Wednesday, August 2, 2017

NASHVILLE NATIVE ALWAYS WANTED TO WEAR PINSTRIPES

Source: New York Daily News

We are one day away from new Yankee pitcher Sonny Gray's first outing as a Yankee and the Nashville native couldn't be happier about becoming a Yankee on Monday.  "When I talked to Billy Monday morning, and he told me that (the trade) finally went through, and I was going to be a Yankee, I just had a big smile on my face and was ready to get here," said Gray Tuesday, referring to the conversation he had with A's general manager Billy Beane. "I couldn't be happier to be here today," reported the NY Daily News on Tuesday evening.

Source: ESPN

Despite being injury-ridden in Oakland and coming off the worst season of his life in 2016, this year, 27-year-old Gray is writing a different story for the books, which includes a 3.43 ERA and a 6-5 record.  No, it's not perfect, but what he might be missing in experience or expertise, he makes it up with a strong, confident personality and positivity. Gray "has pitched well lately, with a 1.37 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 9 walks in his past six starts," according to ESPN.com.

Source: JASON O. WATSON/GETTY IMAGES

"I've never felt better. Things like that kind of happen, and a lot of times they can be out of your control. Right now, I feel as good as I've ever felt. That's always a good sign," Gray said. "I see myself as a guy that loves to win and a guy that loves to put his team in a position to win. Whatever terms people can throw out or whatever is what's gonna be thrown out, but the only thing I can control and the only thing I can really do is go out there and take the ball whenever it's needed. The biggest thing is to compete and give the team a chance to win," said the News.


Source: Perfect Game

Gray's high school coach, Barry Vetter, feels the Yankees and Gray are a good fit...one that can help the team win.  "Fans will like him and it’s not like he’s a $100 million player,’’ Vetter said. “He’ll give the Yankees what they want, especially with that bullpen. And he wants to compete. It doesn’t matter if it’s a board game or a sprint. He was never a great practice player unless I put a reward or punishment attached to it. Then he’d want to win," reported the NY Post.


Hopefully the carrot motivating him to win is the pennant race, which is just getting interesting. Gray's pitching coach at Vanderbilt agrees.  "I’ve never seen any fear —ever. There will be an adjustment to New York and all that goes on there, but knowing the playoffs are right on his fingertips will be good for him.”


Source: SI.com

"Thursday can't get here soon enough," said Gray just before last night's game.  And we can't wait to see him pitch for the first time in pinstripes, right where he has always dreamed of pitching.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof




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