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Monday, August 27, 2012

Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez says he was unfairly branded in Boston

I treat you good! I hit for you! I field for you! I pick up your dirty rumors! I take care of ya, Boston!

When he heard he might be traded to the Dodgers, Gonzalez said his first thoughts were: “Close to San Diego, close to family, Mexican food.”

As for why the Boston media didn’t take to him, he said, “They didn’t like that I was a calm person. 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.”

Gonzalez wasn’t bothered by the sudden and dramatic change in his public image.

“You can’t control what others say,” he said. “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.”

...But there were whispers that Gonzalez had lost power. He hit 27 home runs last season after averaging 34 the previous four years, including 40 in 2009 and 31 in 2010.

“What took my power away was the Green Monster,” he said of the 37-foot wall at Boston’s Fenway Park.

“I used to hit line drives that way and they would be doubles,” he said. “That took away five home runs from me last year. So I would have had 32.”

Repoz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4218900)
But there were whispers that Gonzalez had lost power. He hit 27 home runs last season after averaging 34 the previous four years, including 40 in 2009 and 31 in 2010.

“What took my power away was the Green Monster,” he said of the 37-foot wall at Boston’s Fenway Park.

“I used to hit line drives that way and they would be doubles,” he said. “That took away five home runs from me last year. So I would have had 32.”


Well, his math checks out.
   2. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4218902)
There's a case to be made, I think, that he started declining last year. His OPS+ looked great, but it was supported by a .380 BABIP when his career average BABIP was .328. That led to a career high - by far - .338 batting average.
   3. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4218903)
It's never the monster's fault.
   4. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4218905)
Don't talk about it big guy. You can't win. Just prove how stupid they were to let you go.
   5. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:22 AM (#4218909)
Hey, look who popped up! Ray's back! Ray, could you provide us with a link to your Red Sox-Dodgers mea culpa?
   6. Dan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:24 AM (#4218932)
Adrian Gonzalez, road home runs:

2008 - 22
2009 - 28
2010 - 20
2011 - 17
2012 - 7

Curse that Green Monster! It even followed him to away games and ate up all his home runs!

For comparison, home runs at home:

2008 - 14
2009 - 12
2010 - 11
2011 - 10
2012 - 9 (one after trade, so 8 in Fenway in 5 months)

Looks to me like he didn't gain any home runs at home despite moving from basically the hardest park for lefties to homer in in MLB to Fenway which is a little tough on lefties to RF, but fairly easy to LF on flyballs and as he stated, can turn some LD homers into doubles or even singles. The park excuse really doesn't seem to fit the data though. He hit as many homers at Fenway as he was hitting at Petco, he just stopped hitting homers on the road this season. I also doubt you'd find many players who would say that hitting home runs to LF in Fenway is tougher than at Petco, but I could be wrong.
   7. Dan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:41 AM (#4218934)
The larger point is what Ray said in post #2: There were troubling signs in Gonzalez's stat line last year that were masked by a .380 BABIP keeping his overall production at around the expected level. He wasn't hitting as many home runs as in the past, and he wasn't walking as much as he had previously. And this year the BABIP regressed, and the home run power and walk rate both got even worse. He can still reverse those trends, but there's reason to be concerned that he's on the decline.

I hope for both his sake and the Dodgers that he finds out what's gone wrong with his approach and his power swing and puts up a .300/.400/.500 season next year with 90 walks and 35 home runs. But I don't think it's clear that we should expect that kind of production from him in the future.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4218935)
Repoz! How many chances do you think you're gonna have to legitimately link to this?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:18 AM (#4218936)
In possible support of his point though, he did go doubles crazy last year with 45, well ahead of his 2008-10 numbers. And 37 this year with plenty of time to go. He had more XBH last year than all but one of his SD years and this year is on pace for about as many as he usually had. Of course all that ignores park effects as we'd expect more doubles and more HRs in Fenway (at least I assume).

Looking at his ratios, his primary problem last year seems to have been a bit of a spike in his GB rate. His HR/FB was in line with his career and 2010 (but well below 2008-9). This year ... well, as noted the BB rate has gone to hell and his IF/FB is nearly twice his career rate. That might be a guy who's over-reacting and trying to get more lift on the ball.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:21 AM (#4218946)
Repoz! How many chances do you think you're gonna have to legitimately link to this?

