NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez says criticism by Tampa Bay’s Logan Morrison for his Home Run Derby invitation is misplaced.
Morrison was quoted Tuesday by the Tampa Bay Times as saying: “Gary shouldn’t be there. Gary’s a great player, but he shouldn’t be in the Home Run Derby.”
Sanchez is hitting .294 with 13 homers and 40 RBIs in 53 games. He missed 21 games between April 8 and May 5 because of a strained right biceps.
“I remember when I had 14 home runs,” Morrison was quoted as saying. “That was a month and a half ago.”
Morrison is tied for third in the major leagues with 24 homers and is batting .256 with 57 RBIs.
“That’s something that I have no control of,” Sanchez said Wednesday through a translator. “They gave me a call, basically gave me an invitation, invited me to participate, and I told them, well, I don’t even know if I’m making the All-Star Game, so I don’t know if I will have the opportunity to attend the derby. Now, if I make the All-Star Game, then for sure, I’ll do it. It’s an honor to participate in the event. It’s not my fault he didn’t get selected.”
A first-time All-Star, Sanchez is in the July 10 derby at Miami along with Yankees teammate Aaron Judge, Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, Minnesota’s Miguel Sano, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon and Marlins teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour.
Morrison is among five candidates in fan voting for the final spot on the AL roster, competing with Texas’ Elvis Andrus, Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, the Yankees’ Didi Gregorius and Moustakas.
“It’s par for the course. I play for the Rays. I get it,” Morrison was quoted as saying. “They can’t even get my picture right. When they put my name up there they put Corey (Dickerson’s) picture up there … on MLB Network. When they put up the home run leaders they put Corey’s swing on there not mine.”
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