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Gonzalez responds to latest report

Feb 20, 2013, 6:53 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Gio Gonzalez throws a pitch during today’s live batting practice drill.

VIERA, Fla. — In the wake of a new report that says he never received any banned substances from the Miami clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball for distributing performance enhancing drugs, Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez expressed confidence today he’ll be cleared of all wrongdoing.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported Tuesday night that while Gonzalez did receive $1,000 worth of substances from embattled Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch, none were considered PEDs. The pitcher, who has denied ever taking any PEDs or even knowing Bosch since an initial Miami New Times report connected him with the clinic, said today he’s still waiting to hear official word from MLB but seemed pleased with the direction the issue is headed.

“I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t heard anything yet officially from MLB,” Gonzalez said this afternoon at Space Coast Stadium following the Nationals’ workout. “I do plan on sitting down and cooperating with them. I want to get this all done before the season starts. This is all new to me, guys. I do plan on getting ready, looking forward to spring training, and I feel confident this is going to come out good.”

The Nationals again did not let Gonzalez appear on camera and would not allow follow-up questions on the Biogenesis story,
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  1. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    As someone posted in an earlier thread, the "Gladiator" connection to "Maximus" = Max G. is easily believable. I'm wondering why Max would need a code name.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Ok then. Thought we would get some more insight.

  3. Dave - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Where's tcostant? Looking for some snarky remark about how Gio's still under suspicion until he appears on camera or something.I, however, am breathing a sign of relief and feeling validated in my earlier opinions of this matter.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Dave, I feel the same way.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    I'm still very surprised that none of the big sports media groups ran with the New York Times article that was very critical of Anthony Bosch and basically shredded him up and discredited him.The only thing I can think of is that they want to show the ugly side because that's what helps ratings.I'm just glad ESPN took the bold move to try to clear Gio's name.

  6. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Sofa, why does anyone need a code name? Y'know, like, um, "Sofa"? I would be curious to know if friends of Max call him "Gladiator" for fun, or if the so-called "Doc" made that up, but I doubt we'll ever find out. I had an online friend in the 80s who called himself "Dirty Harry." I met him in person at a convention and he was middle-aged with a big paunch…

  7. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Ghost, clearing Gio probably wasn't their original goal, and they did bring five more names into the picture. I am glad, however, that they had the honesty to include the Gio information in their stories.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Sec3, if the New York Times article is believable, Tony Bosch wanted to create illusion and be larger than he actually was. Since we haven't seen the full journal or even whether or not its been fully shown as credible, I'm guessing there are pages of code names to decipher. Again, the rumor is there was 1 more huge name out there and they still haven't disclosed it and possibly because its just not prudent to as the tie-in is weak.

  9. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    This batting practice is more dangerous than you think it would be..Andrew Baggarly ‏@CSNBaggsJavier Lopez officially out of the WBC. He made decision before yesterday, when Bumgarner pitch hit him on throwing hand. Swollen but OK.

  10. Tcostant - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Here I am – Interesting that when Gio first showed up in the spring that he implied that he already meet with MLB investigators. Now it seems like he waiting to meet with them. Interesting…From the start, I was hoping he is truly not a PED user and I still hope that and am encouraged by these reports. But Dave before you try to crush me, basically ESPN has said 25 out of the 26 names reported in the last few weeks where sold PED's and Gio is the one who didn't. As I said, all along where there is smoke, there is usually is fire & and it seems like everyone is on fire except Gio. I have no regrets for my option.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, clearing Gio probably wasn't their original goal, and they did bring five more names into the picture. I am glad, however, that they had the honesty to include the Gio information in their stories. February 20, 2013 2:11 PM That's exactly how I feel. They haven't done the same for Danny Valencia and I have heard there is no tie-in for him and no drugs or dollar amounts next to him.His guilt by association is that he was a Univ of Miami player. He's also a bubble player on the O's roster and this "stink" on him could cost him a roster spot. That would be real unfair.

  12. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Ghost, that seems very possible, that Bosch just used "code names" basically b/c he thought it made him look cool.And NL, my doctor doesn't call me Sofa.

  13. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    I think you guys should back off Tcostant. Just because you apparently guessed right, and he apparently guessed wrong, doesn't make you a better person.