Bitter Creek has always been a pitchers park
   11. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:23 AM (#4218947)
I feel like this will need to be mentioned in every topic like this: the Red Sox were not looking to dump Gonzalez. He was the cost of dumping Beckett and Crawford.
   12. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:37 AM (#4218948)
11---yes,it seems it has to be mentioned over and over, sadly. Sheesh.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:40 AM (#4218949)
joe

do you think it is not the case or really obvious?
   14. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:51 AM (#4218951)
I think it should be obvious, but I guess it isn't, to some.

In a perfect Red Sox world, I'd have kept Gonzalez and maybe Punto, and dumped Beckett and Crawford. And some others, maybe...DiceK, Lackey. But you do what you can, not what you want.

edited
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4218958)
It's obvious that the price of unloading Crawford/Beckett was Gonzalez. The issue is that some of us don't think that price should have been paid.
   16. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4218960)
The Red Sox are 2nd in the AL in runs scored, and are 5 games under .500, out of the race. Pitching is the problem, not the loss of one very good hitter.
   17. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4218971)
It's obvious that the price of unloading Crawford/Beckett was Gonzalez. The issue is that some of us don't think that price should have been paid.


I would have rather unloaded Lackey then Crawford
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4218973)
I feel like this will need to be mentioned in every topic like this: the Red Sox were not looking to dump Gonzalez. He was the cost of dumping Beckett and Crawford.


Yes, but anyone paying attention would be completely fine with getting out from under Gonzalez's contract, given the red flags of the past two years.
   19. villageidiom Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4218979)
For the record, note that Gonzalez is saying here that the Boston media branded him as even-keeled. Which he is.

The unfair part - and it's really the headline writer who uses that word - is they were wrong in assessing that as a negative. Maybe it is unfair. But back when he was hitting well, they were assessing it as a positive: nothing fazes him, he just goes out there and hits great and fields great. So, essentially, they mistook performance for character, and continue to do so. (But it's only unfair when it's negative?)

Nonetheless, let Gonzalez's comment about the stupidity of the Boston media add to the meme that the Boston front office is badmouthing players when they leave. Yes, they're so diabolical that Adrian Gonzalez is their mouthpiece for maligning Adrian Gonzalez.
   20. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4218983)
On the Hot Topics bar it looks like the headline was about Gonzalez complaining that he was branded the village idiot in Boston.
   21. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4218987)
Is there some residual unhappiness from his "God's will" comments late in the 2011 collapse?
   22. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4218994)
I haven't heard a peep about that since then.
   23. Hack Wilson Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4218997)
Adrian Gonzalez says he was unfairly branded


Chuck Connors starred in the TV series Branded, portraying a man unfairly branded.
Chuck Connors was a first baseman on an LA baseball team.
Coincidence? I think not!
Chuck Connors was in Soylent Green.
Clearly Adrian Gonzalez is a cannibal (at least according to the Boston media).

   24. Darren Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4219001)
I agree with #4, that he will only lose by saying this. And that's too bad because it's much more interesting to hear what players' takes on these issues are, even if they sometimes sound like excuses.

In this case, strictly from watching AGonz, he did not look like he was peppering the wall with liners that would be HR elsewhere. It seemed more like he was hitting a lot of flyballs that were falling short of the fence and pulling a lot of grounders to the right side. It's impressive that he managed to still be an really good player.
   25. JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4219005)
As for why the Boston media didn’t take to him, he said, “They didn’t like that I was a calm person. 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.”

Indeed. With JD Drew gone, they needed someone new to pick on.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4219008)
The IF/FB, BB/K, and GB rate numbers, combined with the overall OPS+, tell the story of Gonzalez' season. It seemed like he spent three months trying to hit like a big RBI man, and when he swung big, he kept popping up on tough pitches or hitting medium-depth flies on easy pitches. He was trying way too hard and striking out too much without walking enough. So he leveled off his swing, perhaps also cut it down a bit, and starting hitting tons of ground balls, but also making crazy rates of contact and hitting for a very high average. I don't think his BABIP is entirely flukey - Gonzalez is a very smart hitter, and he looked like he'd made a conscious choice to try to hit .350 with medium power. The walks disappeared in either case.

I really don't know what to do with that whole package. I don't think that Gonzalez is obviously going to bounce back to big OBP/SLG man he was in San Diego, but I think that a transformed Gonzalez can be a damn good player in his own right.

