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Gio saga could become distraction

Feb 4, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

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Gio Gonzalez has been linked to an alleged supplier of PEDs in Miami.

Whether Gio Gonzalez ultimately is proven to have purchased or taken performance enhancing drugs from the Biogenesis clinic currently under investigation by Major League Baseball or not, whether the Nationals left-hander winds up serving some type of MLB-issued suspension or not, whether anything from last week's thorough report by the Miami New Times proves to be true or not, this much we know for certain:

This story isn't about to disappear. And because of it, there's a reasonable possibility this saga is going to become a distraction at a Nationals camp that is set to open in a mere eight days.

The initial takeaway from Tuesday's published investigation by the New Times is that something of real significance was going on at Biogenesis, the Coral Gables, Fla., anti-aging clinic now linked to several prominent ballplayers, headlined by Alex Rodriguez.

The evidence provided against A-Rod is far more damning than the evidence provided against Gonzalez, but that doesn't mean the NL Cy Young finalist is going to escape with a free pass. If nothingRead more »

122 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    blech

  2. Positively Half St. - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    The story certainly deflated my excitement for the start of Spring Training. Stories from players when they actually arrive in Viera should help to revive it. I especially enjoy the early stories about the guys who have almost no chance of making the team, because they have some of the more interesting back stories, and we won't hear from most of them again thereafter.

  3. baseballswami - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    I have two, opposing schools of thought. The first one is concern that Gio, who is volatile and emotional on a good day, will not be able to handle the distraction. The second one is that the Nats get to camp and immediately close ranks and unify – Nats vs Media. Last year Gio animated the pitching staff and loosened them up. Maybe this year they calm him down. I hope MLB takes care of this quickly.

  4. PChuck - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Ryan Braun actually failed a drug test and it wasn't a distraction for him last year.The assumption that this is going to be a distraction is based on the idea that he's not going to answer questions. There's no evidence that that's the case because he hasn't not answered questions yet.Once the questions are answered the distraction ends unless reporters want the distraction to continue.

  5. Constant Reader - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Constant Reader - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Welcome back Mark.This story is emblematic of the backlash of the Steroid Era. Guilty until proven innocent. What is Gio's relationship with Jimmy Goins? He's his workout coach.Why did Gio's Dad go to Dr. Bosch? He sought and received legal and legitimate weight loss counseling (and don't a lot of us need that).Why is Gio's name in Dr. Bosch's notebook? Gio has to explain that? Seriously?What record could Gio possibly set straight?Go ahead, call me Pollyanna. No, I am not a defense attorney in my day job. But the Miami New Times did not produce an irrefutable presumption where Gio is concerned in my mind. If Bosch and perhaps other players admit under oath to PEDs, THEN the presumption tilts against Gio.You are just doing your job, Mark, but putting Gio in the position of explaining or proving strikes me as wrong.

  7. Unknown - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Typical DC sports luck. Nothing good ever happens for us Washington fans. All the luck seems to have moved up north a bit. Congrats to that football team and the side judge who made it all possible!

  8. Rabbit34 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    If you're guilty, it's a distraction. If you're innocent, it's just a pain in the #$%. That's why, if you're guilty, take off for the Whole season and not just 50 games. Again, if you're innocent, it's just a pain in the #$%.

  9. Kiterp - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I’m sorry but this sounds like reporter frustration. A player should never give up any of their legal rights to appease the fans and the press. I’m sure Gio (and hopefully his dad) have been told by counsel to keep tight lips. I’m sure there will be a well crafted statement to start camp. Right now it doesn’t appear that there is a huge PR mess that needs to be cleaned up … unless folks keep fanning the smoke and build a fire. If the local press makes this a non-story, it will be a non-story

  10. Tony - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    "If nothing else, Gonzalez is going to have to answer questions, a lot of them, both to MLB investigators and to media members who are going to grill him about his purported relationship with Biogenesis and its chief, Anthony Bosch."Yes, he will have to answer to MLB investigators, and he will. Maybe he already has. But to the media, he doesn't need to say anything. And if he doesn't, and a media circus ensues, so what? This team has handled media circuses before. The Strasburg callup in 2010. The Harper callup in 2012. The Strasburg shutdown. Tight control of the message despite taking heat for it has worked in the past, and will work for them again. Expect your media access to Gio to be limited, Mark, just like it was to Strasburg and Harper. MLB will conduct its investigation and they'll tell you everything you need to know, in due time. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other stories for you to cover.

  11. Doc - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    To me the court of public opinion is the more important area for deliberation of justice. All the more important because this stuff with Gio started in a newpaper, not a courtroom or came from a MLB drug test. You might even suggest that it is the media that kickstarts justice in this country–and you would probably be right.But going public is a double edged sword, and Gio has to be careful about what he says and the legitimate legal responsibilities therein. I hope he comes out of this unscathed, not so much because of his value to the Nats, but because he seems like a good person.My greatest suspicions are directed towards Goins, not necessarily Bosch, and what influence Goins had on Gio in his capacity as Gio's trainer.

  12. Another_Sam - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    HalfStreet — Just my $0.02 here: don't let the Gio story deflate anything for you. Although we fans follow these guys so closely that it seems like we have relationships with the guys and with the clubhouse atmosphere, our frame of reference doesn't apply. It's nothing like a day at the office that you or I might experience. These guys are professional entertainers — enormously skilled projessionals. Although we impute relationships, the relationships arent there. I care about what goes on between the lines, when the game starts. Don't let this get you down, man. [And if Gio did suck the juice -- what an idiot., but it's his decision.]

