The gift of leadership also eluded Adrian Gonzalez. On the field, Gonzalez's overall production was superb, but he provided none of the energy or passion off the field that the Sox sorely needed. His most unfortunate act in September was grousing about the Sox schedule, which required the team to play five getaway games on Sunday nights.
"We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning," Gonzalez complained. "This has been my toughest season physically because of that."
Blaming five stressful nights over a six-month season for a tough year smacked of the self-interest that is uncommon among leaders of championship-caliber teams.
I just love that last sentence. That's a clown car of a sentence. It manages to be ignorant and smarmy and airily mean-spirited all at once. "Uncommon"? The leader of the last two World Series-winning Red Sox teams was a walking monument to self-interest.
Besides, is it really an outrageous lack of leadership to suggest, in response to a reporter's question, that a quirk of the schedule might have had something to do with the Red Sox's falling down a well in September? Is this explanation any less plausible than the notion that the Red Sox lost 21 of their last 29 because of fried takeout? So Gonzalez isn't manfully living up to the toy morality of the press box. The guy hit .318/.455/.523 the last month of the season. What the hell is he supposed to say, anyway? "You're right, fellas—the rest of the guys stank up all of Kenmore Square because of various deficiencies in their personality and my overall lack of bounding and hand-clapping in the clubhouse"?