BALTIMORE — The Yankees were fortunate that no decision on Gary Sanchez’s appeal came during their four-game series against the Red Sox. That luck ran out hours before they started an important three-game set against the Orioles.
Sanchez was informed that his four-game suspension had been reduced to three, and he began serving it Monday. Sanchez was punished for his actions during the three bench-clearing incidents Aug. 24 in Detroit.
Speaking of the reduced punishment, Sanchez said through his translator, “I feel good about it, but on the other hand, I don’t feel good about it. Because I’m not going to be able to help my team in these games, and these are important games.”
Backup catcher Austin Romine had appealed his two-game suspension stemming from his altercation with the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, and the punishment is likely to be reduced to one game. Romine, who started Monday afternoon and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a key sacrifice bunt, said after the Yankees’ 7-4 victory that he had not heard from his agent regarding the appeal.
Joe Girardi said last week that his understanding was that both catchers would not be forced to serve suspensions at the same time. He added that Romine will catch all three games against the Orioles and wasn’t buying the idea that his team had caught a break.
“This is an important time for us, and we don’t want to miss him at all,” Girardi said. “Again, it’s better than four, but taking one game off could be really important to us. I don’t think there’s ever a feeling that you luck out, because we’re going to miss a very good player for three games.”
Sanchez, seen on video throwing punches during one of the incidents, didn’t answer directly when asked if he regrets anything. “That’s something that happened. You can’t go back in time,” he said. “It’s in the past.”
However, in a later post on his Facebook page, he did express contrition.
“I want to apologize for my actions during the last Detroit Tigers series,” he wrote. “The heat of the moment and my desire to protect my teammates led me to commit some errors during the brawl. It’s an incident I regret and from which I have learned. I know to some these may be mere words, but they are words that I feel the need to express because I sincerely feel this way, and for respect to you, the fans, the Yankees organization, the Detroit Tigers and the game of Baseball.”