Joey Gallo turns things around for himself and the Dodgers after Yankee trade
Long-suffering Joey Gallo fans are pleased to see his turnaround since being traded to Los Angeles, even if the Yankees are on the end of his jabs
Joey Gallo has a legion of fans, but very few are in New York. After being loved despite his imperfections, perhaps even more loved because of them, in Texas, the hard-hitting outfielder took to baseball’s biggest stage with the Yankees and found nothing but disaster in store for him there.
A little over a year later and the Yankees gave up on Joey, putting him on the trading block where he was snatched up by the Los Angeles Dodgers. With one of the strongest lineups in the major leagues, Los Angeles was not desperately in need of a strong bat, but could always find space for one if it is available. And that seems to be exactly the kind of atmosphere that Gallo thrives in.
Going for .159 with New York, and posting 106 strikeouts along the way, Dodger fans are very pleased indeed with his .214 since arriving on the west coast. His strikeouts are still higher than anyone would like, including Gallo himself, but with three home runs and three RBIs, including a pinch-hit, three-run blast to give them an 8-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins, it is a trade-off that they will take.
Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy said after that hit, “I think the whole team breathed a sigh of relief right there for him. Hopefully, we can get him going more.”
Joey Gallo was visibly more relaxed than he has been in a long while, and it was refreshing to see. He was understanding of his former team’s reasoning in letting him go, saying, “It was good for both sides. It was the best opportunity for me, and for them they got a great All-Star outfielder to play in my place. I’ll never have any hard feelings about that, I didn’t do my job to my abilities, but it’s always nice to have a fresh start.”
It seems as if the Dodgers have put together a team who can help Joey work on what was ailing him and Gallo recognizes that. “It’s nice to kind of get a fresh start somewhere. Some nice weather. Be by the beach. That’s always nice as well. A great environment and great group of guys. And some mechanical things we’ve been working on as well, with the coaches.”
Yankee fans are famously grating, with opponents normally getting an earful of their bile. But they are not shy about letting their own guys know when they are not pleased, either. These days, the stands in LA are something of a novelty for Joey, who can hear his name called without an expletive on the end of it. “It’s been a while since I’ve heard people chanting for me, so I’m pretty excited about that.”
Since letting Joey go, the Yankees have lost nine of their last eleven games, dropping a series to the struggling Boston Red Sox over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won ten of their last eleven. Of course, neither team can lay that blame or credit with Joey Gallo, but it is interesting to note that the issues that the pinstripes had ran perhaps deeper than a single struggling outfielder.
Joey is more sanguine about the whole experience, saying, “Since the first day I got here, they said it’s not about immediate results, just about the process and getting back to the player I know I can be.”
Recognizing the pressure that he was under in the Big Apple, Gallo continues, “It’s definitely a little more laid-back environment and that’s just the difference of different cities, in general. I think it’s a good fit.” So do we Joey, so do we.