Crawford, Gonzalez and two different takes on the end of the Red Sox season
Adrian Gonzalez will surely receive some MVP votes for having hit .338 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .548 slugging percentage. He had 27 home runs, 117 RBIs and hit .337 with a .924 OPS with runners in scoring position.
Gonzalez also should be the Gold Glove first baseman. He's a terrific player.
Carl Crawford will get nothing but well-deserved scorn for his season. He hit .255/.289/.405 and by May was a player they had to hide in the lineup. His defense — by his standards — was brutal.
But how those two men handled the end of the Red Sox season was remarkably different. Stunning, really.
Gonzalez sat in a chair in front of his locker and insisted that it was all part of God's plan that the Red Sox failed to make the playoffs.
"It's definitely something that didn't plan for. We were wholly confident that we would make the playoffs but it didn't happen," he said. "We didn't do a better job with the lead. I'm a firm believer that God has a plan and it wasn't in his plan for us to move forward."
Asked what he saw from the team this month, Gonzalez stayed on his theme.
"God didn't have it in the cards for us," he said.
On Tuesday, when I asked him about the collapse of the team in general terms, Gonzalez blamed the schedule.
"We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning," Gonzalez said. "This has been my toughest season physically because of that. We play a lot of night games on Sunday for television and that those things take a lot out of you."
I told Gonzalez that teams like the Red Sox and Yankees have long had those challenges, it's part of playing for a high-profile team.
"Why does it have to be?" he said. "They can put the Padres on ESPN, too. The schedule really hurt us. Nobody is really reporting that."
Crawford, meanwhile, stood at his locker last night and answered every question thrown at him with honest, direct answers.
"It's a heartbreaker for us," he said. "It was definitely a bad feeling. It's unfortunate we didn't make it. We can only blame ourselves. We put ourselves in this position."
Crawford later said it was "embarrassing personally" to be part of the historic collapse.
"I know what kind of season I had. I know what I did," he said. "I have to go back home and live with that. It's going to be a tough offseason for me. I have to come back and prove myself."
Crawford stood only a few steps away from where Gonzalez sat. But how they handled the end of the season were miles apart. Crawford took responsibility for what happened, Gonzalez did not.
Believe if you will the amateur psychologists out there who have never met the guy and believe Crawford can't handle Boston. I think he just had a terrible season, something a lot of high-profile players go through. Being bounced around the lineup didn't help.
But at least he stood up at the end, admitted it and took responsibility for it.