THE BUZZ: Sony announced today that the 2011 Gold Glove Winner at first base in the American League, Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, will grace MLB 12: The Show’s cover.
Gonzalez came to Beantown in the 2010-2011 off-season via a trade with the San Diego Padres and showed that the big market pressure would not faze him as he produced 27 HRs, 117 RBIs, and a .338 batting average in 159 games.
Gonzalez also marks the 3rd Red Sox to grace The Show’s cover in its 7th year after David Ortiz did it in the inaugural year of the franchise in 2006 and Dustin Pedroia did it in 2009. This selection also continues the trend that no outfielder or pitcher has ever graced the franchise’s cover.
EGM’S TAKE: This Boston bias that Sony is showing is a little ridiculous. Pedroia and Ortiz both made sense when they graced the cover, but Gonzalez will be lucky to even make the Top 5 in AL MVP voting after stellar years from guys like the New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, Toronto’s Jose Bautista, Texas’s Michael Young, the White Sox’s Paul Konerko, or Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. Not to mention National Leaguers like Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder of the Brewers, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, or World Series Champion pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter, any of whom also would’ve been more than worthy to grace the cover.
Although Verlander was snatched up first by 2K and you wouldn’t want a pair of players from the same team to grace the only baseball games on the market so that eliminates Cabrera, there are still clearly better selections for the cover. Not to mention it is arguable that Gonzalez shouldn’t even have been in the Top 3 for the Gold Glove this year as he robbed players like the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira, the Rays’ Casey Kotchman, and Detroit’s Cabrera again, showing once more that offensive numbers somehow influence defensive awards. Heck, Gonzalez is barely in the Top 3 in the division when it comes to fielding and I’m tempted to put Toronto’s Adam Lind ahead of him.
All of this on top of the fact that he was part of the greatest collapse in baseball history blowing a nine game Wild Card lead with his Red Sox in the last month of the season.
The only explanation I might have is that Sony’s San Diego based studios have a soft spot for the guy for all the time he put in with the Padres and as long as he had a good year, this may have been planned ahead of time. It still seems fishy to me though when there are clearly better choices available to you.
What do you guys think of Adrian Gonzalez making the cover? Are you bigger fans of 2K or The Show? Is The Show showing a Boston bias? What other athletes may have been more deserving?