Once a skeptic, Braves' Simmons now sees the value in Gomes' leadership
As an opponent, Atlanta Braves shortstop had heard all about Jonny Gomes' important team leadership, particularly on the Boston Red Sox's 2013 World Series team, but he didn't really buy into the notion that Gomes could make an integral difference on a team until he became his teammate.
"You hear stuff about him, you think, 'Yeah, yeah,' But he is that guy," Simmons told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of Gomes, who is now in his first season with the Braves. " … It is believed. It's what it is."
After growing accustomed to hearing Gomes' former teammates sing his praises, Simmons is doing exactly the same now, adding to the chorus of the veteran outfielder's enthusiasts.
"What he brings to the team, you can't quantify that," Simmons said. "You can't put it in numbers. You can't explain what it is."
Manager Fredi Gonzalez echoed Simmons' praise, and expanded on what makes Gomes a key cog in the dugout.
"He's a team guy, comes in every day with a great mind frame. Everybody that's around him, he makes them better," Gonzalez said. "Just the way he carries himself. He cares about winning and losing games. He goes about it the right way. It's been terrific; he really has been terrific. Just a solid person."
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