Yankees’ Joey Gallo opens up on coping with struggles in Q & A: ‘I’m 2 good weeks away from having a fine year’ - world cultures

Yankees’ Joey Gallo opens up on coping with struggles in Q & A: ‘I’m 2 good weeks away from having a fine year’



Pittsburgh Joey Gallo was again a topic in Aaron Boone’s briefings on Wednesday, before and after the Yankees sat through a 69-minute rain delay and then the Pirates rained their fingers in a 16-0 attack.

Gallo had one of the six, a rocket from the liner to the right center field that left PNC Park in a hurry. He also walked twice while breathing two more times in his 1-for-4 show.

“He was short because of his stroke (on his lands), so that’s what the result will be when he’s that short,” Boone said.

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This was a rare good offensive night for the two-time All-Star team, which is still 2 for 36 with one Homer, one RBI and 20 Ks in his last 14 games. His season stats are roughly rough: .167 average in 67 games with 10 pub owners, 19 RBI and 91 strikes in 198 at-bat games. Gallo was just as bad late last year after joining the Yankees as well.

During the pre-game run, Boone admitted that the corner player was still trying to adjust to playing in New York for nearly a full year after joining the Yankees on a July 2021 deal from the Texas Rangers. Constant boos from Yankees fans and harsh criticism from the New York media reach him.

“I definitely think coming here was a tough adjustment for him and something he has continued to work hard to overcome and we will continue to support him,” Boone said.

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How does gallo cope?

NJ Advance Media had a 10-minute talk with Gallo prior to Wednesday’s game. Similar to his mid-May interview with us, Gallo offered some deep thought into his lack of abusive production, his coping techniques, and what he wishes his critics paid more attention to in the Q&A.

s: Hal Steinbrenner had a Zoom call with Yankees writers on Wednesday and someone brought up your struggle. Steinbrenner responded by saying everyone is supporting you, there is still plenty of season left and great things are expected from you. Is it comforting to hear that the owner supports you?

Gallo: I didn’t know it until you told me. It means a lot for him to trust me. Things didn’t necessarily go my way, but we won. This is the most important thing. Sometimes baseball is a hard game and the fact that ownership is on my back, my coaches and teammates keep supporting my back…they know the way I work and the way I care. Eventually it will pay off, so it’s good to have people support me through the struggles. It always helps.

s: You seem to have the right mindset. I’ve seen players mentally break from the long slack. Do you think not indulging in your suffering can help you in the long run?

Gallo: yes. It’s tough when you don’t play well. It’s hard to get through a recession. Obviously it’s more difficult here (with the Yankees) where there is a lot of eye on you and a lot of opinions and so on. But I’ve played this game all my life. I understand the player you have been throughout my career. I know I have the work ethic and the talent to get back to where I want to be. I know it’s only a matter of time before it happens again.

s: I had an extended period from early to mid June where you had four players and 11 RBIs in nine games, but then things got pretty tense again over the past two weeks. What’s your biggest problem when things don’t go well for you on the plate?

Gallo: Sometimes I start wanting to do too much. When I struggle, I often think about putting the ball into play or not swinging on bad ground. Then I lose some of that aggressiveness in the palette I usually have. I started to get almost defensive. When I start suffering, I start swinging and I miss a lot. Then I’m like, “Let me play ball.” I need to remember, “I’m here to do damage and drive the ball.”

s: Is this what happened in the last two weeks? Have you been thinking a lot about putting the ball into play and not being as patient as you are when things are going well? Soar your strokes and walk this stretch.

Gallo: Maybe a little. It’s not fun to go out. Sometimes I get stuck between just making contact and putting the ball in play, sometimes you endanger the contact when I hit the ball. I think it’s just part of the game. I didn’t really feel bad when eating.

s: I was talking to Isiah (Kiner-Falefa) about playing with you in Texas. He said, “You haven’t seen Joey when it’s really hot. He’ll hold the team for two weeks when it gets really hot.” He continues to say, “It’s coming.” Are you thinking the same thing?

Gallo: naturally. I’m two weeks away from having a good year again. I think this is the hard part. You want to get so hot that sometimes you want to force it instead of letting it come off naturally. Every time I was in Texas and the temperature rose, it happened with even fluctuations and then took off in a streak.

s: With all your struggles on the board, it didn’t affect your playing off the field. It’s like picking up Kyle Higashioka. He didn’t hit much, but his reception is part of the reason the show has been so good. You put in a lot of really good plays on the left and right. I didn’t realize how good a player you were until I watched you every day. You always seem to do good readings on the balls.

Gallo: And i appreciate that. This means a lot. I guess sometimes people don’t realize with the naked eye that the balls I get, that play usually isn’t made most of the time (by other players). The way I play off the field, I always think about getting the best jump possible, getting the ball as fast as I can and getting it as fast as I can. This is what helps me win the Golden Gloves, not allow players to take extra bases, get to the balls I have to get and maybe a little more. I think people judge everyone based on how they hit, but they don’t really see what players can do on the field or their versatility. It helps me a lot to be able to play multiple positions. Like I said about Heiji, would we be where we are without him and (Jose) Trevino holding? I don’t know. Our show is amazing, but it probably isn’t. Winning baseball isn’t always about how many hits you get that day. Defense can be an underappreciated part of the game. When I talk to shooters, I say, “What can we do differently when you give the show?” They always say, “We love doing shows with you behind us because we know you’re going to put in plays and help us.” That makes a huge difference. Not everyone will do what Aaron Judge does, but if you have players who can play in defense and bring diversity, this is a winning team.

s: I’m sure if the Yankees win a championship this year, you’ll look at this season in a more positive light because you’ll feel like you’ve made some important contributions beyond what you’re doing at the board.

Gallo: surely. I think about the ways I can help the team. My colleagues know that. They know I don’t hit the way I want to, but they reassured me that I’m helping the team every day. This makes me feel good. I wish I was hitting well, but the things I can control show up every day, I play good defense and when I get to base I run the rules as best I can. At the end of the day, I know this will pay off, and may result in some wins even if I don’t get injured the way I want to.

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Randy Miller can be found at [email protected].


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