For those of you who have never been part of a team, there's no better feeling than knowing you have the support of your teammates. Knowing that no matter how badly you fail, your teammates will be there to pick you up. Despite the amount of runs you give up on the mound your teammates will fight back in their best attempt to erase your bad outing. You never fault a teammate for not being the best, but you don't accept them not giving their best. When a player fails to hustle, fails to leave his heart and soul on the field, that isn't a teammate.
Hundreds of people surfaced last night "correcting" me by saying that Gary didn't cost the Yankees the game last night. They claimed that Severino's 6 ER allowed are what set the Yankees back another game in the AL East standings. Others felt Boone's decision to have Didi bunt the runners over, taking the bat out of a red hot Stanton's hands in the 9th, is what led the Yankees to their 5th straight loss against the Tampa Bay Rays. I say that there's no other person who should be held accountable for last night's loss other than Gary Sanchez, here's why.
On any given night, even the best baseball players in the world can have a bad night. Luis Severino has struggled of late. In his last 3 starts, his ERA has climbed from 1.98 to 2.63, giving up 13 ER in just 15 innings pitched. You can't expect players to go out there every single night and be brilliant. But you most certainly can expect them to work their hardest toward leading the team to victory, even during their struggles. Severino allowed 6 ER in 5 IP last night, putting his team in a hole they would attempt to dig themselves out of the entire night. They battled all the way back, 7-6 in the ninth, showing their ace they had his back. Showing their manager they had his back. Showing the fans they wanted to win just as much as we wanted them to. And then Gary Sanchez stepped up to the plate.
If Gary had struck out, popped up, even grounded out on a ball that he hustled and couldn't beat out, we'd be singing a different tune. Sure, we would be frustrated. We would question his abilities this year and if he will start to perform at the potential we all know he is capable of. And his teammates would give him a pat on the back and say "keep your head up, you'll get em next time out." But that wasn't the case on Monday night at Tropicana Field. As the New York Yankees battled all the way back, they were just a hustling player away from tying up the game in the 9th. But a hustling player they didn't have, and as Gary jogged to first base with the game on the line, his reputation and desire to win have never been questioned more.
You see, not every player is perfect. You are a team for a reason. You're a team because when your ace gives up 6 runs, you fight back. If the rest of the team gave their best effort like Severino did last night, and they came up short, you can blame Sevy's weak performance on the loss. But it just wasn't the case. Not every man gave their all last night. If they had, the Yankees would have tied the game and possibly won it. We'll never know what could have happened if Gary had just hustled running down the first base line. All we will ever know is the disgust we feel and the anger. Gary Sanchez owes his teammates, his manager, the Yankee organization and the fans more than an apology. He owes us his heart and soul for the remainder of his games played in a Yankee uniform. He owes us hustle on every single ball he puts in play or he blocks behind the plate. The verdict is out on Gary Sanchez, and he needs to redeem himself.