Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, like the rest of his teammates, caught a lot of flack late in the season.
Gonzo was the subject of sports talk radio and ridiculed throughout local and national baseball media outlets days after the team’s final 2011 contest for supposedly complaining about and blaming the team’s collapse on a tough schedule. The slugger spoke on the radio this week and cleared the air.
“A lot of things got blown out of perspective, but I know I gave a true answer to a question that was asked,” Gonzalez said. “I never brought up anything on my own and said anything out of a way to complain or say that it was the reason we lost or anything like that.
“I know I am taking a little bit of heat for the scheduling part, but that wasn’t something I did on my own,” he added. “The writer came up to me and said ‘Has the schedule been tough on you this year?’ I said we played a lot of getaway night games. I said it has been the most grueling season physically for me. That was my answer to the question and the question was prior to the collapse, so I answered the question I was asked. It was written after the last game when we didn’t make the playoffs and it was mentioned in a way as I was complaining of the schedule. I wasn’t. I was just answering the question of how hard it was on me.”
When asked if he was blaming the collapse on the team’s schedule, Gonzo explained: “I never was. The question was never brought up in that context.
“I’ve learned that you don’t try to go out and try to justify your comments,” he added. “You just let them be because you are never going to win the battle of trying to justify yourself.
As for the September collapse, Gonzalez had a few theories.
“It’s hard to say. We didn’t play the baseball that we could. We didn’t do it in every aspect of the game. We didn’t hit when we needed to hit. We didn’t play defense when we needed to play defense and we didn’t get the outs we needed to down the stretch, so yeah we really didn’t play good baseball.”