Jonny Gomes has never been afraid to speak his mind. That much is well known. But the Boston Red Sox outfielder has been even more vocal over the past couple days, especially when it comes to the Red Sox greatest rivals, the New York Yankees, and suspended superstar Alex Rodriguez.
It all kicked off on Thursday night when Gomes met the media before the Boston Baseball Writer’s dinner. When the inevitable question about A-Rod and his impending legal battle against the MLBPA came up, Gomes was pretty straight forward in expressing his disgust.
“He does steroids or whatever, it sucks. He does this or that, it sucks. He’s always in the news, it sucks,” Gomes told the Herald. “But this is the players’ union he’s going against. It’s all of us. Not a real good idea.”
“I think what he had going on is pretty individual,” Gomes said. “He did it. It was his decision, his suspension. But I don’t think it’s really a good idea to go after our union. Down to my (expletive) kids, down to the benefits we have, down to our retirement fund, the union makes our lives better. We pay dues to the union for our rights.”
Back in August, Gomes was very outspoken about Rodriguez being allowed to play through his appeal of the original 211-game suspension, which we all know was eventually reduced to 162 games by arbitrator Frederic Horowitz. Teammate Ryan Dempster actually threw at A-Rod when the two teams met later that month, so the bad blood ran very deep in the Red Sox clubhouse well before A-Rod went after the MLBPA.
Gomes wasn't alone then, and he certainly isn't alone in his feelings now. Especially after the MLBPA got the troops all riled up earlier this week.
In the union call in which ejecting A-Rod was discussed, players were told: he's not suing Tony Clark, or David Prouty; he's suing YOU.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 22, 2014
A-Rod should probably be thankful he'll be nowhere near a major league field in 2014.
On a much lighter note, Gomes also says the Red Sox are unfazed by the Yankees string of high profile offseasons moves, which includes the recent signing of Masahiro Tanaka.
“People can go out and sign whoever they want right now,’’ Gomes said. “Boxing rules, we still have the belt. Whoever else, reloads. Kind of flattering a little bit, you know, that [a division] rival has to reload as much as they did. We lost some core players; at the same time, this organization is extremely deep. The majority of our core group of guys is back. We’re champs. We have to uphold that title. I don’t think the mindset is going to change.’’
If you read the first part of that in angry Richard Sherman's voice, then you read it correctly.
"Par for course, who else was going to get him?" Gomes said. "Yeah I mean, the Yankees being the Yankees, I figured he'd go there. If the Yankees need a starting pitcher, they go get the best starting pitcher. Or a catcher, they get the best. I'm not really surprised by any means."
Gomes did add that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi are as professional as they come in baseball. But notes that winning the winter isn't the most important thing in baseball.
“It’s kind of interesting, though — $500 million and still some questions,” Gomes said. “You’ve got (free agent catcher Brian) McCann who hasn’t been in the American League before, the pitcher (Masahiro Tanaka) who hasn’t pitched a game over here. They’ve got some guys playing different positions.”
“It’s about winning the summer. It’s not about winning the winter.”
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays sit back and take it all in knowing they're going to be a factor in this race no matter how much the Yankees spend or how much the Red Sox talk about defending their turf.
It's going to be another fun season in the AL East.
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