  13. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    It would be interesting to know (though we probably never will) whether the Nats FO advised against Jimmy Goins or the University of Miami. We want and expect players to train off-season. Does the front-office provide a list of qualified trainers and facilities? Are they "certified" by any agency? The guys who live here come to the park, Boras and the major agents have facilities, Adam LaRoche has his own weight room, batting cage and personal trainer in Kansas. So Gio goes to train at the local university with their guy. Why would he question Goins' credentials or ethics? He didn't, obviously, and posted a picture of them together on Twitter. So question one would be not to Gio, but to Mike Rizzo–did Gio go against the advice of the front office when he trained with Goins or does the front office just leave these guys on their own to use their own and their agents' best judgment?Question two is, hey, Gio, was your father your drug mule? Because apparently that's what is implied by Gio's name hand-scrawled next to his father's on a shady clinic owner's notepad. Really? If Gio is innocent, then he has no idea why the guy wrote his name down unless he's a mind-reader. The most likely thing is the clinic owner, upon discovering that Max had a son who is major-league athlete, did a sell job on Max–"here's some good stuff for your son, it worked for you, it'll work for him, it's legal, etc. etc."Did Max buy the stuff? Possibly. Did he pass it along to his son? Possibly. Did Gio take it…??? Lotta loose links in that chain of "evidence."

  14. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Welcome back Mark, I hope your family time was valuable and celebratory.I wrote earlier, from experience, that Gio should say nothing. Almost every reporter and fan has a way of hearing words and sculpting them into their own opinion. Previous posters are right on. The only statement right now should be from MLB after they have done their investigation and then the Nationals & Gio can huddle and craft a response.Something I had not thought about was how well Braun played last year with the firestorm around him in the beginning. But I wonder if all that affected his teammates? Lets hope the continual talk about PED's, HGH, doping etc. does not trickle over to other players. I guess it is human nature for a reporter to try and get quotes from others but that surely will wear thin after awhile.

  15. mbeavs - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    When can we wake up from this bad dream already?

  16. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Constant Reader==> I was typing my post (which took me a while), submitted it and then went back and read yours. Very similar thoughts, and a couple of others said the same. I would have more questions for Rizzo than Gio. Gio needs to keep his mouth shut and let the MLB investigation play out. Yes, there is a "court of public opinion" but it has already tarred him. Further denials and "explanations" are unlikely to change that, and more likely to get him in trouble. If it should happen that MLB finds enough evidence for a suspension, that would be the time for apologies and explanations–NOT BEFORE. And if MLB doesn't find enough evidence for a suspension, then Gio should NOT provide anything beyond his denials.

  17. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Welcome back, Mr. Z. Good to see your byline again.If the national baseball media are still going on about the Shutdown (and they are), you can bet this won't go away any time soon, even if Gio explained this all to the last scintilla. And it is a distraction, even if, like Braun, he has a good season in spite of the distractions and maintains his focus. And if he doesn't win 21 games again, because that's hard to do twice in a row in the best of times, that alone will start some people up again.

  18. natscan reduxit - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    " … the athletes who sacrifice some of their legal rights in exchange for taking control of the PR aspect of the story inevitably emerge in a more positive light."… for God's sake, what kind of a society have we become?Go Gio! Go Nats!!

  19. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    The other thing about the Court of Public Opinion is, it really has very little enforcement capacity. If his PR rep takes a hit because he chooses to finesse the issue in public, winning will make a lot of that go away. Yeah, it's a PITA. Yeah, it's distracting, and Gio isn't always the most focused guy. But if he genuinely did not do anything wrong, his risk is pretty low. It's one more thing for Philly fans to yell while he's beating them.

  20. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    … for God's sake, what kind of a society have we become?Actually, we've gotten a lot better about that sort of thing. Used to be a great deal more viscious, but taking control of the narrative has always been good advice.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Assuming Gio is innocent, then my thoughts on handling the media storm is simple: address the press one time, and one time only , with no Q&A. State your position, then make it perfectly clear that you will not address the issue publicly again. As to the front office, they have already stated that they have no comment until MLB completes their investigation. Every player on the team should also refuse any comment. After a very short time with "no comment" the press will move on to something else.Mark, welcome back. Many thanks to Chase for filling in.GYFNG!!!

  22. waddu eye no - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    positive side:"a Nationals camp that is set to open in a mere eight days."

  23. waddu eye no - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    btw – swami & 222favor for a fellow insider (not me)can you email me at gyfngpfb@gmail.com

  24. Tcostant - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Random thoughts:- I think it is a distraction either way (if Gio did PED or not); as he still needs to deal with questions as well as his teammates.- Just because it's a distraction doesn't mean that you can't get past it and over come it.- Real though needs to go into the ramifacations of a 50 game suspension, the FO needs to consider this senerio- I learned from "Outside the lines" that the Miami New Times contracted each player on the Friday before the article for comment; that means that Gio knoew this bombshell was coming before NatsFest; I'm just hope he enjoyed his last day as a sweeky clean, fun loving guy. It a shame really.- Need baseball soon.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    If Gio was playing in NYC or LA or even Philly I think the media would be all over him.I don't think its going to be a big deal past the first few days of Spring Training.

