LATimesThere is no better World Series tradition than the introduction of each player in uniform. If you work for the home team, you get a nice round of applause, even if you are an obscure reliever, a quality assurance coach or a soft tissue specialist. The fan favorites draw the loudest and most sustained applause. Adrian Gonzalez would get a warm ovation, but he is not expected to join the Dodgers for the World Series. It’s his choice. It’s too bad. Gonzalez has played more games without a World Series appearance than all but two active players: Ichiro Suzuki and Brandon Phillips. He would not have played in this World Series because of what the Dodgers said was a recurrence of a back injury, but he had earned a round of cheers from a large and loyal fan base that cherishes him. Justin Turner, who occupies the locker next to Gonzalez, declined to say whether he was disappointed that Gonzalez had chosen not to bask in World Series applause. “This is Adrian’s deal, not mine,” Turner said. “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.” Gonzalez, 35, a five-time All-Star, had played at least 156 games in 11 consecutive seasons. He went on the disabled list in May, for the first time in his career, and went back on the DL in June. On Sept. 26, in his final at-bat, he hit a home run. The Dodgers announced the next day that he had aggravated his back injury and was done for the season. The playoffs have gone on without him in the lineup, or even in the clubhouse. Gonzalez has 20 at-bats against Justin Verlander, more than any Dodger besides Curtis Granderson. He might have offered insight about how to hit Verlander, the Game 2 starter for the Houston Astros, but Gonzalez and his family went on vacation in Europe.
Adrian Gonzalez is a team leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and while the 35-year-old veteran has never experienced a World Series before, he will not be joining his teammates as they represent the National League in the 2017 World Series. Adrian Gonzalez is injured and cannot play, but he is a mentor to the Dodgers young players, and the team wanted tips from him when facing Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander who Gonzalez has faced many times. The Dodgers organization offered to introduce Adrian Gonzalez at the World Series despite the fact that he is injured, his teammates wanted him there, the Dodgers front office and coaching staff wanted him there. However the respected veteran will not be joining his team for any part of the 2017 World Series, he is on a family vacation in Europe, and opted not to attend despite pleas from the organization and his teammates. It’s kind of bizarre that the Dodgers organization and the Los Angeles media is making such a big deal about an injured player missing his chance to hear his name called at the World Series, opting instead to spend time with his family, and go on a pre planned European vacation.