The negativity over Gary Sanchez has reached its peak with Monday night’s lack of hustle. But the New York Yankees backstop should also be getting flack for his lack of respect.
There has been a great divide in those who cheer on the New York Yankees. Fans either love and defend Gary Sanchez or hate and berate him for his laziness. On Monday night, all fans were on the same page.
And for good reason. Gary Sanchez lacked hustle on two key plays that ultimately handed the New York Yankees a loss in Tampa Bay.
Naturally, Sanchez was upset at his performance (or lack thereof) and expressed it in his reactions. But, Gary, let us tell you why fans are truly upset with what transpired on that balmy Monday night in Tampa.
Instead of hustling after a ball, you nonchalantly strolled over to it, allowing Jake Bauers to prance around the bases and score. With the bases loaded and the game on the line, Sanchez barely made an effort until he was halfway down the line when he could’ve allowed the tying run to score with two outs. His lack of hustle on multiple accounts is disappointing.
How the game ended with Gary Sanchez's at-bat ? pic.twitter.com/Y1P2BXb5Qk
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 24, 2018
While that is disappointing to fans who are watching from home on their couches, it is perhaps even more upsetting to his own teammates. By not making the effort to make these plays or even attempt at them, he is disrespecting both his own teammates and those players who donned the pinstripes far before him.
His Yankees teammates are giving their all to try and squeak out a win each night and here Sanchez is, with the game on the line, treating the sport like he doesn’t care. Even on the final play of the game, Aaron Hicks was supposed to be sure out on Sanchez’s ground ball and he gave 110 percent to make sure he was safe at second base. Earlier in the inning, Brett Gardner was a sure out with Hicks’ ground ball to third. While the throw beat him by a few steps, he still hustled his butt down the line and slid for good measure to make it close.
Yet Sanchez couldn’t run out one measly ground ball. No, he’s not built for speed like Gardner and Hicks but he’s better than that. We all know he’s better than that. And it is incredibly disrespectful to watch your own teammate give up when you need him most.
Sanchez represents a part of those Baby Bombers and right now, he’s a huge presence to younger generations who are watching. Like it or not, he is supposed to be a role model for kids, who are now watching him go out there and give a lackluster effort while getting massive media attention for his successes.
No amount of walk-off home runs or clutch jacks against the Houston Astros ever gives him the right to let his team down like he did on Monday night. No, he doesn’t have to do something miraculous at every turn but he has to do his job…or at the very least, make an effort. Because if he doesn’t, it just gives everyone the vibe that he simply doesn’t care.
We know that Sanchez cares. We see it every time he makes a mistake. He’s hard on himself and knows he can do better. But he can’t think about doing better…he just has to do it.
There has been excuse after excuse when it comes to Sanchez and right now, there are no more excuses to be made. Monday night’s performance was inexcusable in terms of his lack of hustle and something must be done before he continues to fall into more bad habits, whether it’s a benching or a trip down the Scranton to straighten some things out.
If there is one piece of advice for Gary Sanchez, this is it: the pinstripes are earned. It’s not every day that a player gets to wear the uniform of the most successful franchise in the history of sports and donning those pinstripes comes with a sense of pride. Don’t disrespect it.
This cloud will loom over Sanchez’s head for quite some time but let’s hope he learns a lesson from it. And hopefully he won’t forget that his team is his family … have their back and they’ll be sure to return the favor.