Gomez's flip upset Twins, but they know his habits
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins know the colorful Carlos Gomez well, after spending two seasons with his raw talent, energetic presence and lack of discipline.
That's why, though peeved about his accidental bat flip that hit former teammate Joe Mauer, the Twins were willing to give Gomez a break for his breach of baseball etiquette.
Gomez was celebrating a late home run on Friday night that came with his Milwaukee team trailing 15-0 when he got a little too exuberant, as the Twins saw many times.
Gomez tossed his bat and stared as the ball soared into the seats before beginning his jog around the bases. When he reached the plate and heard Mauer's voice, he put his hand to his mouth — to say, "no talking," Gomez said.
Brewers teammate Joe Inglett later explained to Gomez that Mauer was trying to tell him to be more careful with his bat. Upon hearing that, Gomez was deeply sorry.
He just came off the disabled list to face his old team, and the speedy center fielder was even more pumped up to play than usual.
"I didn't even know the bat was going to hit him," Gomez said. "I'll say again: I didn't try to do this. I wasn't like, if I hit a home run, I've got to pimp, I've got to do this and that. I had a good night, but you have to be more professional. That happened. Sometimes you get excited. When you're out 16 or 17 games and you play good, you get excited."
Mauer revealed before Saturday's game that the bat hit him on the wrist. The AL MVP said he realizes Gomez didn't mean any harm and can get caught up in the moment, but he also warned Gomez to curtail his flamboyance, for his sake and others.
"We've seen that before, but the thing is that's got to stop," Mauer said.
Gomez reiterated his apology before Saturday's game and said he would understand if the Twins chose to retaliate. He lined out to third base in his first at-bat, and none of Kevin Slowey's pitches came near him.
Gomez, though, said it will be difficult for him to change his style.
"It's hard to me, because I've been doing this since I'm in the minor leagues," he said, smiling.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was irritated on Friday night, but on Saturday he softened his stance. He said he respects Gomez's passion and that he doesn't need to apologize.
"Go-Go, he's one of my favorites. I enjoyed the heck out of having him here," Gardenhire said. "Just one of those moments that we know Go-Go can have every once in a while. He was excited, and it just happened."
Gardenhire added: "Yeah, we were a little fired up about it, but when it's all said and done we like this kid a lot."