The 39-year-old Gonzalez hasn’t started in five of the Dodgers’ last eight games, but he isn’t becoming accustomed to sitting. And he has no intention of doing so, meaning his time with the Dodgers could be up when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Asked whether he saw himself coming back to play under similar circumstances, Gonzalez replied, “No, no, not here. . . . Anything can happen in the last month, but they’ve got a good nucleus of young kids here and that’s their future. I don’t know where I’ll end up next year. I’ll go with an open mind into the off-season and see what happens.”
So it’s unlikely that he’ll be back?
“I don’t want to go on a limb and say that,” he said.
Hey, maybe this was just me but.. was there any chance in hell Gonzalez was going to be invited back? This blog wasn’t online when he was signed, but if it was, you’d have seen me supporting the signing, which I believe made me one of the few Dodger fans to do so. While we all wanted to see Ethier and Kemp step up and claim the corner jobs, think about the outfield situation other than Pierre at the outset of the season. Ethier was no sure thing after his nosedive to end 2006, and Kemp looked like he’d need some more time in AAA to learn to stop chasing breaking balls.
And you know what? Credit where credit is due. Gonzo was one of the Dodgers’ best hitters in the first half. .294/.384/.471 with 10 HR? Crappy defense aside, that’s a pretty good line. Except that post-break, it’s been .239/.285/.327. Yikes. Meanwhile, Kemp and Ethier are each ahead in OPS by at least 40 points.. with a reasonable expectation of continued improvement (vs. a continued downtrend for Gonzo).. and much better defense. Even with Kemp’s occasional outfield adventures, because of his great speed and arm strength.
Basically, Luis – you did precisely what was needed of you. You held down the fort for a few months while we gave the two younger guys some time to show if they had what it takes or not. And you performed that job pretty admirably. You even showed the courtesy to completely lose it while they excelled, just so there was no question at all. Look, if you’re a veteran on a Grady Little-led team and even he’s playing the kids ahead of you, that’s a pretty good sign of where your career is right now. But hey, if it helps you sleep at night to say that you’re choosing not to return, that’s fine with me too. You know the saying, though – you don’t have to go home.. but you can’t stay here.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness