Of all the everyday player anchors the Dodgers have had over the years, A-gon (Adrian Gonzalez) may be one of the least sexy. No no! Not in looks! He’s suave, of course. I mean in his style of play, and post game chitter chatter. The man is as cool as the Aqua Velva on Great-Escape-era Steve McQueen. He’s an old school grinder who, until recently, didn’t show a lot of emotion on the field. Now I use the term “grinder” a lot. I suppose it’s what I most admire in a baseball player. The season is long, and if you don’t know how to manage your brain and body and life over the course of 162 games, you’ll probably end up missing next year’s spring training…coughMatt Kempcough….
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A-gon knows himself, and how to stay an everyday presence. We almost take the guy for granted because he’s out there SO much and he’s THAT smooth. So smooth we almost didn’t notice his career high 11 errors. It didn’t effect his WAR too much, which at 4.0 is still All Star caliber. He played 157 games last year, and let’s face it, he isn’t getting younger (grinder!). To boot, he has never been a physical specimen. The man runs like a Killer Whale bit off half his leg. But still, he runs, and when he does make it to second…KABOOM goes the gesture. Now that’s gotta be a little Hanley and Uribe rubbing off. The Kaboom gesture. What we have here is basically a player-coach who the guys respect and admire and who isn’t afraid to get a little nutty now that he’s with a nutty team. I saw A-gon jump in that pool. In my humble opinion he’s a great 4 or 5 hitter–I feel like one would like a little more speed out of a 3 slot.
Photo Courtesy of The jim Henson Company
In this day and age, when roids are inflating less of our players, A-gon’s numbers are solid. Dodger stadium is not a launching pad. It’s one of the best pitchers parks in baseball ( see http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/LA/ .) He may not be crushing 40 homers a year, but thankfully we don’t depend on him to. I’ll take his 170 plus hits a year, hopefully MORE walks this year, and his Kaboom!
Here’s to another year of Gonzalez being the older brother and role model the team needs.