Having now spent a full season with the Sox, Gonzalez spoke with the Boston Herald on Wednesday about those end-of-the-year issues and how circumstances could be improved.
"What happened in the clubhouse during the game, whether there was policing or not, those are things that have to be brought up when they're seen, not from somebody that heard from somebody else," Gonzalez said. "If somebody saw it, it has to be done on the spot. It can't be done the day after, two days after. When somebody's accused of something, he's got to be caught in the moment. People that are in the clubhouse have to police themselves on the field."
Gonzalez then brought up a good point. Not to discredit what Jason Varitek has done as the team captain, but Gonzalez posed the idea of unofficial captains of the position players, relievers and starting pitchers. All three have very different roles on the team, and it would be hard for a position player to know what a reliever is doing in the bullpen when they are out in the field every half inning.
"A position player can't police a pitcher. A reliever can't police a position player. But from my standpoint, you need somebody policing each individual part of the team," Gonzalez said. "From the position-player standpoint, we did that."
Proving himself on the field has helped Gonzalez build relationships with his teammates — relationships he hopes will help him step up as a leader in the clubhouse.
"I'm not going to be somebody who's going to yell at somebody. If I see somebody, I'm going to sit down and talk to them in a good way, in a respectful way," he said. "I'm going to do that in a way that lets them know I'm not doing it for any wrong reason. I'm not going to start yelling or cussing."
Gonzalez remained hopeful that the Red Sox would make the playoffs until the very last day of the season. With seven more years on his contract, he will look to follow through on not only his impressive numbers from 2011, but on improving the team's leadership so that the focus can remain on the field and not in the clubhouse.