The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees earlier this week, ending Gallo’s short tenure in the Bronx. In an interview with NJ Advance Media, Gallo laments his poor play and how he didn’t want to show his face in public in the city.
Joey Gallo to Dodgers for Beeter per sources pending medical
— Pat Ragazzo (@ragazzoreport) August 2, 2022
“Yeah, I think, feel like people are a little sick of me here, so I don’t really know what else I can do at this point here. I haven’t played well, so I think it’ll help me to move on,” said Gallo. “It makes me feel like a piece of s**t, honestly. I remember playing here with the Rangers, watching [Yankees] get booed off the field and thinking, ‘Holy s**t! I feel bad for that guy.’ Now it’s me. I do appreciate people reaching out, but it makes me feel like I’m a problem.”
Gallo is a boom or bust hitter. Big on home runs, but also a lot of strikeouts. He’s struck out over 200 times in a season twice. He’s hit below .200 as a member of the Yankees. So far this season he’s hitting .159 with an on-base percentage of .282 and a slugging percentage of .339.
He was the Yankees’ big acquisition at last year’s trade deadline, but it never panned out and the poor play affected his confidence.
“I went through a lot of adversity, and I really had to question myself a lot,” Gallo said. “My confidence suffered. I would say I hit rock bottom for the big leagues. So for me, I just was trying to remember to be a good teammate, play the game the right way, play the game hard and not do something that I’d regret. Baseball is a tough game. But it definitely made me stronger, because not many people have gone through what I’ve gone through.”
Gallo was booed repeatedly by fans at Yankee Stadium, lost playing time recently to Matt Carpenter and became redundant when the Yankees acquired Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals.
The Dodgers are hoping that a change of scenery will help him regain his old form. Before joining the Yankees last July, Gallo was an All-Star and had 25 homers with an .869 OPS with the Rangers. He was also an All-Star in 2019, posting a career-high .986 OPS.
Despite his poor play Gallo said he will miss his Yankees teammates.
“I’m actually really going to miss this team, miss these guys. It’s going to be really tough to leave these guys,” said Gallo. “We’ve had a lot of fun. We’re a really close group. But moving on is part of the business. I’m ready.”
Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone credited Gallo with his professionalism.
“I have a lot of respect for how he worked, how he carried himself,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “A lot of us really feel for the situation he was in and the burden he felt and carried. I think a lot of us, myself included, very much hope he goes and kind of recaptures what we know he’s capable of doing. I’ll truly be rooting for him from afar.”
Nothing will endear Gallo to his new Dodgers teammates like continuing to work hard and playing better baseball. He’ll never be a .300 hitter or .400 on-base guy. But he did lead the league in walks in 2021. If the Dodgers can get that player in their lineup, this potentially will help the club come the postseason.