This past Thursday morning, I broke one of my own unwritten rules: avoiding sports talk radio shows at all times. Not to disparage an industry that’s far more established and successful than I am, but I nauseate at the general lack of logic and civility. I find it exasperating that the person who yells the loudest wins the argument.
But that morning, I had left the radio on in my car from listening to the Yankees the night before. They had just wrapped up their 17th win in 18 games. It was yet another exciting comeback win thanks to Brett Gardner’s triple and Aaron Judge’s home run in the eighth inning. I decided to leave the radio on while I drove my daughter to school. With the team playing so well, there’s little to complain about. How bad could it be?
It was a huge mistake. The show devoted the entire segment to bashing Gary Sanchez. “He’s too lazy to ever be a good catcher!” “He doesn’t care about his defense at all!” “Austin Romine should be starting AT LEAST half the games, and they should trade this bum!” “He misses half the pitches! They smack the umpire in the face!”
My morning was ruined. Shock and disillusionment replaced any positive feelings from the night before. Never mind the larger question of whether Yankee fans can ever truly be happy. Is this what the fanbase really thinks of Gary Sanchez? Was I mistaken that The Kraken is a beloved member of their exciting young core?
Last June, on the occasion of Sanchez’ 100th career game, I created a poll at Banished to the Pen to determine where Sanchez ranks in the current hierarchy of catchers. He was coming off a dominant final two months of 2016 in which he impressed enough to finish second in Rookie of the Year voting. Following a stint on the disabled list at the beginning of 2017, he continued to punish the American League. The idea was a thought experiment to see how much credibility a player can generate after only 100 games.
Now I’d like to recreate that experiment for a different reason. Assuming that most readers of BP Bronx are Yankee fans, I’d like to find out just how highly the fanbase rates Sanchez. After a few days, I’ll present the poll results here at BP Bronx.
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