  26. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Mark, I think your points in this article are bang on. I think all of us wish Gio is completely clean; I also think that it's reasonably likely that there won't be enough there to suspend him even if he's not and in any event I think ARod is the big fish both MLB and the feds maybe interested in. At the end of the day I am disturbed by the association with a clinic known as 'Balco east' and with a trainer who seems to be 'dirty'. I agree with Mark 100% that if there are good explanations for these associations that it would Serve Gio well to lay them out.

  27. IPLawguy - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I love Gio, but knowing how much MLB players are under the spotlight these days,why the heck would his Dad even set foot in a place called Biogenesis?Sec314

  28. natsfan1a - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Welcome back, Mark, and thanks again to Chase for keeping us occupied in your absence.On topic and fwiw, I'm with Feel, er, Tony and sjm.

  29. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Ghost, I disagree; you are still talking about a 21 game winner and a CY Young finalist. I think it is going to be a big deal for some time yet.

  30. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    NatsLady, Does it not strike you as a little odd that the father of a major league star picks 'Balco East' for his weight problem solution?

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    JD said… Ghost,I disagree; you are still talking about a 21 game winner and a CY Young finalist. I think it is going to be a big deal for some time yet. February 04, 2013 10:13 AM Maybe as Tim Kurkjian and Baseball Tonight comes to do their 1 day at Viera.The DC media will get their one chance to ask the inevitable questions than Gio can tell them he did nothing wrong. Did you see how Ray Lewis handled the "murder" and "deer antler PED" questions? He said he didn't do it and moved on. That was the Super Bowl!Now then, if they find more on this Biogenesis tie-in to PEDs and Gio, then this will obviously become larger. So far, this is a bunch of what-ifs and nothing substantial.Could Gio be telling the full truth and it was his father going there for weight loss help? I don't buy it personally but it still doesn't change how I feel that there's no tie-in.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Mark wrote…media members who are going to grill him about his purported relationship with Biogenesis and its chief, Anthony Bosch.I don't see the Washington media members "grilling" Gio. You can ask the obvious questions which is:1. Why did your father choose Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch?2. Who paid the bills at Biogenesis?3. Why did your father need $1,000 worth of Amino supplements for a weight loss diet?4. What is your relationship with Goins (stength coach at Miami)?5. Will you be more diligent with checking into those you associate with?6. Have you ever used the substance called the pink?7. If you didn't have a relationship with Anthony Bosch or Biogenesis, how can you explain why your name and stats were entered into his personal journal?

  33. overseasnatsfan - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    For the sake of the rule of law and the fragility of a man's reputation, no man should ever (partially) sacrifice his legal rights in exchange for taking control of the PR aspect of a "story". For an excellent, objective analysis on the situation so far, I strongly recommend reading this article by Natstradamus (@ouij): http://ow.ly/hoNLl

  34. alexva - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    there is no positive spin on this, Gio does not seem to be in a position to control the situation. hopefully he copes with it all in a way that minimizes the amount it affects his performance. I have my doubts

  35. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    JD, I don't live in Florida, and I'm not familiar with the culture there. But I gather that there are health/weightloss clinics on every street corner. Apparently "Biogensis" was in a substantial-looking three-story building near the university. BioGenesis appears to be a reasonable-looking weight-loss regimen. I stress "reasonable-looking," not reasonable. Here is their website. http://www.bio-genesis.com/index.html We still have not heard why the clinic closed abruptly a month ago. As for his trainer, Gio didn't seem to think he was doing anything wrong, or he would not have proudly posted a picture of himself with his arm around Goins. The "BioGenesis" Clinic wasn't called "Balco East" until the Miami New Times got in the picture. Your question is why I am putting some, maybe most, of the blame on the front-office. They should be putting out a "code of conduct" for players during the off-season, a list of accepted (certified?) gyms and trainers, and enforcing a rule that says supplements, ointments, gels, etc., MUST be ordered from team-approved sources.However, some of what I suggest might be of questionable legality and even if you can control your employee (Gio) it is very hard to control all of your employee's relatives. Just ask Bill Clinton…It is no surprise that Gio's large network of family and friends can cause trouble. I remember rumblings about his large and boisterous "entourage" when he first got here. Livo's "friends" caused problems, and so did those of any number of other ballplayers. You may wish players didn't associate with "shady" characters, but in the good old USofA you can't actually STOP them from doing so.

  36. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    7. If you didn't have a relationship with Anthony Bosch or Biogenesis, how can you explain why your name and stats were entered into his personal journal? Yeah, because my father went there, told him about me and the guy noted it. Really, this is a ridiculous question.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    NatsLady, Gio may need a catchphrase like "that's a clown question bro".I outlined the questions he will probably be faced with and I am sure between his agent and maybe even a PR person with the Nats, they are role playing the questions and answers.Wouldn't you agree Mark?

  38. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    NatsLady, I don't believe in coincidence. The fact that the father of a major league star picks this clinic of all the other clinics available is a major red flag for me. When you then add the strength trainer the smell gets worse. I agree that this doesn't necessarily rise to legal guilt status or maybe even suspension status but I for one am not naive enough to conclude that there's nothing there.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    NatsLady said…Your question is why I am putting some, maybe most, of the blame on the front-office. They should be putting out a "code of conduct" for players during the off-season, a list of accepted (certified?) gyms and trainers, and enforcing a rule that says supplements, ointments, gels, etc., MUST be ordered from team-approved sourcesMost of the agents actually have their approved supplement list for their clients which I believe comes from a much larger list of approved supplements. Interesting thought on trainers and gyms. I think its a good idea for players to get that pre-approved.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    JD said… NatsLady,I don't believe in coincidence. The fact that the father of a major league star picks this clinic of all the other clinics available is a major red flag for me. When you then add the strength trainer the smell gets worse. I agree that this doesn't necessarily rise to legal guilt status or maybe even suspension status but I for one am not naive enough to conclude that there's nothing there. I agree with you but nothing legally wrong. Certainly dotted line guilt by association.

