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Adrian Gonzalez on D&C: David Ortiz would win footrace

02.21.11 at 8:22 am ET
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Adrian Gonzalez (left) told D&C he will inherit the title of team's slowest baserunner from David Ortiz. (AP)

A few days into his first spring training with the Red Sox, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez stopped by for a visit with Dennis & Callahan Monday morning in Fort Myers, Fla. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Gonzalez said he isn’t worried that the intense following in this town will be a distraction for him. “I love the game of baseball. I [couldn't] care less what’s going on outside of the game,” he said. “Once you step in between those lines, you’re just playing the game. You forget about everything else and you’re just having fun with it. You’ll notice that for me, once the game starts, everything else is out of my head and the only thing I’m focused on is winning that game.”

Asked about the atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse, Gonzalez indicated the players understand what’s expected of them. “The Padres clubhouse is a lot more laid-back,” he said. “It’s more, I would say, more of a somewhat relaxed [group]. Here it’s very relaxed. But over there, there’s nothing that could go wrong in the Padres clubhouse. Everybody’s having fun. It’s more quiet here. There’s more personalities. But everybody knows that the only good thing that can come out of the season is winning the World Series.”

Gonzalez grew up in San Diego but always has been a fan of the Red Sox. “It’s an organization that as a kid I followed,” he said. “I always enjoyed watching. I always loved watching players that were with Red Sox growing up — Wade Boggs. I always enjoyed on film, not live, but Ted Williams, things like that. I always loved the Red Sox. It just seemed like a perfect fit, and when the trade was made, it was something that I was excited about.”

A surgically repaired shoulder has limited Gonzalez in the opening days of spring training, but he insists he’ll be ready for Opening Day and has no plans to take any time off. “I played the whole season last year hurt,” he said. “It’s just to what degree of hurt you’re talking about. If it’s something that you can just throw some tape on, get some treatment, maybe take an anti-inflammatory pill or something, and you can get out there, you’re good to go. I don’t like to be in the dugout. I don’t like to take a day off. I like to be in every single game. My goal is to play 162-plus every year.”

Asked if he thinks he’s a better hitter or fielder, Gonzalez said: “I’d say fielding comes easier to me than hitting.”

Gonzalez said he has good agility and quickness around the bag, but he would “definitely” lose in a race to David Ortiz. “Straight ahead, I’m the slowest guy you’ll find,” he said. “You’ll find out, trust me. When I get thrown out the first time, you’ll be like, ‘Man, he didn’t make it?’ And then you’ll go back and watch the video and you’ll see I went as hard as I can out of the box.”

Read More: adrian gonzalez, David Ortiz, Ted Williams, Wade Boggs
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