Michael Kay didn’t mince words after Joey Gallo’s unceremonious departure from the Bronx – although a former Yankee came to the defense of the struggling outfielder.
Shortly after Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline expired, Kay hit out at Gallo for seemingly playing the victim in his final week as a Yankee. The 28-year-old slugger shed light on the impact his struggles and fan boos had on his psyche in an interview with NJ.com that surfaced hours before the club traded him from the Dodgers.
Kay was apparently unwilling to attend Gallo’s pity party.
“They didn’t go out of their way to boo a guy who was doing a decent job. He was a failure here in New York for some reason,” the Yankees announcer said of Gallo. “If the pressure of having to win has become a big problem. That he just lost his swing, because he wasn’t mentally well while he was here.
“He deserved to be booed. I don’t think the fans were very hard on him. I look at what the fans did to Giancarlo Stanton when he got here. It was unfair, I mean, the first game he’s ever played here, they booed him. This guy won the boos.
Several days after Kay’s rant, former Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes applauded the 61-year-old for his comments.
“He references an article but never quotes Joey once. Kay knows that listeners to her radio shows eat this stuff. If you’re going to hit a player publicly, at least criticize something they actually said,” Hughes said. wrote on Twitter.
The tweet quickly caught the attention of Kay, who responded to the criticism.
“Phil, it wasn’t for my radio show. It was on the YES Network,” said Kay, who also hosts a popular ESPN radio show. “Also, I think with the internet, it’s pretty easy to find what he said and there’s only a limited amount of time to put out such information. Most Yankees fans know what Joey said, essentially lamenting the boos from fans.
Hughes apparently wasn’t happy with Kay’s rebuttal, settling the small spat on Twitter with a closing argument.
“Being booed sucks,” Hughes wrote. “It’s normal to say that it sucks. Coming home every night not knowing if you’ll be the last to wear a major league uniform sucks. Having human emotions is not a sign of weakness or self-pity. That’s all. Goooo baseball!”
In the NJ.com Q&A, Gallo said he wouldn’t go out in town because he didn’t want to be exposed to angry fans. The slugger said his struggles and the reactions he was facing made him feel like a “piece of shit”.
Hughes’ time in the Bronx from 2007 to 2013 was filled with ups and downs, although he reached an ugly crescendo in his final year with the club, in which he posted a 5 ERA, 19 and a 4-14 record. The right-hander’s stat line was even worse when he played in front of the hometown New York crowd at Yankee Stadium, where he went 1-10 with a 6.32 ERA.