When Adrian Gonzalez homered in his first at bat as a Dodger, a number of people had the same thought in mind: Maybe this guy is better off on the west coast. His numbers in his first full season in Boston (.338, 27 homers, 117 RBI) were impressive and he has been one of the league’s hottest hitters since the All-Star break, but Gonzalez didn’t exactly wear out the Green Monster the way scouts envisioned he would. His bat also had a tendency to disappear at crucial moments in Boston, which led fans and writers to question his mental toughness.
Now that he has begun a new chapter in L.A., Gonzalez took some time to reflect on why things didn’t work out in the ballpark experts say was designed for his swing.
“(The Boston media) didn’t like that I was a calm person,” Gonzalez said according to the LA Times. “I won’t throw my helmet, I won’t scream, I won’t use bad words if I strike out. That’s what they want over there. I was the same person in San Diego. They took me over there and I didn’t change. My intensity, how I prepared, everything was the same. When they took me over there, they took me over there to drive in runs. And I did that.”
As Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk mentioned, the media in Boston was not all that hard on Gonzalez. His production was decent and the coverage reflected that — unlike the things that have been written and said about Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and others. This year, the mysterious text message that was reportedly sent to the Red Sox ownership group from Adrian’s phone marked the first real soap opera he had been the star of since being traded from the Padres.
The important thing to remember is Gonzalez was the quality piece the Red Sox had to give up in order to dump Beckett’s and Crawford’s salary, and the team knew that. The fans and media weren’t calling for his head and didn’t see him as the root of the highly-publicized clubhouse issues Boston has had over the past year. He became a valuable trade piece for a team that desperately needed a significant change. In the end, it will probably work out for both Gonzo, the Dodgers and the Red Sox.
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