Austin Romine Wins Heart & Hustle Award After Gary Sanchez Is Ripped by Fans

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21:  Austin Romine #28 of the New York Yankees in action against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mariners 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine was named the team's recipient of the Heart & Hustle Award, and the timing couldn't have been more ironic.

The team announced the news Tuesday:

New York Yankees @Yankees

Congrats to Yankees #HeartandHustle award winner, Austin Romine! https://t.co/mn81fVulSO

That comes on the morning after New York lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6, which ended with the tying run being negated because starting catcher Gary Sanchez failed to run out a grounder:

Sanchez admitted after the game that he should have given 100 percent on the play:

And that's not even mentioning the way he allowed a runner to score from second on a passed ball:

Jon Heyman of Fancred later reported that it is believed Sanchez reaggravated his groin injury on the passed ball and will be placed on the disabled list.

With the loss and the Boston Red Sox's 5-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees (63-35) are now six games back in the American League East. They do, however, hold a 6.5-game edge in the wild-card race.

It was just the latest hiccup for Sanchez in what has been a rough season for the 22-year-old. Just one year removed from an All-Star selection, he is hitting .188 with 14 home runs, 14 doubles and 42 RBI in 66 appearances. For comparison, he hit .278 with 33 home runs and 20 doubles in 2017.

Sanchez also ranks sixth among AL catchers with four errors.

Meanwhile, Romine is trending in the opposite direction. While he owns a .229 career average, the 22-year-old backup is hitting .270/.331/.484 with six home runs, nine doubles and 26 RBI in 41 games.

Sanchez's power is good enough for New York skipper Aaron Boone to put up with the low batting average, the defensive miscues and lapses like the one in Monday night's contest. However, Yankees fans couldn't help but notice how poor the timing of Romine's award was:

Adam @ATB_1990

@Yankees How did Sanchez not get this award???

🤠FakeFan Downtown @davidtabrown

@Yankees Worst timing ever...

Justin Diamond @justinddiamond

@Yankees Sanchez SNUBBED

Luke Owens @LukeTheKid3

@Yankees Take notes Gary

Blake Crocitto @BCTWENTY3

@Yankees Could not have asked for better timing #HeartandHustle Congrats Austin Romine

As much as fans may want it to be, this was no shade thrown by the Yankees. Other teams around the league also announced their recipients Tuesday.