It seems like people are either arguing (a) he's Adrian Gonzalez and he's going to hit like Adrian Gonzalez again, duh, or (b) he's not walking or hitting homers, and there's no way he can maintain such a high average to carry the declines elsewhere, so he's at a real risk of turning into an average hitter at 1B. I think there's a big risk that he's not the hitter he once was (this all followed that offseason shoulder surgery), but I think there's a good chance he's smart and skilled enough to transform himself into a new, also pretty great hitter.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4219011)
Starting 1B for the Red Sox 2013?:

James Loney
Carlos Pena
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Doug Mienktkiewicz
   28. Chip Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4219013)
Starting 1B for the Red Sox 2013?:

James Loney
Carlos Pena
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Doug Mienktkiewicz


You forgot Dave Stapleton.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4219015)
Nick Swisher or Brandon Belt, off the top of my head.
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4219018)
One thing with Gonzalez is that his walk rate, while significantly down, looks a lot worse because of the lack of IBB this year. Gonzalez has never been a big walk guy, 2009 is the only year he had more than 60 UIBB or a walk rate above league average. It doesn't mean the decline isn't concerning, but I think it's being overstated.
   31. McCoy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4219019)
Bryan LaHair with Alfonso Soriano in left field. It. Is. Gonna. Happen.
   32. John DiFool2 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4219021)
he just stopped hitting homers on the road this season.


That may be due to the better league.

The Red Sox are 2nd in the AL in runs scored, and are 5 games under .500, out of the race. Pitching is the problem, not the loss of one very good hitter.


I honestly didn't expect someone to be completely ignoring the Devil's Theory of Park Effects, on this board, in 2012 (even the trolls here would acknowledge it).

The Sox OPS+ (100) indicates a very average offensive team-Fenway is a bigger hitter's park this year than it has been in many years, if not decades. Meanwhile, their pitching is actually a smidgen better (101 ERA+). This lineup has had holes at SS, CF, and LF, with decidedly ordinary years by almost of their stars (those not on the DL most of the season, natch). Even with Gonzo raking this was not a good offensive team. Care to retract, hmm?
   33. DA Baracus Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4219022)
“What took my power away was the Green Monster,” he said of the 37-foot wall at Boston’s Fenway Park.


This annoys me. I'm sure when Crawford returns he will say a similar thing about how the Monster effected his game. Boo ####### hoo. Nobody made you sign there. You knew how that place would play and you overlooked it for the money.
   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4219027)
You knew how that place would play and you overlooked it for the money.


Conversely the Red Sox knew even better the effects of their own park and offered him the contract anyway, so they shouldn't complain he was underperforming.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4219052)
so they shouldn't complain he was underperforming.


I don't think they are.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4219054)
Starting 1B for the Red Sox 2013?:


Mauro Gomez!
   37. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4219073)
The Sox OPS+ (100) indicates a very average offensive team-Fenway is a bigger hitter's park this year than it has been in many years, if not decades.


The increase in Fenway's park factor is interesting. It could be a fluke -- it was 101 to 107 from 1987 to 2011 (107 in 2011), and is 112 in 2012. So it's really just one year. Maybe it's the weather or just random chance or something. However, Fenway is of course the best park for batting average in the AL, and the decline in offensive levels (at least in the AL) is largely a function of declining batting averages. So it would make sense that a park that props up batting average as much as Fenway does would resist the general trend better than anywhere else, and so become a somewhat extreme hitters park. Again, it might be a fluke, but there's an obvious reason to think that it's not. I buy it.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4219075)
It could be a fluke -- it was 101 to 107 from 1987 to 2011 (107 in 2011), and is 112 in 2012.
It was 110 in 2007, so this has happened before.
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4219084)
Hey, look who popped up! Ray's back! Ray, could you provide us with a link to your Red Sox-Dodgers mea culpa?


You didn't see that I was wrong and that the trade went through? What would I be apologizing for?
   40. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4219094)
It was 110 in 2007, so this has happened before.


Ah, I missed a year as I was going back.
   41. Bob Tufts Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4219124)
Ah, yes! The lazy sportswriter's mantra. If you don't throw things, curse or inflict damage to inanimate objects you don't care. It also applies to stupid fans.

