Jonny Gomes on D&C: 'I sure don't want to see [David Ortiz] in another uni'

February 24, 2014 - 5:08 am
Jonny Gomes joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., to chat about last season and preview 2014. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. The Red Sox had a short offseason due to their run to a World Series title, but Gomes said he's ready for the new campaign. "I came in a hundred percent mentally checked in," he said. "Physically, all my numbers, my strengths and the weights that you grab, your squat weights, your bench weights, your conditioning, the 20-30, the half-mile, the stuff are right on pace. So, mentally there. Obviously, we'll have to see how it pans out. But I'm right where I need to be." Gomes said the approach is the same throughout the team. "I think the makeup of who we are won't allow [a letdown] to happen. I can tell you singlehandedly, we're walking out of this place just spent -- more spent than last year. There's more drills, there's more baserunning, there's more hitting. I've won on other teams. Believe it or not, without winning the World Series on other teams, we come to camp the following year and it seems like we're having the parade during spring. Attendance is up, season tickets is up, there's more people here. Everything's great. But you didn't win last year, so why are we doing the parade. It's truly the exact opposite this year." Gomes, who has a history of playing on one-year deals, is entering the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Sox. He said his contract does not effect how he prepares. "Two-year, four-year, 10-year deal, there's one way and one speed for me to play the game," he said. David Ortiz also is entering the last year of a two-year deal, and he's made it clear he'd like an extension. "I don't have the Cooperstown resume that this guy has," Gomes said. "All I try and do is get in the lineup. "Well-deserved on his part. Understandably, what he's got going on. ... Obviously, that's probably three, four, five reasons why we play this game. We play this game to win, but there's a different element with security and whatnot for your family, and wanting to stay where you're at. So I understand where he's coming from. I guess at the end of the day, gosh, I sure don't want to see him in another uni." Looking back at 2013, Gomes said John Lackey's turnaround ranks as one of his favorite memories. "I'm not sure what I saw coming and truly was emotional for me, 'cause I've been on the other side, was how this city rallied around John Lackey," Gomes said, adding: "From him, personally, changing his whole body, overhauling his body, showing commitment. There's some people that are still in their basements at 70 or 80 years old that went through what John Lackey did. To come back and still want to wear this uniform and still want to pitch in Fenway Park after he was just annihilated ... "When I was in left field, man, and there's 40,000-whatever chanting 'Lackey, Lackey,' I about fell out. Playing the outfield, full-blown goosebumps. And then the World Series whole thing. That right there truly stands, like, this city, and like: Yup, we're going to rag you if you suck, 100 percent, but guess what? If you want to turn it around, you want to be a pro like John Lackey did, we've got you there, too." Added Gomes "It's awesome he was able to overhaul all that negativeness. He didn't want the crowd chanting 'Lackey.' It was everything in his power to tip his hat. 'Cause he's not that guy. He's a cowboy, keeps his cowboy hat down and just works on the fence 'til the sun goes down." Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at On being a role player and if he'd like to play more: "Yeah, I wanted to play every day since I got drafted. I prepare myself to play every day. I stay healthy to play every day. What I did last year I've been doing for eight years. I've only had 500 at-bats once. I don't write the lineup. That's fine. All I do is I try to be prepared when No. 5 is called upon. And No. 5 was called upon a couple of times last year for pinch-hit. So I had to shine. Do I want to play every day? I think that's simple: yes. And I think if you don't want to play every day, well, you're going to get run out of the game." On last year's team's chemistry: "Individually in stats, nothing stood out. We didn't have a top-10 MVP, we didn't have a top-10 Cy Young. Statistics didn't really stand out. But what really stood out was the brotherhood, the bond. People ask how do I describe last year. That was it. It was like a family reunion every single day. All the way 'til October 30th, we were stoked to get to the yard." On the lack of any jerks in the clubhouse: "There's truly not. I don't know if it sounds cliche or not. But whether it's Big Papi, his resume, Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], his resume, Jon Lester, his resume, they're not more important than the 29th man, than the guy who's filling a spot for an injury. They're truly not. Everyone has the equal amount of importantness, and that is extremely unique." On what he cherished most about last year: "I value the parade way more than I value the game individually. It was a pretty special run. I signed up to win a trophy, and that's what we did."