It wasn’t a good night for New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks.
Hicks was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Aaron Boone after making an egregious error that cost the Yankees two runs.
Of course, errors happen in baseball. Even with some of the best athletes in the sport, mistakes happen. But it’s what Hicks did after making the mistake that likely led to Boone making the call to bench him.
With two outs in the top of the fourth inning and runners on first and second base for the Tampa Bay Rays, a fly ball was skied to left field toward the foul line and Hicks was tracking it down. He should’ve made the play, but the ball bounced out of his glove and hit the warning track dirt.
But Hicks was the only one in the building that didn’t realize he touched the ball in fair territory. Instead, he just put his hands on his hips and placed his head down until he heard the loud screams that the ball was fair.
Because of that move, two runs scored to make it 3-0 instead of leaving the inning down 1-0.
If that wasn’t enough, the very next batter was Randy Arozarena who laced a ball to left field. While this play was much harder because of an over 100-mile-per-hour exit velocity, Hicks misread it completely and the ball went over his head. Another run scored to make it 4-0.
Yankee fans went straight to the boos and when the top of the fifth inning came around, Estevan Florial jogged out to left field to take Hicks’ place. It was an inexcusable play and Boone made that clear when Florial took his spot.
It’s also worth noting that many Yankees are injured, so pulling a healthy Hicks to put in a player that’s only had a cup of coffee in the big leagues this season is another sign that the veteran switch-hitter was pulled for his poor play.
It’s been a season of woes for Hicks, who is hitting .160/.250/.179 in 35 games over the second half. He had a good stretch at the plate in June and July, but overall, he’s hitting just .212/.328/.298 with six homers and 36 RBI entering Friday’s contest.