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Carlos Gomez: Hot-Headed or High-Intensity?

Carlos Gomez: Hot-Headed or High-Intensity? by Andrew Dunn-Bauman 
Gold Glove Center Fielder Sparks Debate with Brawl in Pittsburgh
We’re three weeks into the season, and the Milwaukee Brewers sit atop the NL Central at an MLB-best 15-5. Everything is peachy in Brewer Nation. Well, almost everything.
Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Carlos Gomez hit a long fly ball to deep center field, and proceeded to trot towards first and watch the ball fly until it hit the fence. Gomez then picked up the pace around first base and ended up diving into third base safely with a triple. Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole, who gave up the triple, came over barking words not suitable for this blog at Gomez, who promptly hopped up and started verbally retaliating. Gomez was quickly separated from Cole by players and the umpiring crew, and the situation seemed to be under control, even as both benches were emptying. But when Travis Snider came in and said something to Gomez, things got ugly fast.
Gomez took the first swing of the brawl, getting a piece of Snider, who then tackled Gomez and had to be pulled away by Rickie Weeks. Martin Maldonado came flying in and landed a clean punch on Snider as well before the heated players on both sides were finally restrained and cooler heads prevailed.
This wasn’t the first time Gomez got in trouble for admiring a fly ball, though he claims that he thought his triple Sunday was just a hard fly out. Gomez was suspended for one game last September after benches cleared between the Brewers and Braves. He admired a homer off of Braves starter Paul Maholm, and was met by catcher Brian McCann ten feet in front of home plate before the benches cleared and punches were thrown.
All of this history with Gomez begs the question: Is he out of control, or just a passionate player?
I tend to side with the latter. In both incidents, Gomez was technically the “instigator” by watching his fly balls for too long. But both times, a member of the opposing team reacted inappropriately as well. Brian McCann shouldn’t have met Gomez halfway up the baseline during his home run trot, and Gerrit Cole was out of line with the profane language he used toward Gomez.
Gomez plays the game of baseball with a lot of flair. That’s part of who he is as a player. He plays hard, he (almost) always hustles, and he puts on a show. He brings a Richard Sherman-like intensity to the park every night, and as a result, he gets a bit testy when rudely confronted by an opposing player. I’m guessing he also isn’t the only player that takes exception to being sworn at.
I don’t have a problem with the way Gomez plays. At all. Fans come to games to be entertained, and Carlos Gomez arguably does that better than any other player in the league. He was in the wrong to turn the altercation physical by throwing the first punch, and he will justifiably be suspended for his role in this most recent skirmish. But if I’m Ron Roenicke, I’m not telling Gomez to change his approach to the game one bit.
Opposing fans will hate on him, and he will continue to play the game with a higher level of intensity than anyone else on the club. And as long as he keeps contributing to Brewer victories, nobody can fault him for it.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @ADBinMKE

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Pittsburgh
People : Andrew Dunn-BaumanBrian McCannCarlos GomezGerrit ColeMartin MaldonadoPaul MaholmSparks DebateTravis Snider

04/22/2014 10:37AM
Carlos Gomez: Hot-Headed or High-Intensity?
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04/22/2014 5:59PM
Spot on
04/24/2014 11:19AM
I think he is a little of both
And I think its awesome!!! We need something to shake these guys up and get their blood boiling
04/28/2014 9:04AM
Carlos Gomez is a Hot Head
I don't think it's even debatable - Doesn't mean he's a terrible person but he is a hot head and needs to mature - I always love it when people think that if your a hot head you have swag and its good for the team. Really - Why didn't the best players and teams throughout the years act like 12 year olds. Anyone who kmows sports knows that being "fired up" and having a "game face" is just media speak. The key to athletics is having a focus and control of your emotions - Can you imagine hitting a baseball when your all "fired up" sorry doesn't work. Calm until explosion is always the key. Being fired up afterwards is just drawing attention to yourself. = = lacking class
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