Yankees: Aaron Boone’s latest playoffs quote is music to Gary Sanchez haters’ ears
By Adam Weinrib
Yankees manager Aaron Boone wouldn’t commit to Gary Sanchez in the playoffs on Thursday, even for Game 2.
If Kyle Higashioka’s three-homer game last week was like a tasty treat for the segment of the Yankees fan base that is sick of Gary Sanchez’s every move, then Aaron Boone’s press availability on Thursday was like catnip.
Prior to Thursday, the team already seemed fairly locked into a Gerrit Cole-Higashioka pairing. Whether you believe it to be beneficial or not, let alone the root cause of Cole’s recent mega-hot streak, we’re now at four starts in a row, placing Higgy behind the plate for Game 1 of the postseason.
But, as Aaron Boone said prior to the team’s finale in Buffalo, don’t enter October assuming that this is going to be a Cole-and-done maneuver.
According to Boonie, the Yankees will be turning the catching position over into a “day to day” decision. Not only is that not a commitment to Sanchez of any kind, but it indicates that if Cole’s start goes smoothly in Game 1 and Higashioka displays the power he’s been showing off lately, then anything goes moving forward.
Of course, Cole and Higashioka are uniquely comfortable with each other; they were teammates, once upon a time, on Orange County youth teams (along with Aaron Hicks). It’s quite possible that a contemplative Masahiro Tanaka will simply prefer to pitch to Gary Sanchez and request such a thing, rendering this whole conversation moot — for what it’s worth, Cole himself has been extremely complimentary of Sanchez in the past, too.
The unfortunate thing is that all this noise comes about a week after Sanchez’s best stretch of 2020, capped with a dynamic game at Fenway Park last Friday night. Of course, on Wednesday, there was the same old inconsistent Sanchez, his strikeout snuffing out an early RISP rally, and his bizarre pickoff error bringing a run home from third.
The frustration is legitimate, though. Are the odds in Sanchez’s favor starting Game 2? Of course. He’s still the starter.
But with no margin for error in the postseason, even Sanchez’s most ardent defenders have to admit that taking this on a case-by-case basis makes some sense.
Wait … sorry, no they don’t. And they won’t. Have you ever talked to them before?