  14. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    TCostant.. Umm.. Gio met with MLB (before spring training started) and will continue to meet with MLB.. that had been established by the multiple reports. He is going to do whatever MLB wants whenever they want to keep his name clear.

  15. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Maybe Max G. wasn't even aware they used a code name … altho "Gladiator" is a pretty cool code name, if you are going to have one.

  16. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    And in case you're wondering — and whom are we kidding, of COURSE you're wondering! — my doctor DOES call me Scooter.:-)

  17. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    And no.. not picking on Tcostant.. just trying establish the trail for all of us to follow.. Too much is has been put out their to cloud the facts.

  18. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Here is the link to Clip and Rizzo on the Radio today.audiohttp://www.stationcaster.com/player_skinned.php?s=65&c=428&f=1106211

  19. Tcostant - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    MicheleS what am I missing, I see this above:""I'm going to be honest with you, I haven't heard anything yet officially from MLB," Gonzalez said this afternoon at Space Coast Stadium following the Nationals' workout. "I do plan on sitting down and cooperating with them. I want to get this all done before the season starts."To me that says he has not talked with them. It doesn't say; I have not heard "back" from MLB, it say he has not heard from them and wants to talk with them before the season start. I agree I heard what you hear before today, but this seems to be the opposite of that.

  20. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Tcostant, Gio was drug-tested two days after the report came out. It could be that is what he meant when he said he "had co-operated" with MLB.

  21. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Agree with Scooter and Tcostant made it clear he is not wish ill on Gio and hopes he is clean. There was and still are lots of issues here and MLB will probably take their time in investigating. Do we think this will involve a Federal Investigation as well? They have just a tad more power to dig deeper than MLB does.Ghost, were you really surprised that Gio would not say more? Like I mentioned earlier, the less said the better. Heard mlb channel already dismissing the espn report and still considering Gio a suspect. Its all in what people want to hear and believe. Gio needs to stay quiet and let things work out. The more he talks the more speculation there will be.

  22. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    btw, I am Spartacus.Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Maybe Max G. wasn't even aware they used a code name … altho "Gladiator" is a pretty cool code name, if you are going to have one. February 20, 2013 2:22 PM

  23. Tcostant - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    NatsLady – good point. Guess that is whay you got your own blog! :)

  24. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Agreed.Scooter said… I think you guys should back off Tcostant. Just because you apparently guessed right, and he apparently guessed wrong, doesn't make you a better person. February 20, 2013 2:21 PM

  25. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    TCos, I think you are missing the context. I understand that to be in reference to MLB not *yet* clearing him of (or charging him with) any wrongdoing, the ESPN story notwithstanding.

  26. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Tcostant, aw, blush! No post today, am a little busy. Have some thoughts about a post for tomorrow…

  27. sm13 - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    The ESPN report says , basically , that Gio was dumb, but didn't cross the line to stupid – and, I'm a big Gio fan. I hope he's learned his lesson.

  28. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Can we still make fun of people's bad spelling and grammar? Surely *that*makes us better people.

  29. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Your dam right, Sofa3.

  30. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    If I understand correctly, the items were purchased in March of 2012. Not only was Gio tested two days after the report became public, but the fact that he was tested also became public, which suggests that he and/or the Nats were pretty confident he would pass. I haven't followed closely, but have we heard whether, for example, Nelson Cruz was tested? It's difficult to prove a negative. But Gio was accused (and to some, convicted) in the "court of public opinion." Now he's been "cleared" in the same court. MLB has neither accused, convicted nor cleared him. They did invite him to play in the WBC; I consider that a sign of faith in him. It may be the only sign we get.

  31. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    sjm, my understanding is there is no Federal investigation–although not for lack of trying on MLB's part.

  32. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Thanks NL and by the way, I like your blog.I wondered if there was anything illegal enough to cause this to go further.

  33. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Its all write with me if you dew.Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Can we still make fun of people's bad spelling and grammar? Surely *that*makes us better people. February 20, 2013 2:36 PM Scooter said… Your dam right, Sofa3. February 20, 2013 2:43 PM

  34. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    TCost.. yup, lot's of info out there and most of it mirky.My one take on this.. TJ Quinn. He is not going to clear someone's name unless he has the proof to back it up. Gio and his dad still have lots of explaining to do, but that may just be for stupidity and nothing else.

