I really like Adrian Gonzalez. And yes, I appreciate that he has a closer connection to San Diego than a lot of star players have to the teams they end up leaving in free agency. But I really do wish that he — and any other player in his position would stop saying things like this:
“I’m torn . . . I’ve been a Padre fan all my life. I’d love to be part of it happening here. But I understand. I’m hoping to stay through the end of next season. Beyond that, I’m not in control. God is. I’m a man of faith.”
There isn’t any faith about it. There’s business. And the business is going to compel either the Padres to trade him or Gonzalez to leave via free agency. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s reality-based. If fans were to accept that more readily than they do they’d probably have a healthier relationship with sports than many of them do. Instead, we’re left to construe these situations in terms of loyalty and heartlessness and religion, when none of it has any practical place in determining which players play for which teams.
If the Padres wanted to pay more money to Gonzalez, he’d stay. If Gonzalez were willing to take considerably less money from the Padres than he’ll get on the open market, he’d stay. But that’s not going to happen, and there’s nothing spiritual or even particularly emotional about it.