August 25, 2019

NY Post: "Gary Sanchez Doesn't Know A Thing About Baseball"

Phil Mushnick, Post:
In 60 years of watching baseball, it took until Thursday night to finally put my wrinkly, crooked index finger on it. I realized what has been right in front of me the past five seasons: Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, a two-time All-Star, knows almost nothing — nothing — about how to play baseball.

It seem as if several times per game he shows himself to be totally unfamiliar with the sport, beyond swinging as hard as he can to try to hit home runs.

Everything else either throws him or escapes him.

Thursday against the A's in Oakland, Sanchez led off the second with an, oops, line-drive single. The next batter, Brett Gardner, hit a hard grounder to first — the ball's first bounce was immediate, just a few feet beyond the plate — yet Sanchez was seen running toward second at a minimized pace because he was looking back toward first.

What did he expect to see at or near first? I don't know. A pink flamingo?

If he wanted to see a force play on Gardner, he did. But why he didn't head directly toward second on a ground ball was more hard evidence that Sanchez doesn't know enough about baseball to know how it should be played.

With the throw from first now headed toward second, Sanchez only needed to slide to beat that throw — it would be high and wide — as the force was no longer in play.

But Sanchez awkwardly pulled into second, standing, then, trying to elude the tag, fell off balance then off the bag before he was tagged out to complete a double play.

Even by today's diminished skills and standards, this was a double play that appeared as the residual of Sanchez, yet again, failing to recognize or practice elementary, remedial common sense baseball.

On YES, the first words heard were, incredibly, praise for A's first baseman Matt Olson for a fine, head-up play. Huh? He fielded a grounder, stepped on first then threw wildly to second? Fine play? Only as fine as Sanchez allowed.

During a replay, David Cone said, "For some reason Sanchez didn't slide." For some reason? It was the same reason — Sanchez doesn't know how to play the game. But in 2019, as long as he hits home runs, that's plenty good enough.

Cone concluded it "was a weird play." Weird? No. Why? It was the logical conclusion to Sanchez's illogical, organization-indulged sense of baseball.

And game after game we have to suffer such ignore-the-conspicuous commentary as if we're too stupid to know better.

Sanchez plays his position as if under a spell, a fog that fills him with indifference. He runs the bases — when he's in the mood — as if he's lost beyond anything more challenging or thought-worthy than a home run trot.

But to pretend that we can't see or recognize when players are the victims of their own deficiencies — not the victims of superior play by opponents — is insulting to viewers who know and deserve better.
A look back:

1 comment:

David Cho said...

They had a nice weekend against the Dodgers, so there is that.

Do we have trouble against AL pitchers? Is the style of pitching different in AL? We got swept by the lowly Angeles both at home and away. It took two walkoff to defeat the lowly Blue Jays. And then all three Yankee pitchers had a field day against our lineup. I thought this was going to be our year.