Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has chosen not to join the team for the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are celebrating one of their best seasons ever, including their first World Series appearance in 26 years, but to many lifelong Dodgers fans someone incredibly important is missing from the moment — besides Vin Scully — and that’s first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has been on the disabled list since June but was given the opportunity, as is customary, to appear with the team during the World Series. Instead, he chose to watch Game 1 from the Sports Net L.A. studios.
Bill Shaikin with the L.A. Times spoke to some of the other Dodgers. National League co-MVP Justin Turner said:
This is Adrian’s deal, not mine. He’s a really good friend of mine. I’m proud of him and happy to be a teammate of his. I text him almost every day, ‘We miss you, we want you to be here with us, you should be here enjoying this with us.’ But I understand.
General manager Farhan Zaidi added:
We totally respect his decision. He’s meant a lot to this organization. He’s been in constant contact with the front office, the players, the coaching staff, and Doc [Dave Roberts], expressing his support. Everybody here knows he’s fully behind us.
Gonzalez is a fan favorite and has been for many seasons. He’s a five-time All-Star and has played at least 156 games in the last 11 seasons. This is only the second time in his long career that he’s appeared on the disabled list. (The first was May of this year.)
In his last at-bat, he hit a home run and re-aggravated a back injury. He has not played (or been seen in the clubhouse) since. Cody Bellinger has stepped in to replace Gonzalez at first base.
The Dodgers secured game one on Tuesday night after defeating the Houston Astros 1-3 with star pitcher Clayton Kershaw at the helm. They look hope for a 2-0 lead after tonight’s game 2 which airs on FOX.
Before being spotted at the Sports Net studio, Gonzalez has been spending time with his family and was in Europe during the playoffs.