So what are we to make of Gonzalez’ start? It has certainly been respectable. With 15 RBI, he’s on pace for 105. He began last night batting .478 with runners in scoring position and .333 with two outs and runners in scoring position. With runners on base, he finds a way.
But in total, he is clearly not himself. After going 0-for-3 in the Sox’ 5-3 loss to the A’s last night, he’s batting .261 with two homers and a pedestrian OPS of .719.
“That day-to-day click hasn’t come yet,” Gonzalez said. “I feel great one day, the next day I don’t. Once I start heating up, it’ll be a good time.”
That Gonzalez will heat up is pretty much guaranteed. Even after spending five years in the cavernous environs of Petco, his lifetime OPS still stands at .886. If history is any indication, he’ll end this season in the .950 range.
The issue for now is what needs to happen to get him back to being himself.
Herald | Adrian Gonzalez hasn't clicked in
I can't say I'm worried about Gonzalez, and I'm certainly not thinking we have the wrong Adrian. Gonzalez is a pro, and he'll come around.
But the power drop is a concern. Last year, his 27 homers disappointed many, including me. We knew he had shoulder problems, but over the course of the offseason he admitted they were worse than many of us realized. So it stood to reason that he'd get the power back this year.
And maybe he still will. Last year his power was streaky; maybe that's just how he is. Maybe he'll club double-digits this month and he'll be right in the thick of the MVP race.
But, given the struggles we've had with other big-time acquisitions, it's reasonable to worry. What if he continues to be a very steady, still All-Star caliber player, but never gets to that MVP level that so many of us expected? It's certainly not as bad as Carl Crawford or John Lackey, but it would be a disappointment.
On page 2, Oil Can Boyd talks about his daily drug use in 1986.
Boyd told of his start on May 11, 1986, at Oakland when he smoked crack before taking the mound.
"I get to the ballpark, all the ballplayers are on the field, you know, taking batting practice and everythin'. And I walk in the clubhouse and I -- I got my pipe with me.
"I can remember going and locking myself up in the bathroom and smoking some dope right there at the ballpark. I was afraid that they knew and that the clubhouse manager had smelled it, he was gonna tell on me. So I gotta get rid of it.
"I had it under the bib of my cap, inside the crease inside of the cap. And when I was warming up in the ballgame -- third, fourth inning -- it fell off my head."
ESPNBoston | 'Oil Can' Boyd discusses drug use
It's not like any of us thought Boyd was a choir boy, but it's still a crazy read. Definitely go check out the whole article -- it's a pretty good ad for his forthcoming book, which should be chock-full of amazing stuff.
Herald | Felix Doubront, Sox cool off | Aaron Cook, Kevin Youkilis pose questions | Globe | Athletics throw wet blanket over Sox | With Youkilis out, Iglesias is called up | It's been a little chilly | ESPNBoston | A's hold off Red Sox to halt skid as Jarrod Parker earns first win | Anderson sent down; Cook on way? | CSNNE | High pitch count gets best of Doubront once again | Red Sox now wait for Cook's decision on opt-out