New York Yankees slugger Joey Gallo has been nothing but kind, generous and giving with the fans and media since his tenure in the Bronx began at 2021’s trade deadline. However, no matter what the gregarious masher tried on the field post-trade, nothing helped get him back on track or saved him from the ire of a fan base that was unprepared for struggles of this magnitude.
In what reads as an exit interview (prior to his formal exit) with Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, published on Friday (subscription required), Gallo once again owned everything about his difficult tenure, and sadly admitted the struggles in New York for his beloved childhood team will haunt him for a very long time.
Gallo’s extreme strikeout tendencies were nothing new; as Adler accurately describes, he was always more whiff-heavy than even Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom have long frustrated certain older sects of this fan base. However, Gallo with a .223 average and .869 OPS with 125 whiffs (his numbers in Texas pre-deadline in 2021) is a far different player than Gallo with a .159 average with a .621 OPS and 106 strikeouts, his 2022 output through action on Thursday.
Even a “True Yankee Moment” against Seattle in early August last season, when his three-run home run propelled the Yankees to an improbable comeback at home, did not help anything click in the early-going, leading to an additional four depressing months in 2022 that, quite honestly, were worse than even the worst-case scenario posited last fall.
Gallo’s replacement in Andrew Benintendi arrived in the Bronx on Thursday afternoon, and talks now seem focused on sending the soon-to-be-ex-Yankee to a smaller market, per insider Brendan Kuty. When you read his haunting summations of his tenure in pinstripes, it’s not hard to see why that could help.
Yankees’ Joey Gallo open and honest: ‘I didn’t live up to expectations’
If you’re a Yankee fan who feels anything other than pity for Gallo at the moment — and, uh, there are plenty in the right-field bleachers who wish he wouldn’t have a moment’s peace — you’ll never be saved. Bottom line? Something happened internally after Gallo arrived in the Bronx to live out his childhood dream, maximizing his worst habits and throwing off the delicate rhythm of his sometimes tough-to-watch game. He didn’t do anything wrong personally, and for the good of both parties, deserves a fresh start elsewhere.
Just … please not Tampa Bay, as Kuty hinted in his final rumor mill roundup. Milwaukee’s nice this time of year.
Gallo made no secret of his childhood Yankee fandom during his time in Texas, and to watch a dedicated star fail to live out the dream of his youth after falling into the perfect situation crafts a special type of heartbreak.
Last summer, Gallo was looked at as the savior. Now, with a second bummer behind him, he’s just looking for a way out from something that felt so comforting one year ago.
He was the strongest hitter on the market when he arrived. The move made nothing but sense. It didn’t work in any capacity, and the subject made it clear on Friday that he’ll be dealing with the disappointment for the rest of his life. The least the fans can do is give him a break (while still sitting 30+ games over .500), wish him well, and tip their caps — while hiding the interlocking NY.