Adrian Gonzalez is really, really happy to be back in California. And he’s comfortable enough there to throw some bombs back in Boston’s direction. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports:
As for why the Boston media didn’t take to him, he said, “They didn’t like that I was a calm person. I won’t throw my helmet, I won’t scream, I won’t use bad words if I strike out. That’s what they want over there … They took me over there and I didn’t change. My intensity, how I prepared, everything was the same. When they took me over there, they took me over there to drive in runs. And I did that.”
I’ll agree that the Boston media prefers it when guys are more interesting, but unless I missed something I never sensed that anyone had it in for Gonzalez especially. He caught heat, understandably so, with that whole Kelly Shoppach/text message fiasco. When he had a poor first half of this season it was noted. But it’s not like he had people down on him like Beckett or Crawford or Buchholz or anyone.
It was obviously not a good fit for him, both culturally and competitively — Hernandez notes how the Green Monster hurt Gonzalez instead of helped him like many thought it would — but there are guys who have gotten a way harder time thrown their way in Boston than Gonzalez. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the opportunity to dump Beckett and Crawford in this deal, it seems like Boston may very well have wanted to keep him around.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.