From Cold to Cool

How cool is Adrian Gonzalez?

Well, I’m pretty sure you could store egg salad sandwiches in his pants.

The band has a new drummer, and everybody feels better. They didn’t realize how much they missed having an awesome drummer who was also cool.

The 2010 Red Sox were not cool. They were cold – emotionless. They did the job (usually), and went home. David Ortiz had his moments, and Tek wore his heart on his sleeve as always, but their quiet intensity was often too quiet, like an awkward silence.

That’s all gone now, because of one man, who (Bonus!) is hitting about .350. Gonzalez is so good (just named Player of the Month for June) that he never gets the label “clubhouse guy,” but he clearly is a clubhouse guy. When he had a slow start, he never panicked, and the rest of the team (starting even more slowly) didn’t panic either. That’s not patience. It’s confidence.

When the dual acquisitions were announced, I was much more excited about Carl Crawford. It was nice to hear the Sox were getting a guy who was tearing up the league, but it was the wrong league. Crawford would bring spirit and energy, I thought (and I still think). But AG has brought something the team needed more – an identity.

I am trying not to compare him to Manny. I might be the last guy in town who liked Manny, who remains the only Red Sox player who never worried me. A Manny “slump” would last about four games, tops, and then that opposite field hit would come. A week later, he’d be on fire.

Gonzalez hasn’t proven that, yet, but it seems pretty clear that he’s more of a team player. No one feels intimidated by him, except opposing pitchers. I loved his quote last week about RBIs being a team stat. Sure, the stat guys say that, but I've never heard a player say that about RBIs, especially one who had a lot of them.

Gonzales is like the proverbial guy you want around in case there’s trouble at a bar. But in fact, there wouldn’t be trouble, because he’s there. Pax Adriana.

And that is just cool.