Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Unknown Heroes Pt. 40: Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes is one of those players that has a ton of intangible qualities that are hard to measure.  He is a terrific clubhouse presence and keeps things loose.  His teams generally perform better after he is brought in.

Gomes had been with Tampa Bay for quite some time, and been a player that Boston had some trouble with, particularly during brawls.  In 2013, he was brought to Boston on a short, two-year free agent deal.  Immediately he brought a lot of levity to the team.  He was one of the principal players to start the whole beard-growing trend that took over the team.  Gomes hit .247/.344/.426 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs in 2013.  He was in a semi-platoon with Daniel Nava for most of the season.  He generally had more power, but Nava was better at getting on base and much better defensively.  Gomes though, had a flair for the dramatic.  He walked off with a home run on a couple of occasions, usually doing something humorous, like drop-kicking his helmet, upon reaching home plate.

In the World Series, Gomes contributed a very important three-run home run in Game 4 that eventually won the game for Boston, tying the World Series and putting Boston back in control after losing Games 2 and 3 and struggling most of Game 4.

Gomes's numbers declined a bit in 2014, and so did his playing time.  He was eventually traded at the trading deadline along with Jon Lester to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes.  Oakland made it to the postseason.  After the season, Gomes signed with the Braves and was traded to Kansas City late in the year.  So Gomes got his second World Championship.

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