  41. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    JD said … …At the end of the day I am disturbed by the association with a clinic known as 'Balco east' and with a trainer who seems to be 'dirty'. I agree with Mark 100% that if there are good explanations for these associations that it would Serve Gio well to lay them out.There is so much wrong with this that it's hard to know where to start. The clinic wasn't known as "Balco East" until some media wag with little idea of what was actually going on said "it's like it was Balco East" – and soon everyone was saying it was Balco East. The two are only remotely comparable, even if one assumes that absolute worst.The narrative has been that Gio's dad was going there for "weight loss." In his initial interviews (before the lawyers told him to shut up) he implied the treatment was broader than that, referring to his age, etc. It's far more likely that he went there for testosterone and other therapy to (charitably) slow the aging process or (less charitably) to chemically recapture some of his youth. He mentions it to a friend, his friend says "I go here and it worked for me" and Dad goes. Is that what happened? Beats me. But I don't know that isn't what happened, and there are a variety of perfectly plausible scenarios. I agree that Mark's point about narrative is largely from a media perspective. The problem is that large segments of the media aren't interested in truth, they are interested in a story. Stories sell papers, get viewers and web site hits. You don't get hits with "it was all garbage." So the natural bias is towards parsing everything looking for the story, not the truth. Once Gio starts explaining, he had better get every single detail not just right, but provably right, or he's going to spend a lot more time explaining his explanation, and so on, and so on.Let the process play out. Gio should cooperate fully with the league, but he doesn't owe the media a story, and he's not doing himself any favors if he tries to give them one, even the 100% unvarnished truth.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Mark writes… Gonzalez is going to have to explain why his name is listed among Bosch's handwritten notes alongside the names of several substances (some of which are legal, some of which could be illegal or banned by MLB). Mark, how would you word your question to Gio if you plan to ask this?

  43. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    JD, there could be something there. And Gio's father hasn't said (or at least said publicly) who the friend was that recommended the clinic, if in fact that's what happened. In fact, it could be that someone slipped the friend a few $$ to "recommend" the place to Max–who knows? I'm going by personal experience. I once got involved in a shady scheme perpetrated by a boss of mine, basically using company resources for outside work. I wanted to make a little extra money on the side and he offered the opportunity, and I didn't question it as much as I should have because I trusted the guy and thought he was "doing me a favor." When it was found out, he got fired and he returned to his home country. I got transferred to a less desirable job. Nothing bad happened to a couple of my fellow employees who didn't get involved. You can believe I never got involved in anything like that again. My hope is that this episode will put a shock of fear into all our guys (including Gio). If they were doing anything, stop it right now, because eyeballs will be on you.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    This is the first year for HGH testing. This will put a shock into the system plus increased testing may catch those who are good at cycling their steroid use.If players are doing anything more than protein/amino and vitamin and mineral supplements and B12 than they are setting themselves up for a huge fall.I am hoping that 2013 will be the first year since the 1950's that players can be judged on their abilities and not artificial PEDs used to cheat the system.

  45. Tcostant - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I've seen a lot of comment here in terms of Gio; but please no there are no ridiculous questions. Only un-asked questions are "ridiculous" because even denials can later be the basis for contradiction. This isn't a criminal case (yet), but the reason police interview persons of interest is to get them on the record. So when Gio makes a statement like he has never meet Bosch, it is a very big deal if that turns out to be false. An so on…

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Tcostant said… I've seen a lot of comment here in terms of Gio; but please no there are no ridiculous questions. Only un-asked questions are "ridiculous" because even denials can later be the basis for contradiction. I think that was how NatsLady thought Gio should respond.Is that right NatsLady?

  47. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    John C, a very reasonable perspective, and one I share. The more Gio talks and explains, the more the details can trip him up, even if he is guilty of nothing more than questionable associations and naivete. I was once deposed on an auto accident which had occurred a year prior in which no one was injured but the insurance company was fighting. Wow. I remembered a lot, but not everything, and got grilled and grilled.

  48. Tony - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    "I don't see the Washington media members "grilling" Gio. You can ask the obvious questions which is:"The only people for whom Gio needs to answer any of these questions are the MLB investigators. For anyone else, his catch phrase can simply be "no comment". Adding "bro" at the end if he feels like it.

  49. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Ghost, no. I think the question is ridiculous but I don't think Gio should say that. I don't think he should make any attempt to explain it, he should simply say, "I didn't write the note, and I don't know why he did."

  50. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    And if someone follows up with, "Can you speculate why your name would be on the notepad along with your stats and some items," he says, "No, I won't speculate."

  51. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    JohnC. And in all of Miami Gio's father found the one clinic which also includes as it's clients: Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Yasmani Grandal and Melky Cabrerra? So don't call it 'Balco east'. but if all this still rings true for you then you and I simply don't see things the same way. I think there is a lot of wishful thinking here; and as I said before I wish nothing more than to be wrong about this.

