago, Aaron Boone felt compelled to defend his catcher when he was put to the test by Mike Francesa on WFAN, a popular talk show in New York.

“I keep saying over and over, and I think a lot of people think it’s just us pumping our guy up, where Gary is defensively is now impactful,” said Boone. “I know he had a couple of passed balls that people make a big deal of, but that issue has largely gone away. What he does behind the scenes, as far as how his receiving has now gone, how he is in delivering a game plan … in my opinion, he was a big part of us being able to really limit runs at a strong rate in the postseason. He’s a big part of that.”Mike's On, WFAN

Meanwhile, the Gary Sanchez we know as fans managed to appear in only 106 games for the Yankees in 2019 and 89 games the year before. His batting average over the last two seasons barely reaches the Mendoza Line (.200), and his on-base percentage registers a paltry 30 percent.

Gary Sanchez does hit home runs, fifty-two of them over the same span. But everyone on the Yankees hits home runs – 306 of them in 2019 – making Sanchez’s 34 a drop in the bucket.

Yankees: There’s A Lot To Love – But…

The Yankees love his work ethic, especially when it comes to improving his skills behind the plate. No one works harder, and that’s a plus point in his favor.

But so what? This is the major leagues, and you only score when you put numbers on the board – and your team wins. Neither has been the case for the Yankees and Gary Sanchez since he became a regular in their lineup at the end of the 2016 season.

It’s an old song beating an old drum, but when will the Yankees concede to the reality that Gary Sanchez is a pedestrian major league catcher.

He’s built like a ton of bricks making him susceptible to injury – and can hit with mind-boggling power – but that’s it. That’s what you get, no more and no less.

Tellingly, the Yankees have never said what they expect from Sanchez. All they’ve done is take what he’s given them and jump through hoops to defend him. Is .280 with 35 home runs and 100 driven in what they expect?

That’s what Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu give the team, with no need to hype their performance.

Yankees At A Crossroad

Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees Centerfielder Photo Credit: Pinstripe Alley
Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees Centerfielder Photo Credit: Pinstripe Alley

The question is, when do the Yankees reach a crossroad with Gary Sanchez? His trade value remains in the stratosphere, but for how long?

Throw one more year (2020) in there with a season that stretches 100 games out of him, with 25 home runs or more and a .230 batting average – what then?

We’ve talked about this before, how the Yankees seem to have a love affair with individual players, to the point where it becomes a detriment to the team.

Injury-plagued Aaron Hicks is a player similar to Sanchez in the Yankees hierarchy of player rankings. The Yankee’s reward? Hicks will be out till June (minimum) with Tommy John surgery.

To be sure, Gary Sanchez has a “presence” in the Yankees lineup, much like Giancarlo Stanton has. But again, when do the Yankees reap the rewards of that (potentially) fruit-bearing tree?

Like many Yankees fans, I suppose, I’m wary of all the hype surrounding Sanchez, and I want to see results – now – not tomorrow. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why the Yankees don’t demand the same…

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Yankees Gary Sanchez: When Will They Take The Blinders Off
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Yankees Gary Sanchez: When Will They Take The Blinders Off
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The Yankees experiment and faith in Gary Sanchez is now entering its sixth season. When will they say enough is enough...
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Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.