December 06, 2010
No, not the contract extension that he and the team have yet to finalize.
The task we're talking about Gonzo tackling is whether or not he'll be wearing his favored No. 23 when he takes the field at Fenway Park for the first time next season. The digits currently belong to outfielder Mike Cameron(notes) and the 15-year veteran told the Boston Globe on Monday that "they can't just take it from me."
So wha is Cameron demanding? A new car? A home-theater system? Cold, hard cash?
Eh, not quite.
Mike is a reasonable fellow. He didn't even want 23, having worn 25 or 44 for most of his career. But Mike Lowell(notes) had 25 and wanted to keep it and Cameron didn't want to take 44, knowing that Jason Bay(notes) had worn it in 2009.
"That would have just started trouble," he said.
Now Cameron is willing to take 44 and give up 23 to Gonzalez. But there will have to be a little tribute.
"He's going to have 160 million ways to make me happy," Cameron said, laughing. "No, that's not me. I'll have him make a little donation to the Boys & Girls Club."
Well good for Cameron, because if there's any strong-arming I can get behind, it's strong-arming for the kids. And as Cameron notes, Gonzalez will be more than able to afford a little tribute. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the two sides have put in place a framework for a seven-year, $154 million deal, but that the deal probably won't become official until April because of luxury tax issues.
Hopefully Cameron is willing to put that number on layaway until then.