  52. Tony - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    A simple "I'm not commenting on any matters currently under investigation" will stop any followup questions in their tracks.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    NatsLady, I think your Answers to the Question is exactly how he should respond. That question is going to be the most "uncomfortable" question asked. It can be phrased many different ways, but this is why his name is in the article in the first place."Gio, if you were never at Biogenesis, why do you think your name in Bosch's journal?"

  54. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Mark writes… Gonzalez is going to have to explain why his name is listed among Bosch's handwritten notes alongside the names of several substances (some of which are legal, some of which could be illegal or banned by MLB). Mark Zuckerman is a member of the Nats press. I'm not sure how Mark will turn this into a question but it seems highly likely that Mark or another member of the assembled press will ask this of Gio.Is it ridiculous? I guess Mark doesn't think so. I don't think so but I think Gio can quickly defuse it with a simple answer that again, I'm sure he will be rehearsing.

  56. Tony - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    "Gio, if you were never at Biogenesis, why do you think your name in Bosch's journal?""What part of 'no comment' do you not understand?"Baseball players are not public officials. They do not have to respond to questions from the press.

  57. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Ghost, you are assuming that Bosch is ethical, and everything he wrote in the journal is the God's honest truth. Now, that's what I call a questionable assumption! Nothing stopped a shady character like Bosch is (allegedly) from writing Gio's name down for simple extortion. Sure, Max comes to the clinic, lets on about his famous son, and Bosch implies Max and Gio came to the back room. As regards Alex R. I have no use for him, period. But one of the things that was mentioned in his favor was that he mentored young Latino players (e.g., Manny Machado). Remember, until this came out, he was "assumed" to have put the PEDs behind him since 2003-2004. Latin players with stars in their eyes might still look up to Alex R and Nelson Cruz (Cruz being a guy who had nothing against him also). Of course they might favor a place that included famous athletes among their clients. I'm not saying he did, but it's pretty easy after the fact to say Gio and his father were associating with shady characters when they might have seen them as famous athletes and clinics/trainers who helped famous athletes–and not necessarily with illegal PEDs. Everyone here who admired or got an autograph from Livo (I did) or Mikey Morse or Pudge Rudriquez is a fan of some shady characters… Right?

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    NatsLady, on legality, I don't see anything credible. In the court of public opinion, there are many that want to suspend Gio.For me, Gio has done nothing wrong except for possibly hanging out with some question people like Goins.

  59. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    "Gonzalez is going to have to explain why his name is listed among Bosch's handwritten notes alongside the names of several substances (some of which are legal, some of which could be illegal or banned by MLB)."With all due respect, the person who has to explain that is the one who wrote the notes. How is Gio expected to answer for the actions of someone else, presumably Bosch, whom he has never met? Once the investigators have an explanation from the source of those notes, assuming they can identify him (or her), then they will have a basis from which to question Gio, and not before. Otherwise, they would be asking Gio to explain the notes of someone he never met, which are cryptic and ambiguous, at best, and somehow discern and explain their meaning and the motivation their having been written.If he is as innocent as he proclaims, the only honest answer he could give would be "I have no idea." A corollary would be "Why don't you ask the guy (or gal) who wrote them?"And why are you assuming Bosch wrote those notes? The only source that I have seen for that are the news people. Newsmen often get such things wrong. If you doubt that, I can provide a long list of much more egregious errors than may be in play here.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, you are assuming that Bosch is ethical, and everything he wrote in the journal is the God's honest truth. Now, that's what I call a questionable assumption! You have the wrong guy. I don't even know if Bosch wrote those notes himself. I'm 100% on Gio's side from a pure legal standpoint.Personally, I have some doubts but the proof is in the pudding. Gio has passed all drug tests.

  61. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Laddie, that's EXACTLY why I said it was a ridiculous question.

  62. sm13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    As i recall, there is talk that thete is a bigger list of clients at this clinic, but the Miami paper only outed players whom they could confirm. I am scared that there could be more Nats on the list.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    sm13, I've heard the same thing that the list is even larger and there were some other names leaked.Again, I see nothing credible on Gio and all this has done is thrown stink on his life. Its done the same with Nelson Cruz.Different story with Melky, Grandal and Colon who were all suspended in 2012 for PEDs.I'm not even sure on ARod. This is very flimsy reporting and too many dotted lines.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8902178/st-louis-cardinals-lead-keith-law-ranking-all-30-farm-systems-mlbKeith Law rated the Nats #21 farm system. The Cardinals were rated #1 based on a top 3 player and 4 others in the Top 100.The Nats had 4 players in the Top 100 and Rendon was the Nats top rated player.Still hoping the Nats will get back some of the Rule 5 players they lost.

  65. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    "Laddie, that's EXACTLY why I said it was a ridiculous question."Agree, if Gio is the one being asked. But perfectly reasonable if the person being asked is the one who actually wrote those notes.Right now, a better question is who wrote them? That is MLB's first priority. If they can;t determine that, they may as well drop the investigation, because, right now, that's all they've got.Guilt by association does not cut it for me. I would not be the least bit surprised if ARod, Melky and/or Colon are dirty, but that does not mean everyone else using that same clinic is equally guilty. Are the honest folks who use the local banks in Miami as guilty as the cartel operatives who also use the same banks for money laundering?See, it's not that complicated. The answer to both questions is "no."