Jim Lefebvre used that one on me. I told him that in order to do well I had to pitch within my limits and focus, not act like a crazed loon. From that day forward (besides hating Lefebvre) I saw that anger was an act and that every Paul O'Neill type was merely a selfish lout, not a "warrior".

Youkilis and Millar were "warriors" - except when their playing time was reduced and they became whiny #######. Team players my a##
   42. The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4219133)
let Gonzalez's comment about the stupidity of the Boston media add to the meme that the Boston front office is badmouthing players when they leave. Yes, they're so diabolical that Adrian Gonzalez is their mouthpiece for maligning Adrian Gonzalez.
Take this as a sign that Adrian Gonzalez is trying to unload Adrian Gonzalez, and is looking to tear down public opinion of Adrian Gonzalez so he'll look good when he dumps himself.
   43. Belfry Bob Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4219143)
You didn't see that I was wrong and that the trade went through? What would I be apologizing for?


Um...for calling everyone who was talking about this before it happened an idiot?
   44. ColonelTom Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4219170)
Bryan LaHair with Alfonso Soriano in left field. It. Is. Gonna. Happen.


When we start talking the Sox and Soriano, that means John Lackey and his bizarre contract are in the discussion. Does anyone think Lackey will actually play in 2015 for the big-league minimum (remember, the team got that option courtesy of his elbow surgery)? Unless I'm missing some nuance of the deal, I'd imagine he'll insist on renegotiating that if he's at all effective in 2014, and threaten to retire after 2014 otherwise.
   45. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4219217)
I saw that anger was an act and that every Paul O'Neill type was merely a selfish lout, not a "warrior".


I don't see why this statement would be any more true than Lefebvre's statement to you about not caring. Players are people and they are individuals. What worked for you was not necessarily going to work for someone else. Among my circle of friends I've got "red asses" and I've got much more stable guys.
   46. Dan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4219258)
When we start talking the Sox and Soriano, that means John Lackey and his bizarre contract are in the discussion. Does anyone think Lackey will actually play in 2015 for the big-league minimum (remember, the team got that option courtesy of his elbow surgery)? Unless I'm missing some nuance of the deal, I'd imagine he'll insist on renegotiating that if he's at all effective in 2014, and threaten to retire after 2014 otherwise.


Yeah, he's obviously and without a doubt going to go all "Operation Shutdown" instead of honoring the contract he signed. Of course. Happens all the time in MLB.
   47. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4219263)
Does the crawford deal make the soriano deal less crazy? The cubs at least got a few good seasons out of him early on
   48. just plain joe Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4219384)
The cubs at least got a few good seasons out of him early on


They are getting a fairly good season out of him this year, 114 OPS+. You can make an argument that Soriano has really only had one "bad" season in Chicago, 2009 when his OPS+ was only 84. Granted that he is not a good defensive outfielder and that he is probably not worth the 18 million dollars that he gets every year, Soriano is far from the worst player the Cubs trot out there every day.
   49. dejarouehg Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4219393)
Bob, I always look forward to reading your posts. (No sarcasm intended.)

Jim Lefebvre used that one on me. I told him that in order to do well I had to pitch within my limits and focus, not act like a crazed loon. From that day forward (besides hating Lefebvre) I saw that anger was an act and that every Paul O'Neill type was merely a selfish lout, not a "warrior".


I love that baseball frowns upon the look-at-me b.s., and that the 15-18 year olds my kid plays with and against all know that anyone that pulls the kind of nonsense that goes on in the NFL or NBA will not be doing it for long for fear of dealing with the consequences. That being said, I don't mind when a kid pops up and throws out an expletive out of frustration. It's when the kid is a .240 hitter and the pop-up is about the most productive thing he's done all day that it's just contrived crap they've seen players do on television.

I thought O'Neill was a very good player whose act was childish. I watched Jeter strike out yesterday and he took it like a man - didn't like the call, but didn't draw attention to himself.

Do other cities have "warriors?" Or do we in New York have the monopoly on players who try so much harder than everyone else that they earn this monicker. (Ewing and O'Neill.) It's a crappy nickname and not to be too politically correct, but when people are getting shot around the world serving in the armed forces, it seems to me to be in poor taste to compare an athlete with a soldier.


