As the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline approached, the Yankees dealing Joey Gallo had turned from an “interesting curiosity” during the offseason into a worthwhile consideration in May into a five-alarm-blaring clear necessity in July.
Nobody on earth would’ve commended the Yankees for holding onto Gallo if they’d been unable to flip him on Aug. 2. Laughter would’ve cascaded the concourse, especially after Gallo held court in several pre-departure exit interviews, detailing his discomfort, as well as some unsavory fan behavior.
And yet, what was the automatic assumption when Gallo went to the Dodgers? “Oop. He’s going to figure it out.” The jokes were obvious enough to write themselves, but what fans forgot to account for what the flip side: losing Gallo was somehow going to sink the Yankees. Subtracting an ineffective piece from a lineup was going to cause the whole rest of the order to absorb Gallo’s struggles.
Did it make sense? Of course it didn’t. Was it a guaranteed outcome? Of course it was.
Already down Giancarlo Stanton, the post-Gallo Yankees have wandered across the country, from St. Louis to Seattle to Boston, dropping offensive pieces like a zombie loses arms. Matt Carpenter, DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo have joined the walking wounded since Gallo went west.
Add in several healthy players suffering from extreme lethargy (Gleyber Torres, Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks), and you’ve got Aaron Judge and eight Gallos taking the original Gallo’s place. Maybe it’s not a curse at all, and everyone’s overreacting. But what’s the harm in a little gallows humor when your whole team is Gallos?
Yankees have been cursed by Joey Gallo’s extremely necessary departure, because of course they have
“Oh, come on,” you say. “There’s no such thing as ghosts, curses, warlocks, or Aaron Hicks hitting a double. Boston just sucked for 86 years, that’s all.”
You might be right. But if curses are all “in their head,” whatever this is has certainly taken hold of the Yankees as of late. Watch this Gallo nonsense last for 86 games? That’d be the ultimate kicker.
Most frustratingly of all, Gallo isn’t super-charging the Dodgers or doing much of anything that he hadn’t also done with the Yankees. So far, he has five hits; two of those have come off a position player (one homer, that circulated wildly over the weekend).
What’s important to remember here — and what might help frustrated Yankee fans sleep at night — is that Yankee Haters … do not care about extenuating circumstances. They don’t care if Brian Cashman made the right call or the wrong one. They will still spend their time twisting the narrative to make you look like you’re holding wet cake, no matter what the narrative is.
If Yankee fans are excited and yelling, “27 rings!” they’ll tell you that was a long time ago. If Yankee fans are despondent, they’ll tell you, “What are you complaining for?! You have 27 rings!” If the Yankees were losing after keeping Gallo, he’d be the cause. Since the Yankees are losing without Gallo, his juju must be the cause of that as well.
Since Gallo’s departure came attached to so many unfortunate fan stories and tales of his discomfort in the Bronx, it’s only natural his trade deadline journey to Los Angeles has been the catalyst for more fan misery.
Gallo “figuring it out” in a new environment should be a source of joy for everyone. No fan should be left rooting for his continued misfortune and mental anguish. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the trade, no one prepared for the outcome that’s actually materialized: Gallo’s been fine, the Dodgers have been otherworldly and have barely noticed him, and the Yankees look neutered and lost.
No wonder Michael Kay’s apoplectic.