Gio Gonzalez was born, raised and still lives in Miami. He is the happy-go-lucky member of the Washington Nationals pitching staf, who is always smiling, talking and pulling pranks on his teammates.
For the first time in his career, his name was linked to a PED scandal. The news broke in January that a Miami based clinic called Biogenesis and its owner Tony Bosch was into something big. The anti-aging company was really a front for selling performance-enhancing drugs to star athletes.
At the time, the big name was of course Alex Rodriguez — he was the star that attracted the most publicity, nut Nationals fans heard that Gonzalez name was linked to the investigation being done by MLB.
Gonzalez was quick to point out that he never bought anything from Biogenesis; in fact, it was his father who bought some items from the clinic. The items were not on any lists of banned substances, and Gonzalez had no idea that his father had even been to Biogenesis until he asked him.
Still, there were plenty of skeptical people who felt that Gonzalez was using his father to purchase PEDs, and that it would all come out in the report. Gonzalez was just another guy who talked a good game, but was going to disappoint his fans in the end.
Gio’s true fans were steadfast in his camp. He was innocent and his father happened to pick a bad place to buy his vitamin supplements. Meanwhile, the anti-Gio camp was poised to lump him in with the Ryan Braun’s and the others who were about to suspended by MLB.
Well, the long awaited Biogenesis list came out yesterday and the name Gio Gonzalez was nowhere to be found. He had been telling the truth all along, and he had done nothing wrong.
So a good ball player who happens to be a fan favourite was really being straight with us. For some in the sports world, hearing that Gonzalez was telling the truth comes as a surprise. To me, it is a breath of fresh air and another reason to like No. 47 in the Washington Nationals red.
The end of the scandal is here for Gio and tonight at Nationals Park , he will be on the mound ready to celebrate with about 35,000 of his fans. It would not hurt if he beat the Atlanta Braves as the icing on the cake, either.
Rant Sports columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.