At the 2021 trade deadline, the Yankees sent four young players to the Rangers for slugging outfielder Joey Gallo. A year later, the Yankees swapped Gallo to Los Angeles for a Double-A pitcher.
The decline was obvious. In 140 games with New York, Gallo had a slash line of .159/.291/.368 for an OPS of .660, 173 points lower than he had put up in seven years in Texas.
Since coming to the Dodgers, Gallo’s numbers over his first 56 plate appearances were remarkably similar to his Rangers days, an .818 OPS just 15 points lower than he posted with Texas. Before a recent cold streak, his numbers to start his Dodger career were even more impressive.
As reported by Fabian Ardaya in The Athletic, Gallo’s stint with New York was not a fun time in his life.
“My swing wasn’t in a good spot. My mind was in a spot where, I was just chasing a hit so people would get the f*** off my back, I guess. I was just playing every day to get people to stop talking sh**.
“It’s not like I killed it when I was there after I got traded. So like at some point you’re just trying to survive, (but) just sinking.”
Gallo grew up in Las Vegas, so even though he was a Yankees fan, he didn’t really understand until the Rangers traded him that playing in New York is “just different.”
“People don’t understand what it’s like in New York. It’s a completely different day-to-day grind than a normal baseball player.”
Los Angeles is a big media market, too, the second-largest in the country, but the difference in intensity between the New York sports atmosphere and that of L.A. is striking. As Gallo’s reference to “a normal baseball player” points out, New York is unique.
It’s not for everyone, and it certainly wasn’t for Gallo.
Now he’s in L.A., where instead of “trying to survive,” he’s just “trying to get back to having a plan and having a day-to-day routine.” Instead of being surrounded by people he’s trying to “get the f*** off my back,” he is surrounded by people who just “want me to be myself.”
If nothing else, at least he’s not sinking anymore.
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