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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Adrian Gonzalez Says Rough Schedule Contributed to Red Sox’s Collapse

While most of the Red Sox are accepting full responsibility for the team’s collapse in September, some people are blaming external factors. Adrian Gonzalez is one of those people.

The Red Sox first baseman put together MVP-type numbers this year. He hit .338 with 27 home runs and 117 RBIs. Though the numbers look great, he slowed up somewhat in August and September. The final week of the season, he went 5-for-20 with only one RBI and no extra-base hits. According to The Boston Globe via Eye on Baseball, Gonzalez says a rough schedule contributed to the team’s collapse.

“We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning,” Gonzalez said. “This has been my toughest season physically because of that. We play a lot of night games on Sunday for television and that those things take a lot out of you.”

When told that having TV games is part of being on a high-profile team, Gonzalez questioned the mentality of the decision-makers.

“Why does it have to be [high-profile teams]?” he said. “They can put the Padres on ESPN, too. The schedule really hurt us. Nobody is really reporting that.”

Gonzalez mentioned the Padres because he spent five seasons with them prior to being traded to Boston. While I don’t doubt the rigors of a grueling baseball schedule — teams play nearly every day and are constantly traveling — the data simply doesn’t check out.

The Red Sox only played one ESPN game in September, and it was on Wednesday, the last day of the season. In the previous month, they had five nationally-televised ESPN games. Three were on Wednesdays (and the team remained in the same city for a game the next day), one was on a Monday, and only once did they play on a Sunday night. On Sunday, August 7th, they hosted the Yankees before flying to Minnesota.

Sorry Adrian, not buying the excuse. Just take a page out of the Carl Crawford book, apologize to the fans, and come back next year and do it better. You have a long contract with the team; there is plenty of time to make it up to the fans.

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