Following a 13-year MLB career from 2003-15 and a season in Japan after that, Jonny Gomes has tried his hand at several different things. He played for the Savannah Bananas this year, he’s spent time as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he’s dabbled in broadcasting with NESN.
One thing Gomes (seen at right above during the MLB Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona this February) has never been is boring, though. And he really showed that off in a wild interview this week with Rob Bradford on Audacy’s Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, sharing stories about how he almost killed Tampa Bay Rays teammates with a fire extinguisher celebration in 2008 and what exactly led to his famous World Series parade speech in 2015.
Here’s that fire extinguisher discussion, from the 13:40 mark of the clip (as transcribed by Audacy’s Ryan Gilbert):
“We don’t even know how to celebrate, that team. Go back and look at that roster. You talk about young and dumb and not even knowing what the hell is going on,” Gomes said. “Sprinkle in a Carlos Pena, Cliff Floyd, Eric Hinske, that, you know, were babysitters.”
“We clinched [their first AL East title] in Detroit and we’re wilin’ out, we are just wilin’ out, tornadoing the place, and I thought it’d be a great idea to take the fire extinguisher off the wall and blast the dudes in the shower with the fire extinguisher.”
…“Sounds like a great idea. Everyone’s going to be all baby powdered up. So I take it into the shower and I blast it into the shower,” Gomes continued. “That wasn’t a very good idea.
“So it turns out that – my firefighter guys out there, they’re going to be like ‘duh’ – that powder or whatever it sucks oxygen out of the air to put the fire out. So I literally almost killed the team. Everyone came running out of the shower and they’re waving their arms and I’m just blasting them being like, ‘Yeah! This is so cool, right! Fire extinguisher joke!’ and then I thought we were going to need CPR on a couple of the guys.”
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, making this a comedy rather than a tragedy. And the Rays wound up making it all the way to the World Series that year, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies.
And elsewhere in this interview with Bradford (around the 23:15 mark), Gomes discussed the inspiration for that speech. Here’s that, also transcribed by Gilbert:
“I was so in the bag during that speech. I don’t know how that rolled off my tongue, but it did. I woke up the next day with legit probably like 500 text messages. And everyone wanted to send me the link as if I wasn’t f—ing there…
“I remember clicking on the link and just going like, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no.’ And I made it through, it was like two and a half minutes, and I was like, ‘Oh, thank God.’ I thought for sure I did something not-PR.”
Both of these situations could have worked out pretty differently for Gomes. Fortunately, they turned out well, and they’re fond memories rather than bad ones.
[Baseball Isn’t Boring; photo from Megan Mendoza/The Arizona Republic, via USA Today Sports]