Aaron Boone thinks Yankees fans went too far in hating on Gary Sanchez, who hit .147 and was terrible.
Unfortunately, he was unplayable in 2018, displayed a dramatic drop off one of the world’s largest cliffs in the second half of 2019, and had the worst 60-game 2020 season imaginable. Add in an endless stream of playoff failures, perceived defensive deficiencies, and 17 different catching coaches, and you’ve got a flashpoint for criticism.
But hold on, everyone. Even after benching The Sanchize throughout much of the ALDS, Yankees manager Aaron Boone wants you to know that you went too far. When you said out loud, “Hey, wait a minute. This guy who sucks? He sucks!” you were the problem.
That was “over the top,” Boone claimed this week.
Oh, so it’s our fault? I’ll let the rest of the fans know. I had no idea we had so much sway over Sanchez’s batting average. In retrospect, a huge bummer.
From Boone’s mouth to Kristie Ackert’s pen:
"“I think he’s been unfairly criticized a lot,” the Yankees manager told Meredith Marakovits on YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove Monday night. “I think at times it’s over the top and people are blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well.“This year was certainly a challenging year for him and a struggle for him in a lot of ways, but that’s okay,” Boone continued. “That’s part of the game. Sometimes you have a tough season, and this season was tough for so many people across the league for different reasons.”"
Boone is much better at defending his guy than Joe Girardi ever was, which made it all the more difficult when he was forced to bench his starting catcher throughout September and the playoffs.
But to act like it’s unreasonable to criticize Sanchez, who’s never put things together for a full slate the way he did in 2017, is also off the mark.
This conversation has changed in recent days, though, as the likelihood that Sanchez returns for 2021 has drastically increased; the Yankees reportedly plan to tender him a contract on Dec. 2, which is the first step.
This was always going to be a difficult row to hoe. Letting Sanchez walk at a discount just because fans were mean to him would’ve been a miscalculation, but on the other hand, how much longer will we be forced to sit through Sanchez’s postseason foibles and regular season malaise.
If Sanchez would simply play well, this would all be much easier.