The cubs at least got a few good seasons out of him early on
but not what they paid for.
   50. dejarouehg Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4219396)
Is there some residual unhappiness from his "God's will" comments late in the 2011 collapse?
From every Red Sox fan I know! (About a dozen of them who live on Long Island)
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4219415)
From that day forward (besides hating Lefebvre) I saw that anger was an act and that every Paul O'Neill type was merely a selfish lout, not a "warrior".

Do you know O'Neill personally? Otherwise, calling him a "selfish lout" seems more than a bit out of line.

I generally am very calm (7 years of marriage without a single fight), but am known to curse and throw my golf clubs on occasion when I'm having a particularly awful round.

Some people need to remain calm, and some need to blow off steam. Unless you're hurting someone when you blow off steam, I don't see any difference.
   52. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4219430)
Jpj, this year has been a solid season and best of all no errors!
   53. sinicalypse Posted: August 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4219434)
Soriano is far from the worst player the Cubs trot out there every day.


actually, being in LF he wasn't that far from Ian Stewart at 3B if you stop and think about it.
   54. sinicalypse Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4219440)
Do other cities have "warriors?" Or do we in New York have the monopoly on players who try so much harder than everyone else that they earn this monicker. (Ewing and O'Neill.)


i'n laughing at this quote. i'm from chicago, a city that i submit has far more love for the "grinders" (the synonym of choice for the "warrior" brand) than most.

off the top of my head, in terms of recent baseball vintage i can think of aaron rowand on the white sox (the prodigal son would leave town and run face first into a wall in philadelphia) and reed "mantle' johnson on the cubs, who i'm pretty sure could toss out a proud lineage of grinders that stands tall with any list provided by a new york team.

in terms of football, au contraire mon frere don't you even go there </lauryn hill sampled by the demigodz>, this is the city that keeps a guy from the david kaplan school of idyllic yuppie #############, tom waddle, gainfully employed as an archetype (via sports radio) thanks in large part to the legends of his grit that was borne of being unable to escape getting slaughtered over the middle of the field on crossing routes. he'd lie to wannstedt about being cognizant in order to stay in the game; INSTANT CHICAGO HERO!

ciao from 'the city of broad shoulders'
   55. JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4219456)
Otherwise, calling him a "selfish lout" seems more than a bit out of line.

How so? Is Bob out of line regarding Youk and Millar too?
   56. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4219462)
I like waddle he is.t always there but when it comes to football he actually knows what he is talking about. And its not just chicago but the nfl network that employs him.as well. As for reed johnson he at least earned the paltry amount of.money they paid him.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4219466)
How so? Is Bob out of line regarding Youk and Millar too?

If he's calling them "selfish louts", yes.

I read what he said to be just that they whined when they were benched. I assume they actually did this, I don't follow the Sox that closely.

That's a statement of disregard for particular behavior, not a general character indictment. If he wants to say O'Neill whined too much to the umps, and overacted in throwing equipment, fine.

It's a long way from that to "selfish lout".
   58. JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4219483)
What I know is that Bob remains in contact with many of his fellow retirees, MLBPA leadership, front office types, and columnists. Accordingly, my guess is that he has good reason to use that phrase, which by the way, sounds way less harsh than what seeimgly gets uttered every time Luis Castillo's name is mentioned.
   59. JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4219500)
More importantly, Snapper, I wish you an expeditious and full recovery.
   60. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4219510)
What's up with Snapper?
   61. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4219524)
From TFA:
Gonzalez played five seasons for the Padres, with whom he developed a reputation as a consummate professional, a soft-spoken but hard-working and dignified clubhouse leader. Ex-teammate Heath Bell recently compared him to New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter.

Poor guy, never had a chance in Boston.
   62. tshipman Posted: August 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4219544)
Nick Swisher or Brandon Belt, off the top of my head.


Wait, what? Why is Brandon Belt on the BoSox all of a sudden?
   63. Srul Itza Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4219582)
7 years of marriage without a single fight


Whipped!

;-}
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4219587)

Whipped!

;-}


Awesome wife.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 27, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4219589)
Nick Swisher or Brandon Belt, off the top of my head.

Wait, what? Why is Brandon Belt on the BoSox all of a sudden?
Neither is Nick Swisher. I was just coming up with plausible targets in free agency or trade.
   66. Bob Tufts Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4219627)
Millar was the "Cowboy Up" guy for Boston until his playing time dininished - and so did his positive attitude. Youk was the same way.

