Leading up to the trade deadline, where his departure from the Yankees was such a certainty that the slugger packed his bags Monday night instead of Tuesday, Joey Gallo embarked on a brutally honest media tour, supplying the ammunition for countless depressing exit interviews about his time in the Bronx.
Whatever it was, something unhooked in Gallo’s psyche during his tenure in New York, leading to vicious boos from Yankees fans that caused him to want to avoid the outdoors. Often, the boos were warranted due to continued poor play; occasionally, they veered into unnecessary territory.
Ask Yankees announcer Michael Kay, though, and he’s heard enough about Gallo’s mistreatment by a fan base that expected … well, anything at all after Brian Cashman shipped four prospects to Texas last summer for the slugger’s services.
Instead, Gallo produced the worst production from a Yankee regular … likely ever, hitting .160 in 2021 and .159 this season despite promises of .200/.210 with exceptional power. His pop occasionally flashed, but 12 home runs with more swing-and-miss and soft contact than anyone thought possible was not going to cut it in the Bronx.
Yankee fans booing Gallo as a defensive replacement in the late innings of an extra-inning thriller? Unnecessary. Unleashing a full-throated response to unspeakable, repetitive struggles? That’s … sort of just how it goes.
And Kay wanted to remind the world of that prior to the Bombers’ first post-deadline game.
Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay goes off on Joey Gallo after Dodgers trade
“They did not go out of their way to boo a guy who was actually doing a decent job,” Kay crowed. “He was a failure here in New York.”
Kay likened the fervor over the Gallo boos to the bizarre way Yankee fans treated Giancarlo Stanton early in his tenure, unleashing on the ex-MVP because the optics of his strikeouts were a little unfortunate, and because he didn’t immediately drill 59 homers (despite carrying the Yankees’ offense during an injury-ravaged summer in 2018).
Gallo wasn’t Stanton, though. He wasn’t even Jose Vizcaino.
Listening to Gallo on his way out was a depressing exercise that made some fans question their motivations and relationship to the men on the field. The interviews also rolled off some fans’ backs; the people who probably needed to care didn’t care at all and couldn’t be moved.
Kay had a record of his own to set straight Tuesday, though, and put into context just how much of a failure the Gallo experiment really was.