NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez responded on Wednesday to comments made by the Rays' Logan Morrison, with the Yankees catcher saying that "it's not my fault that he didn't get selected" to participate in the upcoming T-Mobile Home Run Derby, which is set for Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Speaking to reporters, Morrison said that Sanchez does not belong in the Home Run Derby, because he has hit only 13 homers entering play on Wednesday. One of five candidates for the American League's Esurance All-Star Final Vote, Morrison is tied for third in homers in the AL, with 24.
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"What can I say? That's something I have no control of," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "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. 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 that he didn't get selected. Like I said before, I'm just happy to participate, and it will be an honor to be part of it."
The AL side of the July 10 Home Run Derby at Marlins Park will be comprised of Major League home run leader Aaron Judge (28), Sanchez (13), the Royals' Mike Moustakas (24) and the Twins' Miguel Sano (20).
On the NL side will be the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton (21) and Justin Bour (18), the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger (24) and the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon (18).
"Gary shouldn't be there," Morrison said. "Gary's a great player, but he shouldn't be in the Home Run Derby. I remember when I had 14 home runs. That was a month and a half ago."
Sanchez missed most of the first month of the season with a right biceps strain. Since his Aug. 3, 2016, callup to the Majors, Sanchez has hit 33 homers in 104 games; Morrison has cracked 28 in 100 games over the same time span.
He said that he has spoken to Morrison on the field when the Yankees have played the Rays, but only a little bit.
"To me, it's just an opportunity and an honor to be part of the Derby," Sanchez said.