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Gary Sanchez needs an attitude change

With Gary Sanchez back on the Disabled List, it seems that he’s at a crossroads in his short but illustrious career so far with the Yankees.  On one hand, he is an uber talented catcher with a flair for the dramatic and an absolutely lethal bat.  On the other hand, he’s a lethargic, lazy, ungrateful catcher who is more concerned about looking good and saving face than hustling.

Gary Sanchez needs an attitude adjustment for a few reasons;  One, his inability to hustle out ground balls is flat out embarrassing.  Every time he gingerly jogs out a ball to first he’s making his entire team look like fools.  He makes Robinson Cano look like Pete Rose.  Two, and more importantly, his attitude is starting to leak into his play, both offensively and defensively.

Sanchez hasn’t always been a lazy player, but his lack of hustle as of late is alarming.  His attitude is starting to show with his lack of hustle protecting balls in the dirt and is also showing with his lazy swings at bat pitches.  The Gary Sanchez that took the MLB by storm just a few years ago was a defensive stalwart with a rocket of an arm, a smooth swing and great power to both sides.  Where did that Sanchez go?

In most estimations, Sanchez still has that fire but has gotten complacent due to the recent success and bright lights of New York.  He let it get into his own head that he’s already a superstar and doesn’t need to work hard to continue to succeed.  The good thing about baseball is that it’s the most humbling game on Earth so it looks like he may have learned his lesson.  Losing your focus while trying to retrieve a wild pitch is one thing, but straight out dogging it to first with the GAME on the line is just unacceptable.

As seen above, it looks like Sanchez may have learned his lesson.  However, it’s still no excuse and his DL stint should be treated as more of a suspension.  It’s kind of a cop out that Sanchez apologized for not hustling, then backtracked and said that he re-aggravated his groin in the first inning of the same game.  If you’re going to say you didn’t hustle, stick with the story.

Regardless of what happens in the coming weeks, Gary Sanchez is still an integral part of this Yankee core.  He is the catcher of the future (he’s still only 25) but has a lot to learn when it comes to attitude and how to carry himself.  Aaron Boone will most likely have a guy like Brett Gardner or C.C. Sabathia speak to him privately, so hopefully when Sanchez comes back in late August, early September he comes in with a fresh attitude.  If not, well then all you have to do is quote the great Lorenzo Agnello in A Bronx Tale;  “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”.

 

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