Aaron Boone’s claim that the media’s criticism of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was “over the top” did not sit well with YES broadcaster Michael Kay.
On Monday, the Bombers manager said media and fans have “unfairly criticized” Sanchez and have been “blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well.” Kay went off on Boone in a 15-minute rant on Tuesday’s episode of “The Michael Kay Show.”
“I’ve liked this guy,” he said. “But when he said that the (Sanchez) criticism was over the top, I was dumbfounded. It almost made me pull my hair. It’s so unfair.”
Sanchez bat .147 last season in 49 games with 10 home runs, 24 RBI and 64 strikeouts in 178 at-bats. He led all MLB catchers in errors for the second time in three seasons and was at the top of the league in passed balls for the third time in four years.
“His whole career, I’ve never killed Gary Sanchez,” Kay said. “I think that he had a really terrible year this year. I’m not going to put lipstick on a pig. And that’s why I was so offended that we were ‘over the top.’ How are we over the top?
“My advice to Aaron, although I don’t know that he would take any advice from me, is you’re ruining your credibility by saying stuff like that because everybody has eyes. Everybody saw what (Sanchez) did. Everybody saw the year that he had. Everybody saw that you didn’t start him in a win-or-go-home game.”
A two-time All-Star, Sanchez’s future with the Yankees is thought to be up in the air after a brutal season that culminated to him being benched during the playoffs. There have been rumors of the organization contemplating trading the 27-year-old or letting him become a free agent.
“You’re not supposed rip your players. I get that. But you’re going over the top saying all the good things that (Sanchez) does when you didn’t play him. And you might lose credibility with your players because Gerrit Cole didn’t want to pitch to him.
“And you can’t say it was just one bad year. Look at the year before last year. He didn’t have a good year then either. And there’s some things (Boone said that Sanchez) does well? Okay, so you brought in Tanner Swanson, the catching instructor, to teach him how to frame pitches better, especially lower pitches. He got better at that, but there were still passed balls because he’s down on his knee. So please don’t say that the criticism was over the top.”
To Kay, the fact that Boone defended Sanchez as strongly as he did indicates that 2017 Silver Slugger winner will remain a Yankee.
“You heard what the manager said, Gary Sanchez is not going anywhere,” Kay said. “(Boone) went out of his way to actually make himself look a little bad to tell you how good Gary Sanchez is.”