You know you're beloved when they don't boo. They — you — never booed Carlos Gonzalez as he sputtered in 2017. They didn't boo when his OPS slipped to its lowest mark since his rookie season in 2008, or when it looked like Raimel Tapia was a better option than Gonzalez, a former MVP candidate.
"Right now I feel like the worst player in the game," CarGo said last July.
As much as Rockies fans love them some CarGo, the ballclub loves him even more. The Rockies already have paid him $78 million to play in their outfield.
Now Gonzalez reportedly will return to the Rox on a one-year deal.
What this means is Charlie Blackmon probably returns to the leadoff spot, the clubhouse got its wish and a favorite teammate will be back to lightening the mood, and the Rox are as concerned about their lack of power as many of us.
Did you know Gonzalez hit .377 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in the month of September? His late return to form nudged the Rockies into the Wild Card.
And it pays to be a good teammate, kids.
If CarGo had handled his slump like a pain-in-the-you-know-what, he's not coming back to Colorado. Instead, he behaved like a role model for a young clubhouse coming into its own. Gonzalez said his worst season in a decade — except against left-handed pitching, when he was dynamic — kept him awake at night. But he didn't pout or put his own struggles above the team.
Now the Rockies hope they got September CarGo, not April-August CarGo.