Mat Latos on Reds’ clubhouses in 2012 and ’13: “Everything went to [expletive].”

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had a Q&A session with new Marlins starter Mat Latos and asked him a series of questions. Latos was asked what was appealing about the Marlins, and the right-hander said that they would have been on the top of his list of potential destinations if he had not been traded and simply became a free agent after the season.

Latos suggested he could be the veteran presence on a young team that makes the difference. To emphasize his point, he pointed to the Reds after losing third baseman Scott Rolen in 2012 and starter Bronson Arroyo in 2013. Latos said, “Everything went to [expletive].” He continued:

When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that . . . it turns into a circus.

The Reds went 90-72 in 2013 sans Rolen, losing the National League Wild Card game to the division rival Pirates. Due mostly to injuries, the Reds finished 76-86 this past season, their first without Arroyo.

Latos will be looking to bolster a Marlins team that went 77-85 and finished fourth in the NL East in 2014. He had another strong showing, posting a 3.25 ERA with a 74/26 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings for the Reds, but the 27-year-old missed 85 games on the disabled list recovering from knee surgery to start the season and elbow problems at the end of the season.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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