New York Yankees Aaron Boone
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

New York Yankees’ manager, Aaron Boone, will have his first major test at the helm come Tuesday when he fills out his lineup card.

It’s your move, Aaron Boone.

A move that he cannot afford to make a mistake on, Aaron Boone must keep the New York Yankees’ clubhouse on the same page after Gary Sanchez’s lack of hustle in Monday night’s game.

For those who haven’t seen by now, these are the two plays that Gary Sanchez decided to take off:


Pictured above is his first blunder, which came in the first inning of action — putting the Yankees in an inexcusable 1-0 hole. A little league-esque type of play that could be seen from 10-year-olds.

In the ninth inning, Sanchez showed up—or better put say didn’t show up, yet again:

By now the Yankees’ faithful and rest of the MLB world have shamed Sanchez for is lack of heart and hustle. There is, however, more to consider following the plays from last night’s 7-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The baton is now moved into manager’s hands. His next move or non-move will have major mixed reactions from the media and Yankees’ clubhouse.

Simply put, Boone needs to bench Gary Sanchez. The indefensible actions of Gary Sanchez have warranted a day on the pine but it’s now in Boone’s control to do so.

Aaron Boone has not done much wrong this season. His team sits at 28 games above .500 and just four back in the loss column in the American League East behind the Boston Red Sox. His moves on the field have been questioned at times but overall he has done a terrific job with this Yankees team.

New York Yankees

Which makes this next decision ever so difficult. Aaron Boone understands what it’s like to put on the pinstripes from his stint with the Bombers in 2003. During that year he played for all-time great Joe Torre, and “The Boss” George Steinbrenner. IF he himself ever gave that lack of effort or hustle that Sanchez displayed on Monday — it’s clear where’d he end up.

Steinbrenner very well could of and maybe would of DFA’d someone who pulled that stunt. Of course, Sanchez is too talented to consider the nuclear option so that’s out of the question. In this case, Sanchez no longer has any options in his contract to be sent down so it’s either bench him or trade him.

But it’s not Sanchez who’s decision weighs on his shoulders. It is instead Aaron Boone’s dilemma. Up to this point, the clubhouse has seemed even keel; players like Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge keep the locker room joyful and entertaining, while guys like Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia hold the high guard as the clubhouse leaders.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Gardner, who is the ultimate competitor and hustler, had some choice words for Sanchez last night.

Now it’s Boone’s turn. I would expect that he had a talk with Gary after last night’s debacle. Clearly, Sanchez is healthy enough to play, so for those saying he may still be hurt—nonsense.

If he was still hurt and couldn’t run 90 feet, then he shouldn’t have ever been in the lineup, to begin with. He, instead, should have been continuing to rehab. He was able to play the weekend in Flushing, Queens and the first game of the series in Tampa yet now he’s hurt after he needed to hustle. He felt ready enough to play, so show the Yankees and fans you are.

Meredith Marakovits: “If it is something you look for and something you don’t like to see will you have a conversation with him?”

Boone was asked if he’ll approach Sanchez about the play if he didn’t hustle down the line (he didn’t). The rookie skipper had this to say:

“We always address stuff with our players but I want him running at the smooth clip I talked to you guys about, and part of that is getting out of the box.”

If Boone doesn’t bench Sanchez tonight, it would be preposterous. By doing nothing, Boone could begin to lose hold on the clubhouse. Aaron Boone has made tough decisions, but nothing as difficult as this. It can determine the aura of the entire locker room and at this point, he can’t afford any distractions to his ball club.

Make the right call Boone and bench Gary Sanchez.

Becuase after last night’s actions, he does nothing more than deserve it.

New York Yankees

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