Marco Gonzales: Mariners ‘a bunch of guys who are continually unsettled’
Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales has some fire to his personality. But if you ask him, he’s not the only player in Seattle’s clubhouse like that.
“We have a bunch of guys who are just continually unsettled, and I think that that’s pretty strong,” Gonzales said in an interview with Danny, Dave and Moore on Wednesday, a day after he pitched the Mariners to a 6-3 win over the Royals and improved his record to 4-0 on the season. “It’s pretty dangerous to have a group of guys like that together.”
That has proven to be true here in the early going of the 2019 season. With Wednesday night’s thrilling 6-5 win over the Royals, the Mariners improved their MLB-best record to 12-2, continuing the best start in Seattle franchise history. This is all coming from a team expected to be less in the mix for the postseason than a year ago, too, after general manager Jerry Dipoto orchestrated a rebuild that saw stars Robinson Canó, Edwin Díaz, Jean Segura and James Paxton traded mainly for prospects and slugger Nelson Cruz allowed to leave in free agency.
Gonzales knows the Mariners’ pace won’t stay like this forever, but it may be helping the team come together in a way that could come in handy later in the season.
“We all enjoy being around each other, as well as off the field too. So while we’re going good right now, I think we’re just trying to enjoy it, because we know in baseball streaks are streaks, and we’re just trying to enjoy the time we have right now,” he said. “… I think we’re just thankful to get going in some real games (after spring training) and kind of see what we’ve got. I know the anticipation was building in camp, so I think we were all pretty ready to go, and I think that’s what you’re seeing now.”
Here are a few more things Gonzales talked about during the interview with Danny, Dave and Moore, which you can listen to in the player in this post or download in podcast form at this link.
‘Not on our table’
Gonzales garnered some attention last season when he took exception to Toronto Blue Jays fans taking over T-Mobile Park (then still known as Safeco Field) during one of his starts, saying after a 7-2 loss to Toronto, “I take that personally when a team comes in here and brings their faithful fans and their muddy shoes and stomps on our carpet and takes a dump on our dining room table.”
Danny, Dave and Moore are big fans of that comment, even having acquired shirts that says “Not On Our Table” that they wore on Wednesday. Not only that, but they left one of the shirts with Mariners lefty Wade LeBlanc to give to Gonzales at spring training in Arizona. Gonzales said he did in fact receive the gift, which he called his “Sunday shirt,” and explained why he found it “hard not to” take the Blue Jays invasion personally.
“That was my first time seeing it, and I’m not OK with that. I mean, I don’t know another athlete in any sport that would be OK with it. So that was just natural emotion. That was me being a little frustrated. I didn’t have the start that I wanted, either, but I think we were just kind of heated, man. That’s a tough feel, and in our own stadium, so we want to change that.”
Quick hits on new Mariners teammates
Danny, Dave and Moore had Gonzales share his thoughts on a few players playing for the Mariners for the first time this season. Here’s what he had to say:
• Mallex Smith: “Mallex is one of my guys, man. Initially in camp I was like this guy’s going to be class clown, this guy’s going to be a lot of laughs, he loves to have a good time, loves to dance, loves to sing. He’s just an entertainer by heart. We get to the season and all the sudden this dude is just going hard and competing his butt off every single day. He’s easily been one of my favorite guys to watch out there, just because you know his character and just how genuine he is. And it’s fun to watch a guy like that go out and play and see some results, too. So really, really happy for him and I love watching him play, too.”
• Domingo Santana: “Domingo is super quiet. He’s such a genuine guy, though, but he’s reserved. He’s loosened up and he’s been having fun, and as we’ve been going on here I think it’s hard not to have fun in that dugout. But just a guy who looks like he’s going 50 beats a minute. His heart rate is just so slow, the game seems so slow to him. So a guy like that, when he’s cool, calm and collected, and he’s out there at bat, it doesn’t look like he’s ever over-matched. And that’s a great feeling when you’re watching him hit.”
• Jay Bruce: “You can’t say anything bad about this guy. Besides the fact that he stole my number, I have nothing bad to say about him. (Note: Gonzales, who wore No. 32 in 2017 and 2018 with the Mariners, has switched to No. 7 this year, which he previously wore in college at Gonzaga. Bruce, who has 12 years of MLB experience compared to Gonzales’ five, has worn 32 for the majority of his career.) … The guy is a veteran of our game and just a classy guy. Someone you want to have in your corner. Ever since we had that conversation in the fall when he asked me for my number, we’ve become pretty good friends. And everyone that I’ve talked to that’s played with him has just said the same, that they love being around him. And he’s been great for our team because he keeps everybody together. If people were to start to stray off, he would be the one to kind of wrangle them back in.”