It’s no secret Joey Gallo’s limited time in the Bronx this past season was a disappointment. New York Yankees fans were enraged by his lack of contributions in big moments (or really, at all) and further put into question the direction of this team.
Gallo was the worst version of himself from the end of July through the AL Wild Card Game, and it wasn’t entirely a surprise. He’s a high-strikeout, low-contact power bat. It’s boom or bust, just like a good portion of the Yankees’ lineup. He’s not what the Yankees needed to help diversify the lineup.
Who’s more at fault here, though? Gallo for wildly underperforming (stop whipping out WAR and wRC+ numbers … he was below average on defense, had a 93 OPS+ and struck out 39% of the time)? Or the front office for acquiring a player many could argue this team didn’t require to become more dynamic?
Wait … we think we have the answer.
It had nothing to do with Gallo’s play. It had nothing to do with the front office’s philosophy at the trade deadline.
Gallo’s forgetful 58 games with the Yankees was a result of his … wardrobe habits?
The media is reporting on a weird ritual Yankees OF Joey Gallo had during the season.
NJ.com’s Bob Klapisch came in hot on Sunday, reporting on a locker room spat between Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner, which stole most of the headlines. But tucked away in his piece was this bit about Gallo “laying out his uniform piece by piece in front of his locker before dressing, and then undressing if the fit wasn’t right.”
OK, weird if true (kind of), but unless Gallo was filling his cleats with cement and donning a gold chain that weighed 10 pounds, we’re unsure what the problem is here. This hardly speaks to Gallo’s personality in the clubhouse and on the field.
Then again, the Yankees do have a problem with their culture. So many of their players are monotone, unemotional, unexpressive and buttoned up. There’s no energetic presence. There’s nobody screaming to light a fire under this team when they’re slacking or underachieving. But this example of Gallo being particular with how his uniform fits doesn’t encapsulate any of that whatsoever.
Maybe hitting coach Marcus Thames was a problem here? Why was arguably the most prolific power hitter in the American League bunting for singles and LEADING THE LEAGUE in that category? Why was Gallo missing center-cut fastballs over and over and over? Why was Gallo being played mostly in left field, the defensive position he’s least familiar with?
In a perfect world, our greatest concern would be the way Gallo opts to put on his uniform on a nightly basis. Sadly, the problems run much, much deeper than that.