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WVRedsFan
01-25-2009, 02:15 AM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090123&content_id=3766758&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

CINCINNATI --- Newest Reds player Jonny Gomes is ready to do what it takes for his new team and make the roster out of Spring Training.
"I want to offer everything and say no to nothing," said Gomes, the free-agent outfielder who signed a Minor League contract with Cincinnati on Monday.

At the moment, a few possibilities appear to be on the table for Gomes. The Reds have a vacancy in left field, and Gomes will join Jerry Hairston Jr., Chris Dickerson, Norris Hopper and Laynce Nix as suitors for the spot.

"He's a guy we thought could compete for our bench and compete for the spot in left field, either every day or a platoon spot," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "This is a guy I've followed over his career and always liked him a lot. He had an off year last year, but if he turns it around, in our ballpark, he has a chance to hit some home runs."

Non-tendered by the Rays after a rough 2008 season where he batted .182 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 77 games, Gomes could become quite a bargain should he have a rebound season in Cincinnati.

Still just 28 years old, Gomes can earn a base salary of $600,000 if he makes the Reds 25-man roster and another $200,000 in incentives. Cincinnati has had some good fortune with players it has taken fliers on in recent seasons. Two years ago, Josh Hamilton went from a suspended drug user to a Rule 5 pick who had a breakout rookie season. In 2008, Hairston signed a Minor League deal with the Reds worth $500,000 during Spring Training and emerged as a key contributor and was re-signed as a free agent for one year at $2 million.

"I've spoken to Jonny and some people in Tampa about him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The guy has some serious pop. We're going to give him an opportunity to make the club first. I explained to him that it could be a platoon situation here. We went from very few outfielders to a lot of quality outfielders in a short period of time. We need a right-handed bat."

Last season with the Rays, Gomes was squeezed out of his starting outfield spot and became a role player who yielded poor results. By August, he was sent down to Triple-A and, after a September call up, was left off of Tampa Bay's postseason roster all the way through the World Series.

"I don't think my game went down," Gomes said on Thursday afternoon. "I don't need to do anything different. It was a new regime in Tampa that made changes. It worked out great for them but I wasn't in the plans."

Gomes hasn't yet been able to match an overall solid 2005 rookie season for Tampa Bay when he batted .282 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs in 101 games. He had 20 homers and 59 RBIs in 2006, but a .216 average. He batted .244 with 17 homers in 2007.

Over his career, Gomes has a .329 on-base percentage and he's struck out almost three times more than he's walked (413 to 151). Reports out of Tampa Bay indicate that his non-fundamental swing requires him to play a lot to stay in a groove, and Gomes will admit that he can be streaky.

"I'm a high-maintenance player that has a lot of ups and downs," Gomes said. "I need to gradually grow and cut out all the peaks and valleys. When I have a manager that's patient with me, I'll have some good numbers in the end.
"When I roll into camp, I'd love to say now that my numbers will be .280 with 30 homers and 25 steals. I can't promise that, but I will respect the game and hustle. That's what you'll get every day."

In a Rays organization that featured elite outfielders like Rocco Baldelli, Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton, Gomes was not known for defensive prowess, but says can play all three outfield positions. He's only played the corner spots in the Majors.

"I told him he has to work hard, come to camp in great shape, work on his footwork and improve his defensive skills," Baker said.

Gomes resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the offseason and works out at the same athletic performance facility as Hairston and Dickerson -- two players he could end up sharing left field playing time.

While hoping to get at least 450 at-bats this season, Gomes is prepared to platoon.

"I will keep my game in shape -- my arm, my base running and my hitting -- so that when my number is called, I will be ready," Gomes said.

redsfan4445
01-25-2009, 03:20 AM
Love his attitude :) i hope he is a steal in the free agent signings and does well..

Highlifeman21
01-25-2009, 09:48 AM
I hope we see a LF platoon of Nix and Gomes for 2009, since Dickerson is our best defensive CF, and most likely our best offensive CF.

I know, I know... Willy Taveras is our CF and leadoff man, and wasn't brought in for depth.

But I can still hope, right?

