Sonoma County's Joey Gomes flew to St. Louis this weekend to see his kid brother.
But he figures it's unlikely the two of them will share a dinner or a beer, or that they'll have so much as minute alone. Joey is well aware that his brother and his pals have their hands full about now.
“They're trying to win a World Series.”
Joey is the sought-after North Bay baseball trainer and coach, former Casa Grande and Santa Clara University star, 10-year pro player — and No. 1 fan of outfielder Jonny Gomes, playing his first year with the Boston Red Sox.
Joey hated to leave the kids he trains, but how could he pass up a chance to see games 3, 4 and 5 of this series, a huge one even if his brother wasn't in it?
The Red Sox vs. the Cardinals.
“You can't have a more monumental fan base,” Joey said. “And Jonny knows that.”
Joey has spoken enough with his brother, a natural, scrappy leader who played last year with the Oakland A's, to know that he's working to deal with the pressure of the World Series.
“There's definitely a sense of urgency among him and the rest of the players,” Joey said before flying to St. Louis. “But they have to treat it like it's just another game.”
I apologized to Joey for not knowing if this is his brother's first Series. Not really, he said.
Jonny played for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. And though he was no longer on the roster when the Rays entered that year's Series against Philadelphia, Joey said Rays players joined in an unprecedented vote to have Jonny and his energy in the dugout with them.
Though Joey's focus is entirely on his brother and the Series this weekend, he does have a bit of exciting baseball news of his own:
He just signed on as general manager and coach of the reborn Healdsburg Prune Packers — the newest team in the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League.
More about this development in Sonoma County summer baseball later.