How does a person like O'Neil learn to throw a proper tantrum? At what point does hemlet tossing, a stream of obscenities, taking a bat to the water cooler, Gatorade jug or nearest garbage can become accepted beahvior to be ignored and not punished? If your kid did it during a sporting event, what would you do to them?

Per JE's comment, I've talked with former players and umpires. They respect Paul's abilities but cannot stand the actions around it - especially when he would go off on a rant when the Yankees were winning and he was called out on a close play or close pitch and he decided to act in an uncouth and aggressive manner on the field and in the dugout.

Caring about himself in a close game and acting aggressively? Selfish lout.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4219633)
Per JE's comment, I've talked with former players and umpires. They respect Paul's abilities but cannot stand the actions around it - especially when he would go off on a rant when the Yankees were winning and he was called out on a close play or close pitch and he decided to act in an uncouth and aggressive manner on the field and in the dugout.

Caring about himself in a close game and acting aggressively? Selfish lout.


Then that's just a matter of taste. I think the O'Neill/Lou Piniella/Billy Martin school of histrionics is quite entertaining. If a player wants to vent, who cares?

And you can damn well bet that if I miss a 3 foot putt I'm cursing up a storm, and the putter may be taking an aerial journey. For me, it's better to vent and get it out of my system, rather than stew on it.
   68. Dale Sams Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4219639)
Youk was the same way.


I never heard a thing except fanboy speculation and suspect Boston media ####-stirring. Certainly nothing along the lines of Saint Lowell and Saint Wakefield.

As far as players throwing fits about close calls, I've always thought the best thing for the umpire to do is calmly say. "Paul you were out. It wasn't even close, and when you go watch the replay, you'll see you were out. Please remember that next time I ring you up."
   69. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4219642)
I generally am very calm (7 years of marriage without a single fight), but am known to curse and throw my golf clubs on occasion when I'm having a particularly awful round.

Whipped!

;-}

I haven't lost my temper in 20+ years, and have never had a serious fight with Amazing GF mainly because so far we've been good at disagreeing like grownups.
So I totally agree on the "venting" thing: I play a lot of softball, and am essentially chanting various swear words the entire time. It feels good, and nobody gets hurt. Running, hitting, diving, sliding... it's good for you.
I've never been one to throw bats in frustration. About 16-17 years ago, I had a Bad Moment when an opposing runner headed for the plate on a play where the winning run had already scored ahead of him; I threw a hard and accurate relay right at his head. The catcher stepped out and caught it & nobody even seemed to notice I'd basically been trying to clock the guy, and yet it still bugs me sometimes because dammit it's rec-league softball and somebody could get seriously hurt that way.
   70. Dale Sams Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4219644)
In an indoor soccer game, I was getting played by an ex-NASL player (capped too) and I took a obvious swing at his shins. Missed, but the ref pulled me over and said, "I understand it's very frustrating, but you can't do that"*

* This was before the days of automatic reds, and when players let refs sort things out.
   71. Dale Sams Posted: August 27, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4219649)
Also, speaking of different sports cultures in different times regarding faux 'toughmanship'.

One time in coed softball, I was playing 3B and my girlfriend was catcher. The bases were loaded, with less than two outs. There was an easy pop fly, but for some reason the ump didn't call infield fly. I dropped it (ump must have known I'd do that) I recovered and threw it to my GF, my throw was high and she came down with the ball to tag the guy coming in from 3B. This guy cleaned her out. Completly. Stood her up like he was a linebacker. Just destroyed her and his entire team cheered and not only did no one on my team say anything....neither did I. all I did was walk up to the ump and say "It was a force play, she came down with the ball and landed on the plate"

Ump who didn't even notice just dumbly says "Uhh...no she didn't".

Nowadays if that doesn't start a bench-clearing brawl..you're not a man.
   72. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4219655)
Nowadays if that doesn't start a bench-clearing brawl..you're not a man.

Nowadays it surely would. Of course, either of the GFs I've played ball with would absolutely have taken care of that business themselves.
I remember so well one of them literally taking her earrings off while walking purposefully towards the offending Macho BS Guy.... *swoon*
   73. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4219656)
i don't know how one goes through life without conflict even with those they care about.

maybe it's how folks quantify 'fighting'

i could be off but i am pretty sure the only thing that my wife and i agree about is that we love one another.

after that the gloves come off
   74. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 27, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4219687)
hey respect Paul's abilities but cannot stand the actions around it - especially when he would go off on a rant when the Yankees were winning and he was called out on a close play or close pitch and he decided to act in an uncouth and aggressive manner on the field and in the dugout.

