Thanks to an injury, Adrian Gonzalez was never going to be part of the World Series, but the Dodgers' veteran first baseman has no plans to be anywhere near it anyway. As the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin notes, Gonzalez won't be with the team as it opens the Fall Classic against the Astros on Tuesday night. Instead, he's currently in Italy with his family on vacation.
Sidelined since Sept. 27 due to back tightness, Gonzalez has neither been on any of Los Angeles' postseason rosters nor with the team as it's fought its way through the playoffs. As of the beginning of the NLCS against the Cubs, Gonzalez was resting at home, according to manager Dave Roberts. Now comes Shaikin's report, stating that Gonzalez has decamped to Europe for some time off.
This isn't some unexcused absence situation: Gonzalez was given the okay by team executives, with general manager Farhan Zaidi telling Shaikin, "He's taking time with his family. I think guys totally understand that." And the teammates that Shaikin talked to seem not to mind or care that Gonzalez isn't there. And this isn't an attempt on my part at some lame "He's abandoning his teammates!" hot take. He doesn't have to be there, and it's easy to understand why he might not want to be present, given that he isn't active (and had lost playing time down the stretch to rookie Cody Bellinger even before his injury). That has to be an unpleasant place for a veteran to be. And can you really blame a guy for wanting to get some quality family time, particularly in a sport that keeps you away from your wife and kids for weeks at a time? (Or, for that matter, getting to go to Italy and hopefully living it up ala Aziz Ansari in Master of None.)
At the same time, though, it is a little strange that a guy who's never been to a World Series wouldn't want to be around as it happens, especially one who's regarded as a clubhouse leader the way Gonzalez is. Regardless, he'll follow the games the same way the rest of us do: on TV or on his phone—if he'll be watching them at all, that is.