Carlos Gomez has been making news in a way only Carlos Gomez can.
During a recent series in Cincinnati he left a wad of chewing gum and a note on the outfield grass for Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton that read: “I see you dropped all your gum so I brought you some more :)”
Granted, all of the gum throwing in the world is not going to help the Milwaukee Brewers win a single game, nor is it going to help the Brewers rebuild into a contender. What would help accomplish the latter goal is trading Gomez for prospects. Yet from the fans’ perspective the Brewers might be better off keeping Go-Go. Despite the words of Vince Lombardi, winning isn’t everything.
Sports are entertainment and few players are more entertaining than Gomez. When he’s not starting gum wars or Googling “rich-people conversations” he’s incredibly fun to watch on the diamond.
Since the light bulb turned on during the 2012 season Gomez has become one of the most productive offensive players in the game. In 2013 and 2014 he hit .284, ripped 20+ homers, and swiped 30+ bases. He’s returned to form this season after a slow start marred by nagging injuries. Even when he fails at the plate he’s uniquely entertaining. Who else regularly swings and misses so hard they lose their helmet and fall down?
Gomez is also a defensive dynamo who routinely makes spectacular plays in the field. In addition, he is one of the fastest baserunners in the game. Granted, his aggressive philosophy on the bases can lead to some infuriating outs, but he can also score from first base on a sacrifice bunt; you have to take the good with the bad.
The Brewers are not going to be a good baseball team for the next few years as they rebuild. Having a goofy character who can make incredible plays on the diamond during this process would give fans a reason to tune in. The Brewers should keep Carlos Gomez.