  66. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    "Still hoping the Nats will get back some of the Rule 5 players they lost."Jeff Kobernus would be nice, considering the status of Espinoza's shoulder.

  67. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    JD said… JohnC.And in all of Miami Gio's father found the one clinic which also includes as it's clients: Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Yasmani Grandal and Melky Cabrerra? So don't call it 'Balco east'. but if all this still rings true for you then you and I simply don't see things the same way. I think there is a lot of wishful thinking here; and as I said before I wish nothing more than to be wrong about this.I'm not engaging in wishful thinking, I don't know did or did not happen in this chain of events. The difference is that I'm not assuming that I do know what happened. And as an attorney I am aware of the concept of a standard of proof, particularly where some sort of disciplinary (much less criminal) action is concerned. Here is what we do know:-Max Gonzalez has said that he went to the clinic based on the recommendation of a friend.-Someone turned over notebooks, purportedly from the clinic, purportedly in Bosch's handwriting, to an alternative weekly publication. The notes as published were heavily redacted, possibly selectively so.-The unredacted portions include Gio's name in six places, none of which directly link him to PEDs. One of the pages has Gio's name and his stats, and a formula for "pink cream" that seems to include 3% testosterone.-The only notes that indicate potential treatment of Gio involves substances that are not PEDs. This is significant, because in the case of other athletes whose name were published their entries specifically mentioned PEDs (such as HGH), which creates the appearance that if anything like that had been set aside for Gio it would have been in the notebooks.We don't know who provided the notebooks, his or her credibility, whether the notebooks are in fact genuine, whether the handwriting is even Bosch's. We don't why the information in the notebooks was written in – was it an order from the player? A plan to offer a treatment to a player if the opportunity presented itself? Was the inclusion of Gio's name a simple note that Max was Gio's dad? Nor do we know what is in the redacted portions of the notebooks, and what inferences they might create. We haven't even gotten to the consideration that there is no indication (so far) that ties Gio to the purchase of any PEDs (which is sufficient to be treated as a failed test under MLB procedures).It's never good when a player is caught up in something like this, and there are a number of things that could make this a much bigger deal where Gio is concerned. But we're not there yet, and we're not likely to be there for a while. Don't jump to conclusions. Remember when everyone thought that Richard Jewell was the guy who bombed the Atlanta Olympics? Let the process play out.

  68. NatsLady - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Law said he loved the Nats top 5 propects and but there was nothing else below them. This doesn't really bother me as if anything like 5 prospects become productive major-leaguers, that's great. Hopefully, Rizzo will hunt around for quality "organizational" filler for these guys play with, and hone their talents with good coaching, good strength/conditioning/nutrition. Right now, his focus is on the big-league team, as it should be.

  69. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    And FWIW, I would feel exactly the same, even if the player being implicated in this fashion played for the Phillies!

  70. peric - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    More controversy … first the Stras shutdown and now this …Sounds an awful lot like the pointy-ball team … the shadow of the curse of the Redskins has positioned itself over the Nats?

  71. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Interesting. Law rating the Nationals at #21 is pretty much splitting the difference between Baseball America (#16) and John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com (#25).

  72. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    And most importantly: welcome back, Mark.

  73. natscan reduxit - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Hi Sec. 3,'Actually, we've gotten a lot better about that sort of thing. "… yes, I'd agree with your notion that things are better than the more litigious days of a few decades ago, and that in today’s social climate, taking the route you suggest is probably the prudent thing to do. … but I can’t agree with with your assertion that doing so, that controlling the public perception ahead of standing on one's legal rights, is more effective or advisable than relying on the rule of law. That was my point, that the law has now taken second fiddle to public perception. Sad, really.

  74. SonnyG10 - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    @11:06am, what John C said!

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    NatsJack, when are you headed to Viera next.I expect with all the Twitter that we will find out quicker who has arrived in Viera from player tweets.

  76. realdealnats - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Many of us on this blog have a paradox we have to deal with: the more we talk about this, the more life it has. So, our concern for Gio and our team conflicts with the point of this blog which is to talk about all things Nats–b/c that's what we love. Metaphor: If you want to preserve the Easter Islands then don't go there, b/c it destroys what you love. If you want this story to go away, fight the urge to talk about it. Mark, being a fine reporter, has this paradox to deal with in spades. I'm not telling anyone to do or not do anything, but this is one side of the question, and personally at the end of this comment I'm through talking about it until the legal powers that be resolve it. As a couple people said, there are still all the other stories to deal with, and we enjoy those stories too, right? From a legal standpoint, Gio should answer all questions with as short and bland an "I'm sorry I can't comment on that" as possible. Maybe spice it up when called for with "You'd have to ask him/her." This will be hard for Gio b/c he's a talker. Hopefully he won't give all his team mates credit like he does in all the post-game interviews!

  77. Rabbit34 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I'm going to turn this into an RR season: Root for Ross. Now, I'm going out for a walk and hope it snows.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    There are only 15 arbitration cases unresolved at this point. Interestly, out of the 15, 20% of the cases are with the Orioles who have 3 players asking a combined $18.55 million vs. $13.20 offered by the team.The Reds also have 3 arbitration cases and the Nats have just 1 with Jordan Zimmermann. It used to be that the biggest issue to start Spring Training was the Arb cases. Times have certainly changed. Last year it was the shutdown plan for Stephen Strasburg that was the big story last Spring Training.I agree with what Realdealnats wrote on the big storyline. Its like the car wreck that people keep rubber-necking on.

