Mac Engel: Texas Rangers beat Yankees because Joey Gallo was never meant for New York
The Texas Rangers seldom defeat the New York Yankees, but the early returns of the Joey Gallo trade say it will be their biggest win of the entire 2021 season.
Go ahead and include the '22 season, too.
It just happens to be the worst move in the history of moves for the player himself.
Of all of the teams the Rangers could have traded Gallo to, the New York Yankees was the worst possible destination.
Gallo would have been better off to be traded to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (Japan), Hanwha Eagles (Korea), or even the Baltimore Orioles (MLB, I think).
Yes, he had the chance to join his ex-teammate Rougned Odor to play in the "Field of Dreams" game in Iowa, but Gallo's time in New York has so far been a nightmare.
Horrendous, awful, lazy sports journalism transitions aside, Gallo needs to get out of New York as fast as possible before the city swallows him.
The Yankees acquired Gallo to add offense, and to help push them past the Tampa Bay Rays and into first place in the American League East.
When the Yankees traded four prospects to Texas for Gallo on July 29, they were five games over .500 and 8 1/2 games behind first place.
They are now 19 games over .500, and 8 1/2 games behind first place.
Since he entered the lineup, he has 16 hits. He has struck out in 61 of his 123 at bats as a Yankee.
As a Yankee, Gallo has appeared in 35 games and the other numbers are not good — a .130 batting average, a .291 on base percentage, a .325 slugging percentage.
If you are familiar with Gallo's time in Texas, this production merits a shrug. If you are new to Joey Gallo, this production merits a rant.
He's been so bad it prompted New York Post sports columnist Joel Sherman to opine, "Joey Gallo no longer can bat second for the Yankees. A strong case exists that he should no longer be in the lineup altogether."
Gallo shouldn't be batting second anyways. Before that, start with the fact that Gallo is a good guy, and a dedicated pro. But there are just certain people, and personalities, who don't belong in New York.
Odor is better equipped to deal with New York than Gallo, a guy who could overthink taking out the trash.
Gallo was quite comfortable with the Rangers, and the Rangers were comfortable with him.
Prior to the trade, it was the only pro baseball organization he had ever known since he was a first-round draft pick in 2012.
Granted, team president Jon Daniels screwed up Gallo's promotion from the minor leagues and rushed him too quickly back in 2015. They also moved him around too much, but he was always agreeable.
But he had his limits. He didn't want to hit in certain places in the order, for whatever the reason.
He was not a fan of batting second, which is exactly where Yankees manager Aaron Boone has him in the lineup. Boone is adamant that Gallo's talents fit the two hole.
Maybe they do. Gallo has never acted like it, so if he doesn't believe it it's not going to work.
He is just a guy who needs to be comfortable. Nothing wrong with that.
Because "it's baseball time in Texas," he was never going to hear it too hard from the fans. The Rangers' fan base is so sweet and nice, a player can strikeout eight times in three at bats and he will receive a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies from a 73-year-old grandmother.
From San Diego to Seattle to Tampa, Gallo's routine would be just fine, too.
It's not fine in the following places: New York. The Yankees, or Mets. Boston. Maybe the north side of Chicago. Los Angeles. The real Los Angeles, not the suburb pretending to be Los Angeles.
Gallo's agent, Scott Boras, likely could have predicted that his latest potential high-dollar client was not an ideal fit in New York.
It's one of the reasons why people with the Rangers suspected Boras wanted to work out a long-term contract extension now, with the Rangers, before Gallo was traded somewhere and potentially struggled.
Also, there was nothing Boras could do to stop this trade.
The Rangers were not trying to deal Gallo, but they did not build a wall around him.
When the Yankees made their final offer, JD and new GM Chris Young had no decision to make.
The Rangers need major leaguers, not Texas leaguers, everywhere. The return on this trade could give them the talent the big league club lacks.
It's not the Rangers' problem that Gallo is not producing for his new team.
That's the Yankees' problem, because there are some guys who just don't fit in New York City.