OAKLAND — It looked as though the pride of Petaluma would disappear into the postseason shadows. But with one out and one on in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jonny Gomes finally got his first at-bat of the American League division series.
It wasn't the chance to hit that Gomes was talking about afterward. It was the way the O.co Coliseum crowd reacted.
"The ovation I got was pretty special," said Gomes, the Casa Grande graduate. "There are some well-liked guys in this game, and the exact opposite, and to have a sellout crowd get up on their feet to give me a little love — because that's what I play for. I play for my teammates, I play for my family and I play for the fans. And I think I got three thumbs up throughout all three of those, so it's a successful season for me."
The question now is whether Gomes will return for another run in 2013. His manager and teammates praised his leadership all year. But Gomes is a pure right-handed power hitter. He doesn't hit for average, and he's nothing special in the field, a couple reasons he has played for four teams in 10 MLB seasons.
"I don't know," Gomes said when asked if he'll be back in Oakland. "This season's been magical for me. It's been a dream come true. But when you've been kicked in the teeth as much as I have in the offseason, you realize nothing is a guarantee. With that being said, would I like to? Absolutely. But I'm not a GM, nor am I an agent. I'm a baseball player. Once the lights are turned off, my job's done. We'll see."