On Friday the Rays chose not to offer Jonny Gomes arbitration. The move most likely ended Gomes’ career with the Rays.
Marc Topkin spoke with Gomes, who indicated that he would be open to a rejoining the Rays on a minor league deal if he is unable to find major league work someplace else. Gomes is also in the process of exploring options to improve his vision (that explains drinking beer out of an athletic cup) and feels being drafted by the Rays may have saved his life.
“If it wasn’t for the Rays, I’d probably be in Iraq right now,” Gomes said Saturday. “Back in ’01, I had two contracts in front of me, one to go play for the Rays as an 18th-round draft pick and one to go into the Marines…So I may owe the Rays my life. I’m one of the few people who leaves the Rays with a smile.”
We will certainly miss Gomes’ enthusiasm. And we will miss his aggressiveness. And we will miss his ability to always steal second base with two outs to get into scoring position. And we will miss his honesty (when asked how the team felt about Evan Longoria being demoted, he answered that the only person that liked the move was the triple-A manager). But we won’t miss his “Keystone Kops” routine in the outfield or his penchant for thinking one home run was a sign of more to come or how he swung at over 50% of pitches that were out of the strike zone (seriously).
So, with Gomes’ career with the Rays now in the rear view mirror, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite stories of Gomes. Have your own favorite Jonny Terrific story? Let’s hear it in the comments.
Jonny Gomes Webtopia…
- Teams learned not to mess with the Rays as long as he was on the team. [Yankees Play Dirty After Whining About Clean Play]
- Our love affair with Gomes began early on and may have had something to do with how much he used to look like a certain TV teacher. [Hey Mr. Gomes...Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose!]
- But that took a big hit when he started looking more like the ex-Mr. Brittany Spears. [Separated At Birth?]
- The again, who can deny his animal magnetism. [Bugs and Cranks]
- We would be remiss if we did not point out the great work Gomes did with children with cancer. [MLB]
- And he looks like he could have kicked our ass, even when he was 12. [Pearls of Wisdom]
- Gomes had an interesting (to say the least) choice of walk-up music prior to his at bats. We always wondered why a team like the Rays, that strives to be a family-friendly atmosphere, allowed that song to be played. [Jonny Gomes Is A Crazy B!tch]
- Gomes is the only player in baseball that can drink beer from an athletic cup and people are not surprised. [Bugs and Cranks]
- Or show up for warm ups with an axe. [Bugs and Cranks]
- He once showed up in the clubhouse with a “good luck” rooster. [MLB]
- We could never get over Gomes’ inability to button his jersey. [Jonny Gomes: DH/Outfielder For The...RAAYS?]
- But we loved his appearance in the “History of the Fist Bump.” [The Fist Bump: All The Cool Kids Are Doing It]
- What could have been…if only the Rays let him practice against right handed pitchers. [Jonny Gomes Never Even Got To Hit Against Right-Handers In Batting Practice]
Departed Jonny Gomes appreciates time with Tampa Bay Rays [St. Pete Times]