Redhook
01-25-2009, 10:48 AM
I hope we see a LF platoon of Nix and Gomes for 2009, since Dickerson is our best defensive CF, and most likely our best offensive CF.

I know, I know... Willy Taveras is our CF and leadoff man, and wasn't brought in for depth.

But I can still hope, right?

I hope so too, but it ain't happenin'.

I just wonder if the Reds would've signed Taveras if Dickerson stayed healthy last year??? I'm guessing they probably would have, but it's still worth questioning. It's obvious Dickerson is better, but the Reds don't seem to trust his ability to stay healthy.

Kc61
01-25-2009, 12:39 PM
I hope we see a LF platoon of Nix and Gomes for 2009, since Dickerson is our best defensive CF, and most likely our best offensive CF.

I know, I know... Willy Taveras is our CF and leadoff man, and wasn't brought in for depth.

But I can still hope, right?


Nix, Gomes and Dickerson. What's the MLB strikeout record for an outfield?

And we thought Dunn didn't make a lot of contact.

What happened to the new "more contact, fewer strikeouts" Reds?

TheBurn
01-25-2009, 01:08 PM
"When I roll into camp, I'd love to say now that my numbers will be .280 with 30 homers and 25 steals. I can't promise that, but I will respect the game and hustle. That's what you'll get every day."
Dig it...
We could use a lot more of that!

RedEye
01-25-2009, 03:10 PM
"I can't promise that, but I will respect the game and hustle."

Good to know that he's going to respect and hustle his way into that alarming amount of outs he makes.

princeton
01-25-2009, 03:35 PM
"This outfield sucks so badly that if I can't make it here, I'm going to retire," added Gomes.

RedEye
01-25-2009, 06:06 PM
"This outfield sucks so badly that if I can't make it here, I'm going to retire," added Gomes.

:bowrofl:

WVRedsFan
01-25-2009, 06:16 PM
"This outfield sucks so badly that if I can't make it here, I'm going to retire," added Gomes.
I'm sure he'll be well respected in the locker room.

Sometimes honesty is not the best policy...

OnBaseMachine
01-25-2009, 07:46 PM
I'm sure he'll be well respected in the locker room.

Sometimes honesty is not the best policy...

I think princeton just added that quote as a joke. Gomes didn't really say that. :)

RedEye
01-26-2009, 10:52 PM
I think princeton just added that quote as a joke. Gomes didn't really say that. :)

If he did really say that, I think I will reverse my opinion and start rooting for him to play every day. A player like that would just be worth having on the team for comedy's sake. Sort of like having Ozzie Guillen as your manager, but not as high-risk.

IowaRed
01-26-2009, 10:58 PM
[url]

"I've spoken to Jonny and some people in Tampa about him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The guy has some serious pop. We're going to give him an opportunity to make the club first. I explained to him that it could be a platoon situation here. We went from very few outfielders to a lot of quality outfielders in a short period of time.

Well there is the first good news I've seen in a long time. The Reds obviously have several yet to be named outfielders about to join the team.

Rounding Third
01-27-2009, 12:25 AM
Dusty Baker maybe the stupidest person on the entire planet

Emin3mShady07
01-27-2009, 12:30 AM
If he did really say that, I think I will reverse my opinion and start rooting for him to play every day. A player like that would just be worth having on the team for comedy's sake. Sort of like having Ozzie Guillen as your manager, but not as high-risk.

Having Ozzie sucks, at least from my POV. The guy openly blamed the white sox offense last year for the reason they were not as good as they should have been in the playoffs and for that matter the regular season. There is just something obviously wrong with a guy that thought Ken Griffey would be a better defensive CFer than a LFer. Or that batting AJ pierzynski in the 2 hole sparked the offense.

RedEye
01-27-2009, 12:34 AM
Having Ozzie sucks, at least from my POV. The guy openly blamed the white sox offense last year for the reason they were not as good as they should have been in the playoffs and for that matter the regular season. There is just something obviously wrong with a guy that thought Ken Griffey would be a better defensive CFer than a LFer. Or that batting AJ pierzynski in the 2 hole sparked the offense.

