When I hear the other fathers in the neighborhood talking about how kids have no shot at playing sports at a high level unless they’re on expensive travelling teams and go to specialized camps and clinics, I roll my eyes. Partially because, damn, don’t you hope your kids pick what they want to do with their lives rather than live vicariously through your frustrated athletic dreams? But also because, while those things may make it easier to excel at sports, a privileged upbringing is not a requirement. Just ask Jonny Gomes:
“I didn’t sleep in a car,’’ Gomes explained. “But if a car had a mailing address, that’s where I was going to get my mail.’’
“You were homeless?’’ I wondered.
“Never more than seven or 10 days,’’ Gomes said. “We’d live in a house two or three months, couldn’t pay rent, we’d get the eviction notice.’’ But friends were generous, as were some of his mother’s patients. “Awesome people took us in,’’ Gomes said.
Good story by Paul Daugherty about the rough road Gomes took to and the good attitude Gomes has about his path to the majors.
Free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock has landed on the Dodgers’ radar, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the two appear to be in discussions regarding a deal for 2019. Terms of any prospective deal have not been released, but interest is presumed to be fairly high as he checks two boxes on their wish list: that of a right-handed hitter and an experienced centerfielder.
Pollock, 31, rounded out a seven-year career with the Diamondbacks in 2018. While he was sidelined for nearly seven weeks after fracturing his left thumb on a dive gone wrong, he finished the season batting a hearty .257/.316/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, 13 steals (in 15 chances), and 2.5 fWAR across 460 plate appearances. He received a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the club at the end of the year and elected to enter free agency in hopes of a better deal, which some have estimated at five years and $80 million.
So far, it’s not clear whether teams are willing to meet those terms. Pollock profiles as both a solid hitter and defender, but he hasn’t played a season in full health since 2015, which may be a deal-breaker for those in search of long-term talent. Even with that caveat, however, the Dodgers are far from the only club willing to enter negotiations with the outfielder this winter. The Braves have been linked to Pollock since December, and the Mets and Reds have expressed varying levels of interest as well.