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.
During yesterday’s Q&A session, Charlie Slowes had some interesting news about the future of players’ at bat music. Initially, the question was, “What are you going to do without Wil Nieves?” in regards to the dancing in the booth by the radio duo during Nieves’ at bats. I had been wondering the same (but cut out my cackling from the video, thank you Final Cut Express). Charlie and Dave don’t exactly answer the question, although they did say afterwards that they’ll have to figure something out after listening to players’ music this season. Aside from carrying their heavy binders around the ballpark, how else will they get their exercise?
Interesting! I’m definitely curious to see how this works out and fan interest.
I’ve got a little Strasburg in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling… Okay, so it’s a USB keyfob with the ESPN video on it from yesterday’s debut, and somehow that put the old karaoke standby in my head. Anyway, for your voyeuristic workday pleasure in case you missed it yesterday, here are the “live look-in” clips from Sports Center. Sadly, they do not include the whole two innings like I thought they would. Yup, there’s “Strasburg returning to the dugout.” Exciting!
Amy Shipley from the Washington Post was there and wrote a descriptive story. There’s also an MLB.com article and short video with Noah Coslov (same footage, looks like). Nationals Farm Authority posted a link to another video, although it won’t play on my Mac for some reason.
[ Photoset ] I got a sneak peak at Nationals Park today while the transformation from Major League ballpark to concert venue was in progress. On Saturday, July 11, 2009, Elton John and Billy Joel will appear “Face 2 Face” on the stage in center field for fans seated both on the field and in the stands. The event is the first major concert in Nationals Park since it was built. I’ve been looking forward to this concert for a while, so seeing the setup in progress was a real treat! I also had a strange experience of noting the overtaking of the stadium for the concert. I’m quite accustomed to “baseball activities” going on and that’s pretty much it. The warning track is covered in plastic connecting walkway pieces and seeing a sign outside the visitors’ clubhouse in the tunnel with “Billy Joel Band Dressing Room” and a picture of a motorcycle on it was quite cool! (Unfortunately, the dressing room manager did not think it quite cool when I tried to photograph the sign – again an odd experience. I guess she didn’t understand my perspective of being wowed by a clubhouse becoming a “dressing room”). So I wonder if Elton John earned the home clubhouse?
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the conglomeration of semi trucks blocking off Potomac Avenue south of N on the back side of the stadium. The volume of supplies they must hold seemed impressive, but once I saw the stage on the field, the sight made more sense. The sheer amount of scaffolding, chairs, lights, speakers, port-a-potties(!!), and equipment going into the construction is impressive, particularly during the limited time available. Plus, they’ll need to disassemble it all before the Nats return home.
Tickets are still available. Also, expect traffic in the area to be jammed, so the Nats are suggesting planning for an early arrival. I’m mostly hoping for an early escape as we have to leave our house at 4 AM Sunday to head to BWI for a long-awaited VACATION! I actually planned our flights around this concert!
I’m working out some issues with YouTube, but will stick that player in here when (if?) that gets resolved. Nevermind – I think I’m done with YouTube, using Facebook instead. Here are a few clips from Blogger Night hosted by the Nationals with Adam Dunn’s now-famous line asking what a blog is. Funnily enough, he will now be blogging himself at MASN! Also, never before seen footage of the Manny Acta bobblehead (miniature and life-sized) from Nationals Night at Bethesda Big Train featuring impACTA Kids Foundation and a special performance by author Jim Hartley (awesome!).