Heavily influenced by the almighty East Coast bias, I never thought much of Adrian Gonzalez before he came to Boston in 2011. Sure, it was common knowledge he was a hard-swinging slugger rotting away in a baseball wasteland like San Diego. In a pitchers park, he still launched mammoth moonshots and was amongst the best and brightest in the National League.
So, when he arrived in Boston, the first baseman lived up to the billing. In his first year with the Red Sox,he had 213 hits and sported a .338 batting average. It appeared the man the Sox wanted, they most certainly got.
But, the team faltered down the stretch and missed the playoffs. Certainly blame had to be divvied out accordingly and Gonzalez was ready to serve. “We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning”, Gonzalez said. “We play a lot of night games on Sunday for television and that those things take a lot out of you.”
Well, Adrian those are some of the sacrifices a man with a new $154 million contract has to make from time to time. Like a spited and spoiled child, Gonzalez continued, “Why does it have to be? They can put the Padres on ESPN, too. The schedule really hurt us. Nobody is really reporting that.”
Before you start writing your “Get Well Gonzo” cards, be sure to understand his enduring tales of woe and emotional abuse don’t end there.
In 2012, the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine to be their skipper. With marginal career results and an always unfiltered mouth, Bobby V intended to rattle some cages and rally a team to a championship. In fact, it took very little time for him to virtually piss off the entire club. Gonzalez and his tough anti-bullying teammates had had enough. Red Sox owner John Henry received a super-top secret text message from Gonzalez’s phone entailing what a big meanie and poopy-head Valentine was being. Some say it was Kelly Shoppach that sent it from Gonzo’s phone, but he denies it. Regardless, Gonzalez was once again whining about things grown men don’t even flinch at.
But in Game 3 of the NLCS, Gonzalez wanted to be bad. Maybe it was the emotion of Yasiel Puig generated in his home-r-, I mean triple. Maybe it was the comfort of knowing any possible Sunday night game would end at 8 or 9pm! Yay! Either way, after knocking in a RBI with his double off Cardinals Adam Wainwright, Gonzalez with his competitive juices flowing through his veins, he decided he’d be the one calling the shots now.
“He told me to throw the ball to the backstop when he was at third base” ,Wainwright said.
This is Heckling 101 by Adrian Gonzalez. Honestly, I had more clever ribs when I was in Little League and insulting someone’s mother. If I was Wainwright, I wouldn’t be annoyed that I was being razzed. I’d be shocked that Gonzalez’s actual comment came from an adult, instead of a kid who got the bad seat in the sandbox.
The circle of life has been completed before our very eyes. From the bullied to the bullyer. I must say, I have a better idea of who Adrian Gonzalez is now.