Quick hits: Gonzalez with Adam Jones

February, 15, 2012

Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was on ESPN Boston Radio with Adam Jones on Wednesday (listen HERE) and discussed a number of topics, including ...

* Was leadership an issue last season?: "No, not at all. It has nothing to do with leadership. It has to do with playing the game, making things go your way. When the ball is hit to you, make the play and help out the pitcher. When it's your time at the plate, take your walk if you need to. If you get a pitch to hit, take your best hack at it."

* Describe yourself as a leader: "I'm more of a leader by example, but I can be a guy that takes a guy to the side and talks to them. I think I'm more of a mentor than a guy that will yell at the team, and try to hype the team up in that sense. I'll make sure everybody's comfortable and happy and things are going well so each individual player can play to their full potential."

* Take anyone under your wing last season?: "No, not at all. Last year I came in to a team that had leaders in place and didn't want to step on anybody's toes."

* More comfortable in a leadership role this season?: "Yeah, definitely. There's things that I saw and noticed that I'm not going to leave unaddressed if they need to be (addressed). With Bobby (Valentine) being our manager now, he's going to set a lot of ground rules for that too."

* Shoulder impacted him last season: "More than anything your body gets to a point where you try to do the best you can. I wouldn't say I had a bad second half. I still hit over .300. My home runs went down, but overall it was an OK second half. I can grow from it. Now that I am 100 percent healthy hopefully I'll be able to keep the same pace throughout the whole season."

* Fair to say you lost strength toward the end of the season?: "Yeah. I had different things going on with the shoulder going into the second half. It definitely had an effect. I'm not a person that will say that's the reason because I was on the field and still playing."

* Healthy now?: "Fully healthy. There isn't any issue in any part of my body right now."

* Reaction to his 'God has a plan' comment that he caught heat for: "It was more a reaction that I didn't have words that could explain what happened (during the team's September collapse). When you don't have words, the way I am, I turn to God. If a person doesn't believe in God they're not going to understand it, they're not going to get where I'm coming from. But if a person does believe they'll know exactly where I'm coming from."

* On new manager Bobby Valentine, whom he met with last week in Boston: "I think he's great. I've had a few conversations with him and where he's coming from and what he's thinking, especially how he wants to set the tone in spring training and go from there. A great baseball thinking man who has a lot of knowledge and a lot of expectations for us."

* What he and Valentine talked about: "We chatted a little bit about things from last year, my take on things, and how we can make things better."

Gonzalez was also on SportsCenter (video at top) and was asked about reports that some pitchers were in the clubhouse occasionally drinking beer and eating fried chicken while the Sox during their free-fall. Here's his answer:

“We just didn’t play good baseball. People have to eat, whether it’s chicken or steak. … More than anything it was just the fact we didn’t play good baseball. We didn’t play good defense for our pitchers, we didn’t get those timely hits that we needed to to bring in that extra run. We didn’t prevent enough runs. It was a team as a whole that failed. We look forward to erasing that and getting back into the playoffs.”



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