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Reds All-Star Sonny Gray reflects on his time as a Yankee

Reds pitcher Sonny Gray reacts after getting the

Reds pitcher Sonny Gray reacts after getting the final out in the eighth inning against the Brewers at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday in Cincinnati. Credit: Getty Images/Joe Robbins

CLEVELAND — Sonny Gray talked for a few minutes with two New York-based reporters Monday about his failed time in a Yankees uniform and a smile never left his face.

Not because the righthander, a National League All-Star in his first season with the Reds after the Yankees dealt him there this offseason, is obtuse about his time in the Bronx.

Far from it.

“I think everyone kind of knows that New York wasn’t a great fit for me, place for me,” Gray said. “It just didn’t seem to work out for whatever reason.”

He was smiling because he was able to recapture his All-Star form so quickly after 1½ seasons in the Bronx that was all but a train wreck.

Gray, 29, a trade deadline acquisition in 2017, was an unimpressive 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA to end that season and 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA in 2018. At one point he was demoted to the bullpen.

After the season general manager Brian Cashman didn’t try to hide his frustration, saying: “I don’t want to keep going through the process of something that won’t work here [with the Yankees].”

Gray, however, said he “absolutely” reflects on his time with the team as a positive.

“Looking back, I wouldn’t change one thing about it,” he said. “I wouldn’t change the ups and downs that I had to experience on a personal level and on the baseball field. Because coming back to an All-Star Game, it’s just kind of . . . I can’t describe the feeling. It’s very special.”

Gray, an All-Star with the Athletics in 2015, is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts with the Reds. He acknowledged wondering if he would ever get back to this level given his previous two seasons.

“There are times you don’t think that might ever be a possibility,” Gray said.

And he thinks his difficulties with the Yankees are part of what allowed him to again find success.

“I think I learned a lot about myself,” Gray said. “I just tried to stay resilient as long as possible. Even last year and the year before, I always tried to show up to the clubhouse with a smile on my face. I think my [Yankees] teammates would say the same. I tried to show up in a positive mood and do whatever I could to get better. Just constantly doing that and staying positive through everything, it feels nice to have it show up on the field a little bit.”

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