The trade deadline passed and the Rangers, a team in desperate need of rebuilding, weren’t able to do much in the way of home improvement. They needed a new roof, a new kitchen, and a major update of the master bedroom.
They painted the garage door.
Mike Minor, who wasn’t having his best season, went to the Athletics for two minor league pitchers. The vaunted three-headed monster of Kluber, Minor, and Lynn is down to one head. He’s a good one
Unfortunately, the one guy who needed to be dealt, wasn’t. Joey Gallo is still a Rangers. And for his sake, that’s too bad.
Not that he’s not talented or not someone Rangers fans can root for and get behind. No, the reason it’s too bad Gallo is still a Ranger is because it seems like Gallo’s biggest problem is being a Ranger.
The guy puts way too much pressure on himself. So much so that, a couple days before he was dealt, Todd Frazier told Gallo he needed to relax, exhale a bit.
Being Joey Gallo can’t be easy. His two boyhood friends have each won an MVP Award and a Rookie of the Year Award. Between the two, they have nine All-Star appearances. That’s a ton of hardware.
Gallo’s hardware is a sum total of one All-Star selection.
Then there is the pressure on him to perform. Last year, when he finally turned the corner and was on the verge of an MVP-caliber season, it wasn’t solely on him to be the man. He had Hunter Pence and Danny Santana. He could relax and just hit. And he did.
Then came this year. And it was one hundred percent on Gallo. This offense had zero chance of being productive if Gallo didn’t carry it. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one guy who hasn’t really figured out how to handle it.
Adding to the pressure are the incredible shifts they put on him. Sure, it’s easy to say just bunt to the left side of the infield. That’s like telling a knuckleballer to just throw your fastball. No player has had more taken away from him by the shift than Gallo. When third baseman Manny Machado stole a double away from him by catching a deep fly ball on the right field line, it was the most unlikely F5 in baseball history.
That ate at him. He said, “Hits are tough to come by. So, you have a third baseman in left field nowadays” He laughed it off but you could tell it bothered him.
I was hoping, for Gallo’s sake, he would have been dealt to another team so that would take the pressure off of him and just let him have fun again.
As last year proved, a one-dimensional hitter can thrive if he’s in the middle of a well-balanced offense. But put a one-dimensional hitter in the middle of a zero-dimensional offense, and it doesn’t work.
Opener vs. Framber Valdez (3-2, 2.35)