Thankfully, the opening weekend of New York Yankees baseball was entertaining and encouraging enough that fans weren’t distracted by much outside news. A series win over the Boston Red Sox, despite a disappointing botched opportunity to complete the sweep, is a step in the right direction.
If you’re among the fans who were fully zoned in on everything in Yankees world, we have a little Gary Sánchez update for ya! Remember … the former All-World catcher who was traded to the Minnesota Twins this offseason for Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa?
The Twins opened the year on April 8 against the Seattle Mariners and it was a few inches away from being among the most epic Opening Day affairs in recent memory.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Sánchez came to the plate for Minnesota with a runner on first and two outs. The stage is set. New team. Fresh start. Perfect opportunity to make a first impression.
Mariners reliever Drew Steckenrider served up an 81 MPH hanger in the middle of the zone, and El Gary put a charge into it, sending the ball high and deep to left field as the roars at Target Field intensified for those few seconds.
Sánchez cockily (who wouldn’t have?!) flipped his bat as if he had walked it off and brought his new team a victory during his first day on the job … but his fly ball was caught at the wall. Game over.
Former Yankee Gary Sánchez had a few wild moments with the Twins already
A look of disappointment as he went to round first, but had to walk back to the dugout and hit the showers after an L. Tough scene. But there’s a redemption story here, folks!
Staring down the barrel of a sweep on Sunday, the Twins badly needed a victory to avoid falling into an 0-3 hole to begin the year. After Byron Buxton’s leadoff homer got the festivities started, the Twins loaded the bases and worked M’s lefty Marco Gonzales into a colossal jam.
Sánchez stepped into the batters box with two outs, and this time he delivered. An even better, more justified bat flip followed, too.
El Gary!! Third deck! That’s the power Yankees fans hope those in Minnesota will get to experience in greater spurts than what he was able to produce the last few years.
And just like that, the near-homer moment on Opening Day is an afterthought. A grand slam that rode the Twins to a 10-5 victory has flipped the script. Good for the former Yankees slugger. It’d be great to see him succeed after his last few disappointing seasons in the Bronx.