Carlos Gomez was my favorite Brewers player.
I'm not sure how long that's been true, exactly, but it really, really, really hurts to use 'was' instead of 'is'. When the Brewers first were rumored to be trading Gomez on Wednesday night, it felt like a complete punch in the gut. Then he wasn't traded, and this sense of relief washed over me.
That's my emotional, fan side talking. Because when I think about it logically, I know that trading Gomez was the right thing to do for the Brewers as a team if they wanted to better their team for the future. That's the logical thing. Sometimes, logical hurts though. Cheering for Gomez felt like cheering for a player, not cheering for laundry.
Now, Gomez has been traded again and that hurts, again. Another gut-punch. It's exciting -- the Brewers are getting what looks like a fantastic return -- but exciting can be both a positive and a negative thing. Exciting can be confusing. Breaking up with a girlfriend can be exciting, getting fired from a job can be exciting, seeing your favorite player traded can be exciting.
Carlos Gomez endeared himself to me like no player has endeared themselves to me before. It's completely true, I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a Brewers player as much as I enjoy(ed) Gomez. Prince Fielder, maybe, is the closest approximation of this feeling that I can remember.
If you've been reading Brew Crew Ball for a while, you know that I try to look at the bright side of things. My philosophy is that sports are supposed to be fun, and sometimes we all take them way too seriously. I'm guilty of taking things too seriously, but I try not to. Carlos Gomez made things fun. When the Brewers struggled, Carlos Gomez was out there talking about googling what rich people do, feeling sexy in his pants, swinging so hard his helmet fell off, then swinging so hard again and launching a ball into the atmosphere.
Carlos Gomez would make the most outstanding catches you could imagine in center field. An opposing batter would line a ball into the gap that had every right to fall in for a double or triple and Gomez would be under it in a heartbeat. He made it look easy.
Carlos Gomez would get on base and steal second base, then third, then take home when the catcher lets a pitch get just a little bit away from him. Carlos Gomez would also let his eagerness get the best of him and make boneheaded baserunning mistakes.
Carlos Gomez would flip his bat, Carlos Gomez would show emotion, Carlos Gomez had fun. That last one is the most important thing. Carlos Gomez plays baseball because he enjoys playing baseball. Sometimes, you can see it looking like a job to certain players. Gomez loved every second of his time on the field, you could tell.
Carlos Gomez would do this:
And say this:
Asked whether he's hurt, Carlos Gomez said, "I don't have no problems. I'm playing, and I feel really sexy about it."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 30, 2015
and would always be quick to let us know what mattered most to him
Carlos Gomez is one of the most likable people in baseball. And for five and a half years, we got to enjoy him.
Now it's time to share Gomez with another team, and let the Astros and their fans learn how great he is. It hurts really bad to see him go, though it's the right baseball decision for the Brewers to make. Sometimes baseball decisions suck, though.
Thank you, Carlos Gomez, for five and a half years of making baseball fun. I'm going to miss having you on the team for which I root, but now I'm cheering for the Astros to reach the World Series. Good luck in Houston!