  79. sm13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Ghost – I agree that nothing has been proven, but with every new name will come more new distractions.

  80. sm13 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Ghost – I agree that nothing has been proven, but with every new name will come more new distractions.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Ghost…..I'm going over Thursday morning.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…..I'm going over Thursday morning. February 04, 2013 1:26 PM Excellent! I think Ross Detwiler gets into Florida today.

  83. Avar - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Here's my problem. In my memory, every time a player has been tagged with this type of evidence to PEDs, they either later admit it or more evidence is found. I can't think of an exception. If someone else can, I'd love to hear it.Believing Gio is innocent requires believing in a lot of weird theories and coincidences. To me, logic is not on the side of Gio's innocence. I want to be wrong.As for distraction, I am definitely afraid that Gio's performance will be affected by the story. That seems to be his track record.

  84. IKN8wxU2 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Actually, my wife, daughter, and I were at National Airport on Saturday, and saw Mr. Detwiler waiting to catch a plane somewhere (and eating a burger). So he may already be in Florida.

  85. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Avar, I think you're right. The 49ers were 5-0 in Super Bowls until yesterday. Eventually someone will be telling the truth and I hope its Gio.

  86. UnkyD - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    "Believing Gio is innocent requires believing in a lot of weird theories and coincidences. To me, logic is not on the side of Gio's innocence. I want to be wrong."………………..It also doesn't cost me a nickel… And I'm really into free stuff!

  87. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    "Believing Gio is innocent requires believing in a lot of weird theories and coincidences."Maybe. But there is not enough in the public record to decide whether he is innocent or guilty of anything. Logic is not on the side of holding either opinion, at present. Until and unless there is actual hard evidence that he did something wrong, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence.That is not the same thing as "believing" he is innocent. People can and will believe anything they want. That is not how things will be decided.

  88. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    John C. I am in full agreement with you that from everything we know there is not yet a legal problem for Gio; probably not even a suspend able problem with MLB. What I am saying is that I don't like the way this smells. It doesn't really matter if I like it or I don't so I am really just expressing my opinion; that's all. I wonder how the reaction here would have been if there were no Nats involved? what if we substituted say Jimmy Rollins in the story? would the reaction have been the same?

  89. JD - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Laddie, That is not the same thing as "believing" he is innocent. People can and will believe anything they want. That is not how things will be decided." Absolutely. 100% I am not advocating that Gio be charged or suspended at all. I am just having a hard time sorting this out in my own mind and concluding that nothing wrong happened.

  90. baseballswami - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Once your team is well-known and , well, good – everything the players do attracts more attention. If you are bad, no one cares. There is a certain smugness – a my, how the mighty have fallen, kind of attitude. Almost like someone wants to convince himself that Gio could not have been good without help, the Nats could not have been good without help. Some of our neighbors from the city of brotherly love have been spewing bile on twitter and their blogs. Makes this stuff in here look like kindergarten.

  91. Avar - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Well said Ghost of Steve M. I'm very much hoping Gio is the guy to change the pattern.

  92. Rabbit34 - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    As I learned during the Super Bowl, "it's only wierd if it doesn't work".

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Former Cy Young Brandon Webb announced his retirement. Many speculated Rizzo would go after his onetime Ace.Shoulder injuries are generally the kiss of death to pitchers.

  94. natsfan1a - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    And we should care what is spewed by Phillies Phans why? (Well, maybe we should care if we're in the direct line of fire and they are, er, extruding a prior cheese-steak meal. :-))Some of our neighbors from the city of brotherly love have been spewing bile on twitter and their blogs. Makes this stuff in here look like kindergarten.

  95. baseballswami - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Don't really care – just read some stuff on twitter that was so vile is was almost amusing. And quite typical. They were saying that we can't sell out Nats Park without them! it was actually quite pathetic. I just really don't want Nats fans to turn into them. I am hoping that's not what winning does to you. The Giants and Cards fans seem pretty cool, though.

  96. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Phillies fans better tend to their own house. They had their young second baseman and their All Star catcher popped for 50 games last season.

  97. John C. - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    JD, it's never good for a team to have its player involved in a story like this – but these storied don't always lead to proof and suspensions. Without even researching it (no time) I remember that Santana Moss was linked to an HGH doctor a couple of years ago, but nothing ever came of it. We just tend to remember the stories that develop legs as opposed to the ones that just fade away.

  98. Scooter - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Well said, John C.I feel much the same way about potatoes.

  99. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    I am not advocating that Gio be charged or suspended at all. I am just having a hard time sorting this out in my own mind and concluding that nothing wrong happened.I think his point was that we do not need to conclude anything yet. We could simply not know, and wait.

  100. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Did that lose my itals? The first part is fron JD.

  101. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    *from

  102. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Hey Natscan!Actually I was thinking further back, to the late 19th-early 20th centuries, but the point is the same. I agree with you, the Rule of Law is absolutely crucial. I am saying it isn't the only relevant channel. For now at least, Gio isn't in trouble with the law, or even the rules of MLB. Assuming this is all as BS as he says, his main exposure here IMO is public perception, his rep. That matters because he is a normal human being and it affects him, but also because he is not normal in that he gets paid to endorse stuff, and the law can't help him there.