No, I know. That was a bad comparison. All I meant was that he is good for a chuckle once in awhile. The guy just doesn't seem to have a filter when he talks. If Jonny Gomes had said something like the made-up quote princeton wrote, he would be like a player version of that.

Okay... I realize my logic is getting pretty far afield now. Time to go to bed.

*BaseClogger*
01-27-2009, 12:40 AM
No, I know. That was a bad comparison. All I meant was that he is good for a chuckle once in awhile. The guy just doesn't seem to have a filter when he talks. If Jonny Gomes had said something like the made-up quote princeton wrote, he would be like a player version of that.

Okay... I realize my logic is getting pretty far afield now. Time to go to bed.

Well, Dusty Baker does give me a good chuckle every now and then, by I know what Shady means. When it's your own team it ain't nearly as funny...

Emin3mShady07
01-27-2009, 12:40 AM
I'll admit when he called Jay Marrioti a derogatory for a homosexual I laughed for a week. So yeah, sometimes he does bring comic relief.

camisadelgolf
01-27-2009, 01:07 AM
Dusty has a lot of off color jokes. A friend of mine ran into him at a bar, and apparently Baker was saying all kinds of jokes we couldn't say in front of children.

jmcclain19
01-31-2009, 09:36 PM
Dusty has a lot of off color jokes. A friend of mine ran into him at a bar, and apparently Baker was saying all kinds of jokes we couldn't say in front of children.

That's probably why he gets along so well with Thom. Two kindred spirits.

OnBaseMachine
02-05-2009, 10:27 PM
The negatives on Jonny are that he only hit .182 last year, strikes out a ton, and plays brutal defense. Still, the guy has serious power. He's got 1264 big league at bats, and 66 homers to go with a .455 slugging percentage and 105 OPS+. His minor league track record says the same thing, the dude has power.

In his favor, he's moving from baseball's toughest division to the National League central, a very good homerun hitting park, and some other good hitter's parks among his divisional opponents (Wrigley, Houston). I think Jonny is going to win a starting job in spring training (Reds OF then being him, Tavares in center, and Bruce in right), and hit a bunch of homers. If he plays every day I think he'll hit 30. He'll also strike out 150+ times, and play crappy defense. They've pretty much replaced 90% of Adam Dunn for a little over the league minimum. Jonny is a good player to watch for if you wonder if there will be a Ryan Ludwick of 2009.

http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2009/01/rally-on-jonny-gomes.html
http://lanaheimangelfan.blogspot.com/2009/01/player-of-day-jonny-gomes.html

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2009, 06:38 PM
Gomes' life a lesson in perseverance
Slugging outfielder trying to work his way onto Reds' roster

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. --- Only 28, outfielder Jonny Gomes has already lived through a heart attack, a car accident that claimed the life of his best friend and time living homeless as a teen.

None of those life-changing moments has sapped his intensity for playing or his desire to keep things loose in the clubhouse. And if he makes the Reds as a non-roster player this spring, teammates will know immediately that he will really have their backs without being asked.

Last season during the playoffs for the Rays, Gomes was often the guy with the mohawk shown on TV from the top step of Tampa Bay's dugout, supporting and congratulating teammates. And he wasn't even on the postseason roster.

"That stuff isn't going to win you a ballgame. It's not going to lose you a ballgame either," Gomes said on Friday. "But with the long haul that we're in, we have to keep it a tight-knit family. There are so many peaks and valleys during a season, you have to keep the guys loose. Let them play for today and not drag a loss to the following day."

Gomes was also the one who frequented early-season highlights in a different way last year. When the Yankees' Shelley Duncan slid hard into Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura in a Spring Training game, Gomes ran in from right field and jumped on Duncan to start a bench-clearing brawl.

Against the Red Sox in June, when Boston's Coco Crisp rushed the mound and pitcher James Shields, Gomes found his way into the bottom of the heap and was found punching Crisp on the ground. Both incidents earned Gomes suspensions from Major League Baseball.

"On the other side of those peaks and valleys and laughs and cries, we have to be a brotherhood," Gomes said. "Just like your family back home, if someone messes around with them, you have to step in and not get bullied around."

