Jonny Gomes is about as American as it gets, so perhaps it should come as no surprise the former major league outfielder already has returned to the United States after a short stint in Japan.
That’s not to say Gomes hated Japan or anything. He probably had some great times. Gomes is a vocal clubhouse presence, though, and it sounds like the language barrier proved too much.
“I hated not being able to talk to all my teammates because of the language,” Gomes told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal after recently leaving the Rakuten Golden Eagles by mutual consent to return to the U.S. “I would just sit in front of my locker solo and sit in the dugout and couldn’t talk.
“The earthquake also was scary — if something happened, I couldn’t communicate. Everything else was awesome. Great team, city, food, all of the above.”
Of course, Gomes’ production likely played a role in his departure, too, as he hit just .169 with a .526 OPS in 75 plate appearances for Rakuten. Just don’t expect the 35-year-old’s confidence to waver upon returning to the States. He still has his sights set on getting back to the majors.
“Yeah, I want to play,” Gomes told Rosenthal. “I want to play when I’m 50 but I understand where I am and where the game is right now.
“I also know I can bring way more to a team than my numbers, and I don’t think that’s blowing smoke with my past.”
Gomes wore an American flag suit to the White House after the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. He also carried around Old Glory while giving a speech on stage during the Kansas City Royals’ 2015 World Series celebration.
The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave — never mind Major League Baseball — changed a little bit while Gomes tested his baseball chops in a different country. But now, he’s back and ready for the next chapter in what’s been an interesting journey.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images