Adrian Gonzalez Says ‘It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish’ After Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot

Adrian GonzalezWhether Adrian Gonzalez was a good leader run over by circumstances or just another guy who couldn’t get it done is a debate few Boston fans are concerned with now that the Red Sox are back in working order. But those who like to gripe about Gonzalez could find plenty of reasons to Thursday, when both the Red Sox and Dodgers clinched playoff spots.

The Red Sox beat the Orioles 3-1 at home and did not celebrate locking up a wild card spot.

Los Angeles beat the Diamondbacks 7-6 in Arizona to take the National League West title. The Dodgers not only celebrated but also took the festivities out of the clubhouse, jumping into the pool at Chase Field — after the Diamondbacks organization had specifically asked L.A. not to go back onto the field due to security issues.

Leading the group into the pool was Gonzalez, who has been a key contributor for the Dodgers this year but didn’t even play Thursday. A sore quad kept him out of the game.

After the victory, Gonzalez offered some leader-like wisdom that may have come from a certain September experience he once had.

“We’re a veteran ballclub,” Gonzalez said of his L.A. team. “We understand it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

Gonzalez’s quad appeared to be healthy enough for a sprint into the pool, and he’s not expected to miss much time as the playoffs near.