We only got to see Michael Gonzalez in the clubhouse for about a half-hour after he was traded to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. His locker was already packed up when the doors opened at 3:30 p.m., so he chatted with reporters and exchanged goodbyes with his former teammates.
When I was watching, he got hugs from a couple of fellow relievers and traded phone numbers with shortstop J.J. Hardy. Alfredo Simon, who has a close bond with Gonzalez, lingered by the lefty's locker for a few minutes and was visibly bummed out about his friend's being traded.
"He was a really good friend of mine and helped me a lot," Simon told my Baltimore Sun colleague Dan Connolly. "I feel like I am sad, but that is baseball, you have to handle things. Sometimes things, trades, happen."
Simon, whose legal issues in the Dominican Republic have been well-documented on this blog, said he might stay with Gonzalez in Texas — that's where Gonzo is from — for a while this offseason.
Gonzalez's time with the Orioles was a roller-coaster ride, one with many dips and a few peaks, including his current stretch of 13 consecutive scoreless appearances that dates to July 22.
Simon, a stocky starter who knows a thing or two about facing adversity, will be pulling for Gonzalez now that he is leaving Baltimore for the playoff chase in the American League West.
"I just hope he does good over there and he has good luck over there and keeps his head up," he said.