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I Wonder If Adrian Gonzalez Likes Fishsticks, Too

Bleacher ReportSenior Writer IJune 2, 2009

"It's amazin', so amazin', so amazin', so amazin', it's amazin'.  I'm a monster, I'm a maven..."—Kanye West, "Amazing"

Personal feelings aside about writing a tribute anthem to yourself, Kanye West's track is sick.  Very sick and in a good way.  Plus, it's much easier to take if you happened to catch the "Fishsticks" episode of South Park as well as Kanye's astonishing reaction.

But I digress.

The real point of referencing West's lyrics is to point out his error.  Kanye should've changed all the Is to hes and titled it "Adrian Gonzalez."

Sooner or later, the East Coast media will pick up on the guy.  Until then, it's the job of the "lesser" outlets to trumpet the song of the "lesser" superstars.  First and foremost on such a list is the the San Diego Padre slugger.

And, whoa nellie, do I mean slugger.

The Fathers have played 51 games of their Major League Baseball season, which features 162; Gonzalez has 183 at-bats.  Do some quick math and you'll agree that's a shade under a third of the slate in the rear view mirror.

Adrian Gonzalez has 21 home runs.

We're in a post-Barry Lamar Bonds world.  One with heightened scrutiny of possible performance-enhancing drug use and somebody is making a serious run at 70 bombs.  Yet he's flying under the radar because his team isn't very good and plays on the Coast.

Unfortunately, that means a lot of good fans are missing an incredible spectacle.  I mean, my man's doing it while playing his home games in the cavernous cathedral known as Petco Park.

That last bit is probably gonna keep him well shy of Bonds' controversial mark (73 glorious home runs) since Adrian has only hit six of the 21 taters at home.  In addition, San Diego's lineup is about as fearsome as the one trotted out by our beloved and anemic San Francisco Giants.

If you remove Gonzalez.

Which means the opposition will start to do just that by way of the intentional (or intentional unintentional) walk.

Eventually, I'd imagine teams will start to pitch around the Show's premier power threat and take their chances with the smaller fries.  Until that moment, though, you should enjoy Gonzalez display of power.

Possibly send a Thank You card to the Philadelphia Phillies home address.

Since getting a bit of good, if unwise advice from Ryan Howard to swing a heavier bat, the 27-year-old has gone on a big fly rampage.  Although it apparently took him a couple weeks to adjust (or to actually implement the bigger stick in a game), Adrian has launched 12 long balls since May 10.

Or basically one every other day for the past three weeks.  Yikes.

Don't get me wrong—the pride of the Padres is far from your typical grip-it-and-rip-it, swing-from-the-heels-in-an-0-2-count brute at the plate.

Gonzalez is a hitter in the artistic sense as well as the animistic one.

He's as likely to throw a vertebrae with two strikes as he is to choke up and fight off the nastiest until he can draw a walk or put the ball in play.  His ability to go yard or play Punch and Judy is part of what makes him so special.

He enters play today rocking a .290 average, a .401 on-base percentage, 41 strikeouts against 33 walks, 38 runs, and 41 runs batted in to go with the gaudy homer total.  Again, even more startling when you consider his supporting cast.

For all the abuse the San Francisco offense absorbs, the Padres plop out arguably the worst offense in the National League West and, by extrapolation, all of baseball.

Of the 30 MLB teams, San Diego ranks sixth from the bottom in slugging percentage, fifth from the cellar in on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), third to last in runs and RBI, and dead last in average.

Even with one of the best hitters in the Bigs on its roster.

Take him away (which teams now have no problem doing in the wake of MLB) and you have the worst offense in pro baseball.  If you pitch to Adrian, it's still one of the worst.

Oh, and he's a dynamite leather man at first base.  No hyperbole at all—Gonzalez took home the NL's Gold Glove at his position in 2008 and probably should have more of the trophies in a just world.

Adrian Gonzalez isn't a sexy player and doesn't play on a sexy team—he's not much for sound bytes and SD baseball is as mild as its climate.  But don't let either lull you into ignorance—learn to love him.

He's amazing.

**www.pva.org**