Many fans, analysts, and players know that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox will be more of a competition in 2014. One player, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, though not excited for his team’s intense rivalry with the recently retooled Yankees, he does understand why others are.
Gomes, a key bench player for the Red Sox during their championship run in 2013, has always had a knack for stirring up controversy and this year is no different.
Earlier this offseason, Gomes had some choice words for the Yankees recent spending and new acquisitions. “It’s kind of interesting, though — $500 million and still some questions,” was what Gomes said after the Yankees signed Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka to a contract worth $155 million over the next seven seasons. He didn’t stop there. “You’ve got (free agent catcher Brian) McCann who hasn’t been in the American League before, the pitcher (Masahiro Tanaka) who hasn’t pitched a game over here. They’ve got some guys playing different positions.” Those words will be remembered as the first of many shots fired by both the Yankees and the Red Sox.
Now, almost a month later, Gomes has some words about the rivalry between his club and the Bronx Bombers. “At the end of the day, it’s like reality TV – you’re just waiting for something to happen.” Though this is him admitting to understanding other people’s excitement for when the two team’s face-off, this doesn’t mean he’s excited. “It makes for good TV and it makes for good Google hits. But it doesn’t do (anything) for me as a player.”
Gomes, 33, will likely spend 2014 as part of a platoon in left field with Daniel Nava, who will likely see most of his playing time come against right-handed pitchers. Gomes will see mostly southpaws. He hit .247/.344/.426 with 13 home runs, 52 RBI, and an OPS+ of 111 in 2013.