Michael Gonzalez is 'excited' for the World Series

October 19, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Two months ago, Michael Gonzalez stood at his stall in the Orioles clubhouse before a game against the Blue Jays. Having just found out that he had been traded to the Rangers, he packed his gear and changed into jeans and a pair of flip flops, but he was still wearing his Orioles undershirt when reporters surrounded his stall.

"I'm excited. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to try to win a championship now," Gonzalez, who was traded for fellow reliever Pedro Strop, said at the time. "The bad part is, obviously, I wanted to do more here in Baltimore. … I wish I would have been able to do better for the fans and things like that, but it is what it is."

Gonzalez and the Rangers are now four wins away from a World Series title, and Gonzalez has played a role, albeit an unglamorous one, for the American League champions. The left-hander has made five appearances in the postseason and has yet to allow a run in 1 1/3 innings. He has given up two hits and struck out two.

How crazy is it that Gonzalez went from being a whipping boy for the last-place Orioles to the Fall Classic?

"I'm excited," Gonzalez, whose two-year, $12 million contract is up after the series, told Richard Durrett of ESPN. "Look what's happened in two months. I'm on the A.L. champions. This is definitely where you want to be. This is what you dream about. I've been mimicking the World Series since I was six years old."

Koji Uehara will not join Gonzalez on the World Series roster, though. He struggled mightily this postseason.

Considering what Gonzalez went through here in Baltimore -- or I guess you could say what he put himself through -- I’ll be pulling for him. He was genuine when he showed remorse for his performance in the first year and a half of his Orioles career. He really wanted to live up to that $12 million deal, but it never happened. I realize I am probably a little more forgiving than you might be, but you have to admit he is a heck of a story.

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