Bob--he was just channeling Lou Pinella
   75. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 27, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4219701)
I play a lot of poker with full time professional players and I'm always amused by those who throw hissy fits after getting unlucky. You choose a profession that involves you regularly losing hands you were a big favorite in, and you act every single day as if you are surprised by the fact, it's unprofessional and suboptimal, the very best players don't exhibit this behavior, they maintain their composure and play their best no matter what the circumstances while the tantrum throwers play visibly worse when angry.

The other day a friend who exhibits those qualities sat down at my table ######## about losing a hand when an idiot opponent called with a horrible hand then tried to bluff my friend when his hand turned into practically the worst possible, and my friend of course called his bluff down only to lose when the bluffer went runner runner flush.

When he finally stopped, I calmly explained that his opponent, who is one of the best limit Holdem players in the world, played the hand perfectly, and how his opponent was well known for using game theory to make his play balanced and super difficult to exploit. I mentioned I wished I played like that myself, and my friend exploded "no you don't! It was idiotic!" and went off again for an extended rant while I gave up on educating him. My friend will never be more than a mediocre player because of this attitude, and every time I see baseball players argue the unwinnable, or assault the inanimate, with no possible gain and many possible risks, from injury to ejection to suspension, all to massage their hurt egos, I see striking similarities, men putting ego ahead of performance.
   76. Monty Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4219729)
When good players act like that in poker, I find it baffling. Sure, you lost that hand to (what you consider) somebody's bad play. But that should just reinforce their bad decisions, so you'll win more over the long run. You should encourage people to make bad plays, not throw a giant fit every time it works out for them.
   77. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4219751)
One time in coed softball, I was playing 3B and my girlfriend was catcher. The bases were loaded, with less than two outs. There was an easy pop fly, but for some reason the ump didn't call infield fly. I dropped it (ump must have known I'd do that) I recovered and threw it to my GF, my throw was high and she came down with the ball to tag the guy coming in from 3B. This guy cleaned her out. Completly. Stood her up like he was a linebacker. Just destroyed her and his entire team cheered and not only did no one on my team say anything....neither did I.


In every coed softball league I've ever played in, that guy is not only out but out of the game. And the next one too. You don't get to blow up the catcher in coed softball, even if the catcher is a guy.

From that day forward (besides hating Lefebvre) I saw that anger was an act and that every Paul O'Neill type was merely a selfish lout, not a "warrior".


So Bob, did you ever play with anyone who was just a genuinely angry person? Not that I'd expect you to name names. I'm just not sure that say, Milton Bradley and Izzy Alcantara were acting.
   78. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4219755)
One of the center pieces of the second (of three) A-Gone trades, Casey Kelly, is having a heck of a debut tonight, albeit in Petco.
   79. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4219779)
In every coed softball league I've ever played in, that guy is not only out but out of the game. And the next one too. You don't get to blow up the catcher in coed softball, even if the catcher is a guy.


When I played coed league softball in college this happened to me playing catcher in a game, gave me a concussion. The guy got yanked from the game for it.
   80. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4219794)
In every coed softball league I've ever played in, that guy is not only out but out of the game. And the next one too. You don't get to blow up the catcher in coed softball, even if the catcher is a guy.
Indeed. All my coed leagues were non-contact. No sliding, either.
   81. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4219798)
John Lackey....threaten to retire after 2014 otherwise.

Emptiest threat ever!

   82. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4219805)
In contrast to some of the examples here, I have an awful temper in life that I've spent years trying to manage so it didn't damage my personal relationships -- but on a ball field I've always been the coolest head. Just the way #### is.
   83. Walt Davis Posted: August 28, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4219818)
I play a lot of poker

I play a little poker and very small stakes against mostly crappy player! I've only lost it once ... over the course of about 3 hours I lost 3 all-in bets when (a) I was ahead before the flop, knew it, bet accordingly, got called when I shouldn't have; and (b) was ahead after the flop, bet accordingly, got called when I shouldn't have.

