My favorite is Rob Deer with a Che Guevara salute after hitting a game tying three run homer into the teeth of an Easter Sunday wind. The Brewers won the game a few minutes later on Dale Sveum’s 2-run blast. It was their 12th consecutive win to start the 1987 season.
I’m not worried about the SI jinx this year because Gomez is not as the article says ” the Brewer’s table setter,” not anymore anyway. He was shifted to the clean up position right around the time SI launched its story. Gomez is 13 for 27 with a home run and eight RBI’s since making the switch. Gotta stay one step ahead of the curse I guess.
If the cover hypes up Gomez and gets him into the all-star game as a starter, I’m all for it. He’s currently fourth in the voting for outfielders. But the Gomez impact on Milwaukee is bigger than any gold glove, silver slugger award or all-star appearance.
The 28-year old is a godsend for a franchise and city that endured 2 years of Ryan Braun fiasco. The Braun image is bio genesis and muddy and probably always will be. I don’t like to admit it, but I compensate for the gash by cheering Gomez even louder.
It’s with great relief that Gomez runs out of his shoes and hits for power and takes away home runs with some of the greatest defense in the world. And oh yeh, he’s also learning how to play the marketing game; hugging a teenage girl fan, bringing her to tears and then inviting her onto the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. And he runs and runs and runs; even after hitting a home run.
It’s Babe Ruthian in its charm at a time when most Dominican Republic born players get judged as being overly effusive and dramatic.
Gomez is king now, but the hype is nothing new. He’s been praised since he was 16 years old and made a brief appearance in the 2008 documentary –Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas; available on you tube. See below.
The Mets signed Gomez as a 17-year old top prospect out of the Dominican Republic and then used him as a trade chip in 2008 to acquire maybe baseball’s best pitcher-Johan Santana. The Mets gave up on Gomez. And the Twins didn’t put up with him very long; trading him to Milwaukee the following year.
Only the Brewers organization seemed interested, but still, he didn’t come cheap. The Brewers traded one of baseball’s best all around shortstops in JJ Hardy to get Gomez from the Twins.
The Brewers believed in his ability and now his story is mainstream. Gomez is loved again. He is the OPS poster boy and Don Juan to teenage girls. He’s excitable and out spoken and provokes the opposition. He loves baseball.
The Brewers never tried to change him. If his helmet popped off during one of Gomez’s swing like there’s no tomorrow, then so be it. If he fell over from the force of his swing,.oh well. If he tried to stretch a double into a triple and was thrown out with the team trailing 2-1 in the 8th inning, “That’s part of the deal with Go Go Gomez,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Gomez was in the clean up position again Friday night when the Brewers hosted/demolished the Cubs, smashing line drives all over the field in the first inning. Braun launched an opposite field 2-run homer-his first at Miller Park since May of last year. The Brewers led 6-0 in the second inning.
Kudos to Braun for accepting manager Ron Roenicke’s brilliant shuffle of the batting order. There was a dull moment a few weeks ago. The Brewers had lost four in a row, but were still in first place when Roenicke made the change. How many big time number 3 hitters accept a switch to the 2 spot? Well, Braun is 13 for 27 with a home run and seven RBI’s and Segura as the lead off man is 14 for 38. And Gomez says batting fourth feels”sexy.” The new Brewers have won five of seven games.
Final score last night; Brewers 11, Cubs 5. The Brewers are 33-22.
The Road to the Big Leagues features a short clip of Gomez as a teenager; beginning at 20:37.