Given the way everything ended in Boston, it’s easy to forget just how good Adrian Gonzalez is.
“That’s an unbelievable trade,” Mattingly gushed before the Dodgers hosted the Diamondbacks last night. “An unbelievable trade. This guy is the (expletive). He can play. That’s how you win, with guys like that.”
“He’s unbelievable. It really was kind of the perfect storm: The year (the Red Sox) were having, where they’re at (with) the cap, all of that stuff.”
While Mattingly spoke, a broad smile never left his face. As much as Red Sox fans feel like the Dodgers are suckers for taking on more than $260 million in contracts, Mattingly looks like a guy who’d make the trade every day.
“I’m not going to sit here and complain about having freaking Adrian Gonzalez,” Mattingly said.
Herald - Fore-Gonz conclusion
While I was pretty bummed about losing Adrian in the wake of the trade, I have come to see the bright side in all of this. My concern now is that I simply don't trust that the people that got us into this mess have the restraint to not use that money to put us right back into a similar bind. Time will tell.
While this trade shined a light on the fact that the ownership group and the front office need to change, we as fans need to change as well. I've made this same plea over Ortiz in the past, but we need to stop looking for reasons to be unhappy, and instead appreciate what we have.
Adrian Gonzalez came to town with all the pomp and excitement a player like he deserves. The Sox finally had a hitter that could pick up where Manny left off. But the honeymoon didn't last forever.
I don't think it's necessary to re-hash the entire Boston Gonzalez era, however short it was, but let me remind you that the first half of his first year here, Adrian put up obscene numbers. .354 average, 17 home runs, 77 RBIs, 1.006 OPS. The second half, while solid, wasn't nearly as impressive. The first half of this season, he continued his 'good but not great' play. Then, something clicked. Adrian began tearing the cover off the ball again. ....then he was traded.
We set extremely high expectations for Gonzalez. In our head, we had a vision of who Gonzalez was, and when he didn't fit nicely into that mold, a good chunk of Sox fans turned on him. Not like they turned on Beckett - they didn't reign boos on him as he stepped to the plate. But they never embraced him the way he deserved.
Much of it boiled down to the fact that he wasn't hitting many home runs. Regardless of how productive at the plate he was, we fixated on the number in the home run column. We wanted a "slugger", not a hitter. Adrian has that in him, so it wasn't unrealistic to expect. But since he wasn't bashing home runs, we became skeptical. And then we looked, and found, some reasons to dislike him. His post-game comments weren't fiery enough. He, for whatever reason, blamed last season on "God's plan". He provided silly reasons to dislike him, and some of us pounced on him.
Regardless of the number of home runs he hit in his 1 and 2/3 years in Boston (42), let's not forget the fact that we lost one of the top 5 (probably top 3) first basemen in the league. If you read those comments from Mattingly above, he certainly realizes what he has.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Jarrod Saltalamacchia wants to catch on | Jon Lester’s best month ends on down note | Globe -Mike Aviles deals with a new Red Sox reality | Sox get swept under by Angels | WEEI -Hunter: 'I'm sure [Crawford's] a lot happier' | Brentz headlines Sox' Arizona Fall players | CSNNE - Ellsbury 'comfortable' with Red Sox | Report: Pedroia tries to set the record straight