The boilerplate response to any questions about the Padres trading away popular players has been the same since the end of the 2009 season.
"My first and foremost commitment is to the name on the front of the jersey," Moorad said. "I understand that individual players are a critical part of how fans relate to the organization, but I also believe that it’s our responsibility to always do the right thing for the long-term interest of the Padres."
It's not a coincidence that Adrian references the name on the front of his jersey in his comments to CBS Sports. How can Adrian's comments not be taken as a direct response to Moorad's strategy?
"It's sad to say, but having been traded a couple of times, I play for the guys in the clubhouse, the players, Buddy [Black] and his staff," Gonzalez says. "I play in San Diego, but I'm not playing for the name across the jersey. I play for the guys in the clubhouse. You learn that you play for them."
So while I agree with the Sacrifice Bunt that his comments remind me of Peavy's prior to leaving the Padres, I don't think this was a stupid comment. I think it was a calculated comment that he knew would send a message to ownership while not drawing too much ire from San Diego fans.
Maybe Adrian's just blowing off some steam, because he's frustrated. But make no mistake, the Padres are not signing Gonzalez beyond this contract and Adrian isn't going to sign with the Padres either. I just don't think Adrian wants to play for the Padres another two years, while his value may decline.
Adrian spent his youth traveling back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana, but when it came time for him to choose between the two countries in the World Baseball Classic he chose Mexico twice. Maybe it's just me, but I've never thought that playing in San Diego meant that much to Adrian. His loyalties always seemed to lie elsewhere, so when he's described as the perfect player for San Diego, I just don't see it.
He only lived here part time in his early years. His numbers on the road dwarf those at home so San Diego fans only get to see his excellence on TV during road games. His quiet demeanor hasn't made him much of a spokesman for the ball club and his popularity among fans has never even been close to less talented players like Kevin Kouzmanoff and Khalil Greene.
Adrian would be a better fit on a team where he didn't need to be a team leader, where he could quietly go about his business without getting too much attention. As a player with no speed in a ballpark that robs him of hits and home runs and on a team that can't afford his services much longer this seems just about the worst place for him.