Sonny Gray Isn’t To Blame For His Dud Tenure In New York City

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After Monday’s loss, Sonny Gray snapped his streak of 36 straight starts giving up 6 hits or less(best-all-time). In his first three starts, he won all his starts with a 0.96 ERA.

For Context

Sonny Gray made 34 starts for the New York Yankees…giving up 6 hits or more in 15 of those starts. Mind boggling that a starter could dominate in Oakland, finishing third for the AL Cy Young. Traded to the New York Yankees where he would absorb all the blame for his shortcomings. He was shipped out of New York from a fanbase and organization that didn’t give a damn about him.

Could it really be that Sonny Gray couldn’t handle the pressure of New York City? Or could it have been more?

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild turned performers with a track record of dominance into background singers. He was picking up filet mignon at the store, cooking it well done for tacos. Unfortunately for Sonny Gray and plenty other stars to come, no one in New York will take any responsibility for their failure in pinstripes.

In August of 2018, New York dragged Sonny Gray for smirking on his way off the field. A perfect event to point the finger and escape any role they had in turning a Cy Young-level pitcher into a Bad News Bear. Racing to wipe their hands clean for the next big fish to arrive to town.

After the Yankees sent Sonny packing for Cincinnati in a 2019 trade, Gray immediately returned to form. Shocking.

The Yankees moved on from their long time pitching coach this past offseason, so Sonny Gray’s off the hook right? Wrong. Chalk Gray’s tenure up to the bright lights that shrunk a small fish. Frank Sinatra and Mickey Mantle wanted to be a part of it, so what’s Sonny’s problem?

Blame game

The former Cy Young finalist tried to defend his New York City dud in an interview with the Athletic.

“They had me throw more breaking balls than I ever had before. They love sliders. Sliders are a great pitch. The numbers say slider is a good pitch, but you might not realize how many (s—-y) counts you’re getting in while throwing all those sliders. They wanted me to be Tanaka and I’m way different from him.”

This is a guy that knows he wasn’t the only factor in his shipwreck tenure. The problem is that New York can point to success of their past to run away from leadership in the present. CC Sabathia and Derek Jeter could do it our way. So can you!

It’s like having a great romantic relationship that lasted a long time, then telling your next partner you’re going to be emulate who you were in your first relationship to make this one better. Lunacy.

Gerrit Cole is the new shiny toy for the New York Yankees and while he has won three of his four starts, his sharpness has been wildly below his standards. Bad luck? Time will tell, but the New York Yankees haven’t been the home of a pitching star since their ’09 World Series run.

Sonny Gray and Larry Rothschild have obvious roles in the final product we saw, but a culture that lives in the past might be the cloud players feel in New York City…

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. Nice angle. I had a feeling Gray was due for a bounce back. Some of these points are why I also avoided Gerrit Cole in fantasy leagues, I thought he might be due for a slight regression now that he’s in pinstripes.

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