BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is vowing to have a much different season than his first in Boston.
“It was devastating the way it went down,” Gonzalez told ESPN of Boston’s 7-20 September, causing the team to miss the playoffs. “It’s something that we’ll keep in mind throughout the season. It’s not going to go away once the season starts. We’re going to keep that as a focus and move forward from it, try to grow from it.
“It’s something that will not be forgotten. We owe it to the fans to give them a better ending,” he said.
While Gonzalez put up good numbers, batting a career best .338 with 27 home runs and 117 RBI in his first season in Boston, he said it is time for him to take on a much bigger role with the team’s leadership.
“Last year I came in to a team that had leaders in place and didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes,” Gonzalez said. ”There were things that I saw and noticed that I’m not going to leave unaddressed if they need to be.”
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For one, there was the story of players drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games. Gonzalez brushed that off though, saying the Sox just didn’t play good baseball over the final month of the season.
“People have to eat, whether it’s chicken or steak,” Gonzalez said in a SportsCenter interview. ”More than anything, it was just the fact we didn’t play good baseball. We didn’t play good defense for our pitchers, we didn’t get those timely hits that we needed to bring in that extra run. We didn’t prevent enough runs. It was a team as a whole that failed. We look forward to erasing that and getting back into the playoffs.”