After spending just shy of two seasons with the Red Sox, outfielder Jonny Gomes is getting shipped out to Oakland as part of the Jon Lester/Yoenis Cespedes deal today, but Gomes made it known to WEEI that he leaves Boston with some of the best memories of his career, despite 2014’s dumpster fire of a season.
In a phone interview with WEEI, Gomes wore his heart on his sleeve, starting out by saying “I’m in a situation right now where I’m getting packaged up with the best pitcher in the game, heading over to the team with the best record in the game. I’m a little bit excited there, but at the same time, you talk about a soft spot in my heart, soft spot with some of the relationships I’ve made in Boston, and this chapter, for the time being, has come to an end.”
“I definitely didn’t want to go anywhere, and I just can’t fathom a baseball player saying he’d ever want to get out of Boston, to tell you the truth,” Gomes went on. “I came here on a whim. I came here when this team finished in last place [in 2012] and I wanted to join this club when it was in last place and we rode a pretty magical wave last year. And this year, things haven’t gone as well as we were hoping.”
“At the same time, this is the Boston Red Sox, and being a fan of the game, to be able to toe into that batter’s box where some of the greats have and just to wear that uniform, share relationships and hit in the same BP group as David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia, with Jim Rice and Luis Tiant walking around and all the greats with the pictures up there, that’s the stuff that I don’t take for granted, by any means.”
And as sad as it is to see one of the iconic players from last year’s World Series run dealt so soon (who can forget the army helmet in the clubhouse?), Gomes left no room for interpretation when it came to not having any hard feelings.
“Definitely not angry by any means. I’m not angry at anyone,” he said. “I can honestly say that I came here, I played in Boston for a year and a half and I’ve run out every single ground ball. I never came out of a game for a physical reason. A physical reason never stopped me from playing the game, and I never went on the DL.”
“To be able to leave this place, it’s not ideal, but at the same time, I can go back to Game 6 at Fenway and it’ll put a smile on my face. Of course, going to Oakland, where I’m from and born and raised an A’s fan as a kid growing up. In 2012, was able to paint an AL West champs sticker on the wall and now I’m taking the best pitcher in the game and heading over to the best record in the game, so that’s pretty exciting.”
In true Jonny Gomes style, he also had a simple, heartfelt request for Red Sox Nation:
“I know this year hasn’t gone as we all would’ve liked it, but please, please, everyone, do not forget about that 2013 season, the worst-to-first, the tragedy, the Boston Marathon, everyone rallying around the city, the finish line, the duck boats, I mean everything, and celebrating at home,” he said. “They might be a little down right now in the win/loss column, but do not let that erase any of the memories from last year. I get to wear a ring on my finger and I’m proud to be a Red Sox.”
Read the full article, including his comments on Jon Lester, here.