In 2012, Josh Donaldson and Jonny Gomes were teammates on the Athletics. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, in a lengthy profile of Donaldson's breakout 2013, wrote about how Gomes and Donaldson were close, with the rookie the protege of the veteran Gomes.
It's actually a pretty neat story of teammates coming together, with Gomes immediately taking a liking to Donaldson and his approach at the plate, hoping to help the younger player out as he became acclimated to the majors. Being buddies didn't mean that Gomes was accepting of everything Donaldson was into, though: bunting was a bit of a sore spot.
"Jonny believed in me a little bit more than I believed in myself, and that's saying a lot," Donaldson says. "There were a couple of instances where I tried to lay down a bunt or showed bunt, and I would come back to the dugout and he would say, 'Dude, quit trying to bunt.' I thought I could get a couple of hits that way, so I tried it again. And Jonny said, 'JD, if you try to bunt again, I'm going to fight you.' I didn't really want to fight Jonny, so that was the end of my bunting."
Gomes is 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, and looked like this (except with more beard)...
Photo credit: Christian Petersen
...hence the then-timid Donaldson's decision to stop bunting. (As a former catcher, Donaldson is plenty big himself, so maybe Gomes is just believably threatening.) Donaldson's bunt quitting doesn't diminish the what-could-have-been image of Gomes putting him in a headlock in the dugout, screaming at him to quit bunting already, though.
Despite threats of a beat down, it's kind of cute that Gomes still checks the box scores to see how his old buddy is doing with the A's, now that Gomes has switched coasts. As the great philosopher Brent Lillibridge once said, "Baseball is kind of a sorority of guys."