Yankees masher Aaron Judge went yard again last night, hitting an absolute bomb into the third deck at Citi Field. He’s leading the American League in home runs and is the toast of New York. But before there was Aaron Judge, there was Gary Sanchez.
The Yankees catcher, better known as the Kraken, busted out with 20 home runs in 53 games as a rookie last year, but things have been a little different this year. In fact, things got so bad in the field for him that Joe Girardi recently benched him to turn things around. And things did turn around.
On the Yankees latest homestand, Sanchez went 8 for 17 with three home runs. So what was it? Was it the benching? Was it extra time in the batting cage or the video room? Nope, it was lunch.
And more specifically, lunch with Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. Wait, what? A-Rod and J-Lo? Jay-rod? A-Jlo? Seriously, he didn’t want to check with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively about handling the outside fastball? Or see what Selena Gomez and The Weeknd have to say about attacking the Mets starting pitchers?
I get why Sanchez would want to pick Alex’s brain. Young players who spend time around A-Rod rave about his knowledge and Sanchez is no different.
“We talked about pretty much everything. Everything that comes from him, it’s positive. We talked a little bit about defense, creating a routine, following your routine, preparing for games.”
I get it. He wanted to talk to Alex, but Alex and Jennifer are the new power couple, and she happened to be along for lunch, right? Wrong. Because Sanchez is attributing some of what happened to Jenny From the Block as well.
He said that J-Lo also “gave me some advice.”
Really? She’s a hitting whisperer? What could he possibly pick up from her? How to defend the plate in a two-strike count? Bat speed? Launch angle? Spin rate?
“She’s a superstar at what she does, a great singer and actress and Alex is a superstar in baseball. Any advice coming from them, I’ll listen to them.”
And I know what you’re thinking – that the Kraken must be puffin’. But I’m going with him on this. First of all, the proof is in the pudding. He’s been on fire since the strategy session with J-Lo. And secondly, is there anyone who’s been in the game longer than J-Lo and still killing the game the way she is? She’s like the Julio Franco of pop culture.
For crying out loud, before she was a Fly Girl, she was a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and those guys are like 70 years old now. She was co-starring with George Clooney when Gary Sanchez was five years old. The iconic film, Anaconda, was 20 years ago, and yet she’s still entertaining people from Alaska to Australia.
And yet she’s still getting after it as a singer, actress, dancer, author, producer, and more. Five tool player doesn’t even come close to summing her up. She hits for power and average, she’s great on her feet, puts fans in the seats, the list goes on.
So if you’re having lunch with her and she tells you to raise your hands in your batting stance and drive with a leg kick, you raise your hands in your batting stance and drive with a leg kick. It works. Just ask the Kraken.