Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning as he prepared to face his former team, the Padres, Monday night at Fenway Park.
Gonzalez discussed his positive approach to hitting and how he tries not to get too down after a tough at-bat.
"This game's all about failure," he said. "I always tell my teammates that. If I'm 0-for-4, in a way I'm happier than most people who would be, because I failed four times in a row and more often than not, the next one's going to be a good one. I just try to take that mentality all the time, and have fun with the game, enjoy the game. If I feel like a pitcher's dominating me, I'll ask Tito [Francona], 'Are you sure you don't want to take me out here? I have not been doing pretty good against this guy so far. If I do [stay in], I'll try something new.' Just having fun with the game and enjoying it and trying the best to succeed every time."
Gonzalez talked about his relationship with David Ortiz, as the two frequently have been spotted in the dugout talking strategy. Most people have assumed Gonzalez has played a role in helping Ortiz regain his stroke, but Gonzalez downplayed his impact.
"David has been unbelievable," Gonzalez said. "He's an incredible hitter and he's done everything on his own. There's a lot of times that we will talk about hitting, and I really do love talking about hitting. For me, hitting is something that I always tell: Hitting is easy; we make it difficult. If you were to put the ball on a tee and tell somebody, 'Hit it where you want to,' you should be able to. But once we get into the box, we start thinking about all these things. We start thinking about, 'Is he going to pitch me in? Is he going to pitch me away?'
"We're always talking about — for me, I'm like, just focus on side of the plate or the other. Don't try to hit everything. Don't try to hit every pitch, the hard and the slow. Just focus on one side of the plate or soft or hard or whatever. Just focus on that. When I talk about hitting, those are the things I talk about.
"For me, with Papi, he's been an incredible help for me as well. And I know that there's been a lot of times that he comes to me and he's just asking me, 'Hey, what's this pitcher got?' Or, 'What do see on him on video?' And I'll relay what I've seen, what I've done. We've just had a great relationship. It's worked really well both ways. He's helped me a ton, and I think I've helped him a little bit."
Following this three-game series with the Padres, the Sox embark on a nine-game interleague road trip. With Ortiz hitting the ball at an impressive clip, there has been some speculation that Gonzalez might make an appearance in the outfield so both sluggers can remain in the lineup. Gonzalez sounded open to the possibility.
"I don't know. We’ll see how it goes," Gonzalez said. "I have played the outfield in winter ball as well. When I was in Texas, Mark Teixeira was the first baseman. So in order for me to get into the lineup, I’d have to try it out in September in right and then I went and played winter ball, I played right field in winter ball.
"As we all know, I’m not fleet-footed, I’m not going to be able to cover a lot of ground or do anything in the outfield. But if it’s a fly ball, I should be able to catch it. I don't know what we're going to do. I haven’t talked to the coaches about it, so I really don’t know. If anything, we’ll mix and match there, and I’m sure we’re going to make sure that Papi gets his at-bats so he stays in rhythm and stays in the game and in the lineup."
For more on Gonzalez' experience as an outfielder, click here .
For a complete transcription of the conversation, check the Full Count blog . To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page . For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox .