Gary Sanchez pulled the biggest blunder of the Yankees’ season

On a day where the New York sports world had already endured a tragedy due to the destruction of the NYDN sports section, Gary Sanchez single handedly cost the New York Yankee the series opener versus the Rays. It wasn’t because he struck out or made an error, that’s something that could happen to anyone, because baseball is a sport centered around failures. He cost the Yankees a baseball game against a divisional opponent in the middle of a pennant race, because he mentally, free-willingly gave up on his team.
Photo Credit: AP Photo

Gary Sanchez, who already is widely labeled as someone who half-asses his way down the base paths and behind the plate on a daily basis, embodied his reputation to the greatest extent possible. On a ball that was scorched just a few feet to the left of the second base bag, Aaron Hicks ran his heart out and slid in ahead of the toss. As a spectator, I jumped out of my seat seeing Hicks slide in on a ball Robertson should have just thrown to first, but Willy Adames threw it to first, after the flip from his teammate, and threw Sanchez out by a huge margin. The YES replay transitioned to a view of the Yankee catcher  lollygagging towards first base for about 45 feet, before noticing Hicks was safe and then hustling after it was too late.

“Inexcusable” is the word YES broadcaster John Flaherty used to describe the effort, and he could not have used a better word. Gary Sanchez is a professional baseball player and has the privilege to play in front of thousands of fans for large sums of money, with and against the greatest players in the entire world. Yet, he has the audacity to not put in maximum effort in a do-or-die situation nor try to give his team the best chance possible to win. This doesn't even take into account the two-base passed ball steal that occurred earlier in the game, but I digress. 

Gary Sanchez’s average sprint speed per baseball savant is 25.7 ft/sec. Divide this total by 90 feet, and Sanchez should be able to reach first base in just over 3.5 seconds. However, the replay shows it took Sanchez over five seconds to touch first base. It is one thing to jog out a routine ground ball in a seven-run deficit, but to not sprint like your life depends on it in order to tie the game, there has to be something very wrong. 

Sure, the argument could be made that Boone took the bat out of Stanton’s hands and that cost the Yankees the game, but that is a what-if scenario. There’s not a what-if scenario surrounding the play by Gary Sanchez. If he runs full speed, there is a pretty solid chance the game is at least tied and maybe more. The argument that he hits a lot of home runs, so he has this sacred immunity, is no longer valid. When the rest of his skillset, or lack of using it, is costing the Yankees baseball games, there is a major problem, and tonight highlighted it to the maximum. Aaron Boone dodged the media tonight about the situation, but if he has any spine or guts as an MLB manager, Gary Sanchez is riding the pine in game two of this series.

Article by: Ryan Thoms


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