This year, after being signed to a Minor League deal, Gomes is looking for the proverbial fresh start and trying to fit his way into Cincinnati's crowded left-field picture. He was non-tendered by the Rays after he batted .182 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 77 games. Optioned to Triple-A in August, he returned as a September callup but was not added for the postseason.

Not long ago, Gomes was one of the Rays' rising stars. Finishing third in the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year voting, he hit .282 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs in 101 games. He had 20 homers and 59 RBIs in '06 but a .216 average. He batted .244 with 17 homers in '07.

If Gomes makes the Reds' roster out of camp, he will earn a base salary of $600,000, with another $200,000 in incentives possible. During his offseasons, Gomes works with former Reds star Kevin Mitchell on his hitting, and Mitchell was one of the people that gave Reds manager Dusty Baker a scouting report. If he gets back to his more-successful era, Gomes could be quite a bargain for Cincinnati.

"They said he's a heck of a guy, a great teammate that works hard," Baker said. "[He has] tremendous power and was on the way up and for whatever reason, fell. They said he was a better-than-they-give-him-credit-for outfielder. He works hard. He'll never be a great outfielder, but if he works at it, he'll be decent."

The past three seasons, Gomes was mostly used as a platoon player. After his rookie year, manager Joe Maddon took over the team, and Gomes didn't fit squarely into the plans. He lacks a conventional swing and was susceptible to streaky play, which isn't a good thing when you're not playing regularly.

"Not to be negative, their style of play, coaching and winning was a platoon in right field," Gomes said. "Over in Tampa when I was sitting on the bench, everyone was pretty much waiting for me to crack. They were waiting for me to flip a desk or demand a trade -- pretty much what other people have done in Tampa in my situation. But those things made me the person I am. I'm lucky to have a big league uniform on my back. I don't want to just take it for granted that I'm wearing it. I want to succeed in it."

Gomes doesn't take life for granted, either, because he has been at the very edge of losing it -- twice. On Christmas Eve 2002, after just turning 23, he suffered a heart attack. Because of his age and good health habits (eight percent body fat), he thought the chest pains he felt were indigestion from the big Mexican dinner he ate and didn't immediately seek treatment. In fact, he went to sleep through the night.

After 27 hours and only when he stopped breathing and collapsed, was the seriousness of the dilemma known. Gomes later learned he had a clogged artery and needed an angioplasty procedure.

"That's a whole other bag of worms there," Gomes said. "You're lying on that hospital bed there and look up and see the light. The doctor is telling you 'We don't know, we don't know.' You battle through it, and they tell you your heart rate needs to be down and it means you can't be active. It takes away pretty much my life. It was a good little adversity check young in my career."

In 1997, while in high school in Petaluma, Calif., Gomes was a passenger in a car accident that took the life of best friend Adam Westcott. One of the many tattoos he has includes the initials "A.W." For a time during his teenage years, it was reported that he and his mother lived in a homeless shelter.

"It's been a bumpy road," Gomes said of his life.

In baseball at the moment, the road is without a guaranteed destination. Besides Gomes, the Reds have Chris Dickerson, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Jacque Jones among those jockeying for the vacant spot in left field. It could end up being a platoon situation, which Gomes isn't opposed to. He felt good about his chances for making the team.

"The main thing is I came into camp 100 percent healthy, willing to do everything," he said. "It's an old-fashioned tryout. We're not trying to hurt feelings or make friends, we're trying to win ballgames. May the best 25 win."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090220&content_id=3856246&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2009, 06:45 PM
That's a great article. It sounds like Gomes has been through a lot.

I'm rooting for Gomes to make the team. I've always been a big fan of Jonny Gomes. I can remember about three or four years ago making a thread lobbying for the Reds to acquire him. He hasn't developed into the 35 homer, .360+ OBP hitter than I thought he would be by now, but he's still carved out a solid career to this point. As it's been pointed out numerous times, Gomes hit lefties very well (.266/.369/.510 - .879 OPS in 479 PA's vs LHP). If the Reds use him properly (in a platoon with Dickerson) he could turn out to be a very good pickup, IMO.