  103. Scooter - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Fine points, Sec3. In fact, there's been some vey mature and rational commentary on here lately.Do remember, though, that even a person who is not "in trouble with the law," as such, might yet have something to fear from the law — particularly the investigative and prosecutorial arms of same. I think that's why certain among us are advocating complete silence.Whatever the right answer is, I'm glad I don't have to deal with such quandaries in my life. I already have all the endorsement contracts I anticipate having.

  104. Scooter - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Also, although we've been sort of trained to think otherwise, Saying Absolutely Nothing really is a fine way to deal with lots of the situations life can throw at you. Trust me, it really works, and you arely say something you'll regret — no matter how innocuous it seemed at the time.

  105. Scooter - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    "arely"? Rarely.

  106. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Brad Peacock us now an Astro of Houston..

  107. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Brad Peacock is now a Houston Astro..

  108. natsfan1a - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Me, too. (My latest is Natitude rally towels. Long may they wave.)Whatever the right answer is, I'm glad I don't have to deal with such quandaries in my life. I already have all the endorsement contracts I anticipate having.

  109. Laddie Blah Blah - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    "I think his point was that we do not need to conclude anything yet. We could simply not know, and wait."Exactly.

  110. whatsanattau - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    I turned on XM MLB baseball this evening at the tale end of an interview with Dave Stewart. I think I heard him call Gio a clean cut young man who he believed did things the right way. Can anyone confirm that is what he said?

  111. DL in VA - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    "Believing Gio is innocent requires believing in a lot of weird theories and coincidences."WHOA.Believing Gio is GUILTY requires believing that a whole lot of things are true that you wouldn't believe of anyone else.- Before this story, had you ever heard of the Miami New Times? If not, there's a reason for that. It is not a well known paper, with circulation of 66,000/week. (By comparison, the WaPo is > 500,000/day.) Why would one trust their veracity?- Then there's the actual accusation. Who wrote it? Why should we believe it? What proof do we have that its author is in the position this reporter says it is? Does it come from a source with a good reputation for honest reporting? – Let's say I have a piece of paper with your name, and 200 other people's names on it, one of them being Alex Rodriguez. The paper also says "pink cream" on it. Why would one trust this paper to mean that 201 people on my list are using pink cream?- As far as you know, I'm nobody, or at least, you don't know me. But yet, I take my piece of paper with 201 names to the Washington City Paper (circulation 50,000/wk) and tell them I work or worked for the guy that made that sheet of paper, a company that handed that stuff out. I then say it's proof of PED use by those 201 people. Why would one believe that it is?Quite simply, there is zero authentication of this accusation. We don't know who wrote it, and we don't have any reason to trust this anonymous person. The people accused in it have denied it, but we are asked to believe the nameless person that says it's true. But it's the denials that are hard to believe?

  112. Kenz aFan - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Gio Gonzalez will only be a distraction if journalists and beat writers shove their microphones, mini recorders or cell phones in his face asking him question about the Biogenesis clinic.In my country and in the U.S., a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As of right now, Gio has been tagged with guilty verdict by association and that's just plain wrong.Gio Gonzalez is not deserving the disrespect he's been getting because of this.I should add that I made major edits to this comment, because the original wording was much more expressive and was filled with harsh words towards the 5th estate.

  113. JSLSais - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I find it completely ludicrous the suggestion that somehow the front office is responsible. NatsLady needs a dole of reality. Let's see now…players decide when to take themselves out not management. Oh, don't use the Strasburg example. How long before Adam, Ian, Danny, Ryan, blah blah blah came clean with injuries? Why does NatsLady think that players would listen to managemet? These guys are not babies, so lets stop treating them like they are. They are grown men who don't seem to have a problem making their own decisions. If Gio used, then I hope he gets suspended because unlike some people on this site, I care more about baseball than a team or individual. I have read some of the posts and realize that the problem isn't PEDS but rather fans who will fan any excuse to explain away their guy or team.

  114. JSLSais - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    what i am hearing on this site is that it is ok to steal and cheat so as long as you don't get caught. just like wall street. saying stuff like well it really did not say that or Gio keep quiet is what is wrong with this country. Gio should come clean and not hide behind someone's skirt. man up if you are guilty and my gut says he is guilty. name one instance when a story like this broke and it turned out to be not true or proven to be not true. i can't think of one single instance. anyone?

  115. NatsLady - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Look up Richard Jewett and the Atlanta Olympics

  116. SonnyG10 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    I do believe we have a Philthy Troll on site.

  117. Gonat - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/8915576/new-york-yankees-want-keep-alex-rodriguez-rehab-location-secretARod attracting the papparazzi and some of you are worried about the Nats beat writers? Mark, Amanda and Adam will be fair to Gio.

  118. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    Sorry for the singing lesson there. Thought better of it and changed my mind.

  120. Dave - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Scooter @ 6:00 PM: Also, although we've been sort of trained to think otherwise, Saying Absolutely Nothing really is a fine way to deal with lots of the situations life can throw at you. Trust me, it really works, and you arely say something you'll regret — no matter how innocuous it seemed at the time. Those are pure words of wisdom.

  121. Catcher50 - Feb 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Of course, we've got to learn more about this, but…Aminorip is "designed to repair your muscles and skin tone, joint flexibility and for weight management, along with healthier and rejuvenated bones, hair (I could use some of that) and skin. For a vulnerable population, in a retirement haven, like south Florida, this sounds like a panacea. Seems like some guy is standing on the back of a cart, selling snake oil.

Archives

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THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
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