The third one I tossed the cards in disgust and one actually bounced up and caught a player near the eye. I have no idea if they'd have thrown me out (probably not, I've seen worse) but I had enough sense to realize that I should just walk away that night.

But mainly I was reminded of a Phil Helmuth moment in a WSOP. He gets beat by some nobody on a hand and, in his charming way, berates the guy with "no professional would have called me there!" Leaving aside that was probably bullshit I was really hoping the guy would come back with "why would you expect me to act like a pro poker player?"
   84. Dan Posted: August 28, 2012 at 02:36 AM (#4219823)
One of the center pieces of the second (of three) A-Gone trades, Casey Kelly, is having a heck of a debut tonight, albeit in Petco.


But the Red Sox stole Gonzalez from the Padres! Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo were garbage prospects!
   85. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: August 28, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4219825)
Dale I would have started a fight over that then again i have a big temper. I may be very competitive but theres no way you blow up a female catcher no matter what in a rec league
   86. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 28, 2012 at 03:23 AM (#4219836)
But the Red Sox stole Gonzalez from the Padres! Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo were garbage prospects!

Heh! I was certainly one of the people who felt that way and posted as much. But Kelly and Rizzo are both in the Majors now and Rizzo got his K rate under control and has had some decent success in his second exposure (Still only 22, at .289/.336/.451, 117 OPS+). Kelly had an unbelievable 37 innings in the minors (including a crazy 13 K/BB rate) this year. Looks like a pretty good return so far, much better than I thought it was at the time.
   87. Dale Sams Posted: August 28, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4219844)
Dale I would have started a fight over that then again i have a big temper. I may be very competitive but theres no way you blow up a female catcher no matter what in a rec league


This was in 1987. Maybe it's a regional thing. But in our intermural community college leagues, I distinctly remember sliding and catching female fielders accidentally. At least *i* slid and tried to break their falls.

   88. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 28, 2012 at 07:21 AM (#4219864)
One time in coed softball, I was playing 3B and my girlfriend was catcher. The bases were loaded, with less than two outs. There was an easy pop fly, but for some reason the ump didn't call infield fly. I dropped it

What difference would it have been if you caught the pop-up instead? Did you think you would turn a double play home to third, or something? I guess.
   89. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 28, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4219865)
The only league I ever played in where you could crash the catcher was fast pitch. Every other league had a slide rule: slide, or avoid all contact, or be ejected for the rest of that game and the next.
   90. bunyon Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4219886)
actually, being in LF he wasn't that far from Ian Stewart at 3B if you stop and think about it.

I hadn't realized he was playing so shallow these days.
   91. Bob Tufts Posted: August 28, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4219951)
So Bob, did you ever play with anyone who was just a genuinely angry person?


No one at the level of Lou and Paulie. The Royals had to add plastic garbage barrels in the runway going up to the locker room because if George Brett had a bad first at bat (fortunately rare) he would go off on the cans with his bat.

Far more fans were irrational in their actions than any players.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4219976)
What difference would it have been if you caught the pop-up instead? Did you think you would turn a double play home to third, or something? I guess.


The difference is the guy on third wouldn't have run if he caught it, preventing his girlfriend from getting blowed up.

   93. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4220000)
If I'm on third, and a pop is hit to third, I'm staying put. if the ball drops, I'm getting thrown out by 30 feet. I don't know what happened here.
   94. SoSH U at work Posted: August 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4220007)
If I'm on third, and a pop is hit to third, I'm staying put. if the ball drops, I'm getting thrown out by 30 feet. I don't know what happened here.


It's softball, so there's not a lot of ground to cover between the bases. He only needs to be as close to the bag to beat Dale back there, so he can have a little lead. If the ball just gets a way a little, that can be enough to have the chance to run over the catcher (particularly if the ump isn't looking for a force).

There's also the possibility that, being the kind of guy who would blow up a female catcher in a softball game, he's a raging dumbass.

   95. Dale Sams Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4220048)
I didn't drop it on purpose, I only mentioned the infield fly rule in case someone asked why it wasn't called. If I drop the ball after the infield fly rule is called, the force is off.
   96. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4220053)
Yeah, I played softball. I know about baserunning. If a 3b lets a pop fall in front of him and it gets away, enough to make the play at home close...I'll leave the rest unsaid.

edit...oh, you dropped it. That's different.

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