BOSTON -- Jonny Gomes isn't here to turn the Red Sox into the 2008 Rays, the 2010 Reds or the 2012 A's. Those teams were all division winners. But the way those teams grew is not identical, even though they all came from "low-market clubs, 'quote unquote,'" as Gomes said.
"You kind of look at it like hitting," Gomes said on Thursday before the Baseball Writers' Association of America (Boston chapter) dinner. "Everyone's got a different batting stance. Everyone's hands high, hands down, high-ball hitter, low-ball hitter. But you hit it over the fence, you get to circle the pillows -- that's all in common. So there are certain things in common, but at the same time, you've got to find your own identity for that team."
It's a question Gomes is hearing more often, though: How does the underdog get it done? The 32-year-old left fielder believes that the moves the Sox have made around him -- Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, etc. -- can help create a dynamic that replicates what he's seen in the past.
"As far as the guys that have came in, you know, I would consider [them] all ballplayers," he said. "And I love to surround myself with ballplayers -- someone who you know you're going to get 100 percent, someone who you know plays the game right, and you know doesn't take for granted being in the big leagues and being in between the lines. … Napoli coming from Texas, Shane Victorino coming from the National League, [Ryan] Dempster coming from the National League, also has a little taste of the American League. So we're getting a little piece of pie from everybody."