Meet “The Goofball”. Gio Gonzalez may be one of the most entertaining additions to the Nats this season – and he pitches well to boot! Who didn’t he endear himself to with that giant grin after hitting a double? Yet, sometimes his interview responses can be filled with baseball cliches, so I was curious to see his Q&A session in the Stars & Stripes Club Saturday.
Sure, his session was still full of cliches, but delivered in an endearing manner and always giving props to his teammates, both pitchers and position players (they’re all hitters). He also admitted he can never turn down an autograph or hand shake, so chooses to wear headphones with music as his subtle way of letting people know he’s not willing to be distracted at the moment, generally while preparing for a start. Starting pitchers are funny like that – teammates don’t usually talk to them in the dugout between innings during their start and media do not talk to them before the game.
Another tidbit Gio revealed is that he does not want scouting information on hitters he’s facing. If he knows a hitter generally misses one particular spot, he will try to be too perfect hitting that one spot. He prefers to let his catcher, who knows the hitters and their strengths/weaknesses, do the studying and call the best game he can. “If I give up a homerun, it’s on my catcher. It’s not on me.” Ha.
Thanks to a tip from a little birdie, as well as questions from the audience, he broke away from the cliches. Did you know Gio gets his hair cut before every start? That’s a hair cut every 5 days, even on the road. No wonder his hair is so short!
Thanks to doubleuefwhy for manning my Flip cam so I didn’t look like a doofus holding it up while asking a question.