BOSTON (CBS) — Jonny Gomes was a huge part of the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, and nobody would ever deny it. He came through with clutch hits in huge moments, and the team went 10-1 in the postseason when Gomes was in the starting lineup.
However, Gomes might be overvaluing his own worth to a baseball team just a little bit.
Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti shared a story Monday in which Gomes discussed … well … he discussed how great he is.
“There’s no stat for winning player, so it gets brushed under the rug,” Gomes told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. “They talk about a player’s WAR [wins above replacement]? Well, how about a team WAR? I’ve turned a team around 20 games four different times. Worst to first. I was on a Tampa team that was historically bad in 2007 and then went to the World Series in 2008. The Reds hadn’t been in the playoffs for many years.
“Basically, every single team I’ve been on there’s been zero expectations,’’ Gomes continued. “I think there were zero expectations here last year. I get a kick when free agents say, ‘I want to go to a contender.’ Who [expletive] is a contender? The Oakland A’s in 2012? Us last year? The Reds in 2010?”
The fact that Gomes said “I’ve turned a team around” struck Felger and Mazz as a bit delusional.
“My God. If you can find a player who has a higher opinion of himself than Jonny Gomes, I’d like to know who it is,” Felger said. “This guy literally thinks he’s Mickey Mantle.”
Felger read the lede from Cafardo’s story: “Need someone to straighten out your clubhouse for a year or two? Hire Jonny.”
“He’s like Patrick Swayze in ‘Roadhouse’!” said Mazz. “You bring him in to clean it up!”
Felger, Mazz and Marc Bertrand laughed at the fact that Cafardo said Gomes provided a whole list of stats and numbers to boost his case for a multi-year deal.
“It’s like a PowerPoint presentation that he did in the clubhouse with Nick, and then he gave Nick a sheet of questions that Nick would be asking him in the interview,” Bertrand said.
“He said this: ‘I turned around a team 20 games four different times,'” Felger said. “I. Me. That was me that did that. I’ve turned a team around 20 games four different times. Worst to first. Who says that? What fourth outfielder in the history of Major League Baseball has had the chutzpah to say that ‘I’ve turned around four different teams 20 games four different times’? Can you believe that?”
“Is he eligible for executive of the year?” Bertrand asked. “They should give it to him. Really.”
Felger continued with a quote from Gomes.
“I’ve gone from getting pinch hit for six times in the first month and a half to becoming this pinch-hitting guru guy at the end of the year,” Gomes told Cafardo. “I batted seventh, eighth, and ninth last year to batting fourth in the World Series.”
“Guru!” Felger said. “So he’s now this pinch hitting guru. … Guru? Like swami? Like the maharishi out there for pinch hitting?”
Another Gomes quote: “I’ve played for three managers of the year, four executives of the year.”
“You know what he’s implying there is that he made those managers of the year and executives of the year,” Mazz said. “Yeah, that was because of him. They had the foresight to sign him.”
“Who does he think he is?” Felger said. “He’s a fourth outfielder. ‘I’ve turned a team around 20 games four different times. Worst to first.’ That would have been OK if he said I’ve been a part of a team, but ‘I’ve’ turned around a team 20 games four different times? Did he really say that? How can you possibly say that?”
Felger did admit that Gomes is right to say he’s been on good teams, as they’ve typically found great success.
“How could a guy go to so many places, win in so many places, and then still have the team ship him out at the first opportunity every time?” Felger said. “How is that possible? Can I answer? It’s because I think this guy’s an A-hole. Isn’t that the answer? I think this guy’s an A-hole, and even though he obviously does help a team win, I think it’s not worth the headache.”
“He’s a bench player,” Mazz said, channeling Allen Iverson. “He’s a bench player. He is a bench player.”
Both Felger and Mazz shared the belief that Gomes undoubtedly has some value for a team, “but he has somehow convinced himself that that is what wins World Series,” Mazz said.
“If David Ortiz or Dustin Pedrioa said that or some guy who is a centerpiece guy in a lineup … David Ortiz has won three World Series,” Mazz continued. “For all the crap that I give Ortiz about the contract and the extension and everything else, Ortiz has been the nucleus of three championship teams in a market that hadn’t won a title in a century, so I will give him that. But this guy? Are you kidding me?”
“Has a guy ever been on so many winning teams that … fired him?” Felger asked. “That’s gotta tell you something. … Every year, you win with the guy and he’s so painful to be with that you still let him go. Five teams in seven years, and they’ve all won, and he’s been a part of a winning mix with all of them, and still the teams have said, ‘Jonny, I can’t take you anymore. Please. I can’t take one more second of your mouth.'”
“I’m laughing because it’s so out there that you cannot help but laugh,” Mazz said. “To me there isn’t a shred of truth to the cause and effect that he is trying to connect. … He sounds like Bobby Valentine!”