Gary Sanchez may need to wear his catcher’s mask the next time he gets up to bat.
The Yankees catcher who threw multiple punches at Miguel Cabrera during the Yankees-Tigers brawl on Thursday will be a marked man around the league now as a result of his perceived cheap shots, former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez said on MLB Network.
“Sanchez is going to wear it,” the Hall of Fame pitcher said.
Martinez then doubled-down on his comments on Twitter.
“Cheap shots will stay around the league for ever. I think Gary Sanchez could be badly remembered for this for a long time,” Martinez wrote.
Cabrera and catcher Austin Romine exchanged words after Tommy Kahnle threw behind Cabrera with two outs in the sixth inning. Cabrera then shoved Romine before the two exchanged blows, leading to both benches clearing. In multiple videos Sanchez can be seen running in and punching Cabrera in the head after the Tigers first baseman is already down on the ground.
Sanchez, who is likely to be suspended, later delivered a sucker punch to Nicholas Castellanos in the same melee.
The 24-year-old catcher explained his actions after the game, saying he reacted on pure instincts.
“It’s something that happened in the moment,” Sanchez said. “It’s just a reaction of trying to protect your teammate.”
Martinez’s criticism will surely be interpreted as ironic by Yankee fans, as the longtime Red Sox pitcher used his fastball to inflict cheap shots throughout his career, hitting countless batters and openly admitting it was rarely ever an accident when he did so.
“When I hit a batter, it was 90% intentional,” Martinez wrote in his book “PEDRO,” published in 2015.
Martinez was also involved in multiple brawls, including infamously grabbing a fragile 72-year-old Don Zimmer by the head and tossing him to the ground in a classic Yankees-Red Sox melee in 2003.
Martinez wasn’t the only former pitcher to criticize Sanchez, former A’s lefthander Dallas Braden described Sanchez’s actions as classless in a string of tweets.
“Replay it for yourselves, Gary Sanchez comes in at the end & ABSOLUTELY smokes MIGGY in the head while Miggy is held down. #BITCHMADE,” Braden wrote.
“Here’s another cheap shot thrown by Sanchez to ANOTHER defenseless player (Castellanos). Can’t wait for this dudes’ tired ass apology.”
Losing Sanchez for an extended period of time would be a serious blow to the Yankees’ chances of catching the AL East-leading Red Sox. Sanchez has been on a tear as of late, batting .311 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI in the month of August. He went 7-for-15 with four homers and nine RBI in the Yankees’ three-game series against the Tigers.
Send a Letter to the Editor