  35. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Here is the actual interview with TJ Quinn in the video portion of the story.ESPN

  36. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Kudos to Mark for noting the question that he and other reporters would like to ask, but were prevented from asking. That's the missing link here, and the reason I'm not taking the ESPN report as a total exoneration of Gio, much as I hope he will ultimately be exonerated.Fortunately for him, shading the truth in a tweet or a press conference is not a crime, or even a suspend-able offense. So if the bottom line is that he did know Bosch, but was just purchasing legal substances, then fine. But I'll still wonder why he didn't fess up to that right away, instead of claiming he'd never met the guy. And I hope at some point the Nats will let the reporters ask him. And by the way, for those who have said, well maybe he never actually met him even though he went to the clinic, or his Dad made his purchases of legal substances for him, or whatever other parsing of Gio's tweet and first press statement you can come up with, that's like saying it depends on what meaning of "is" is. Fine for beating a perjury rap, but not what you expect of a public figure communicating with the public.

  37. SCNatsFan - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    I for one doubted Gio and his story. Glad I was proven wrong. I don't know Gio personally (duh) so it wasn't based on him but after watching every episode of Law and Order I understand that smoke generally leads to fire however there is the occasional trick ending. Glad this seems to be one of those.

  38. Tony - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Gio isn't a public figure communicating with the public. He's a baseball pitcher. He tweeted that he's never met the guy. No need to parse what he might have meant by that. It wasn't a deposition, it was a tweet.

  39. bowdenball - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Section 222- That is NOTHING like saying it depends on the meaning of what "is" is. That's just a terrible analogy.He maybe ordered something legal from a company. He never denied that. Of course he may not have even ordered it- it may be his dad. We don't know, and we have no reason to care. The bottom line is that he did absolutely nothing wrong and therefore has nothing for which to be held accountable. I would say that those trying to find some way to "blame" him by saying his previous statements were somehow misleading are the ones doing the parsing, since ultimately he could have said he was from outer space if he wanted to. It wouldn't matter one bit if he didn't break the rules or the law.

  40. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Tony/Feel, I know you like to disagree with everything I say, but come on. Of course he's a public figure! He nearly won the Cy Young award last year. He has over 50,000 followers on Twitter. He tweeted right after the New Times story came out because he wanted to communicate with his fans and reassure them. Then he has a highly structured press conference on the first day in camp. And of course neither was a deposition, that's why it's not a crime if he lied or shaded the truth. But let's be serious. He said he never met the guy. Are you ok with him saying that if in fact he knew his Dad was purchasing stuff (legal or illegal) for him? Are you ok with him saying that if he went to Bosch's clinic to get stuff (legal or illegal) but met with another employee to complete the transation? I'm not. When he said he never met the guy he wanted us all to believe that the story was completely false. That he had no contact with Bosch or his clinic, that he never obtained or ingested any substances from it. Is that true, or isn't it? We don't know.I don't want to parse his statements, that's the point. If he's going to talk at all, and nothing requires him to do so, then he should be straightforward in what he says. And right now, the report that supposedly clears him of PED use says he (somehow) obtained legal substances from the clinic. That's not consistent with his tweets and press statements.

  41. Tony - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    I've never met Section 222 or Feel. Who cares what I mean by that? Same thing with what Gio tweeted. If he wanted his tweeps to think he meant he'd never physically met him, or never interacted with him via a third party or whatever, what he was trying to tell them was that he's not guilty of what the article said he had done. Who cares how he explains that? His tweeps aren't MLB investigators or a court of law.

  42. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Sorry Bowdenball, but I'm not parsing. I'm taking his statements at face value. He said: "I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substance [p]rovided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie." If it turns out he obtained and used legal substances from Bosch's clinic, either because his father got them for him, or he dealt with another employee, he misled us with that tweet. As I said before, that's not a criminal offense, and it's not going to lead to his suspension. But I will have lost respect for him as a fan. Won't you? Or will you admire the cleverness of his tweet which is technically truthful, but misleading, just like "it depends what the meaning of "is" is."

  43. bowdenball - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Section 222-Will I care if he used a substance from a clinic where Tony Bosch worked if he said he never met him or used something provided by him? No, not remotely. It doesn't take much "parsing" to differentiate between meeting a person/using a (presumably illegal) substance provided by them personally and using a legal substance provided by their company. And in any event, if you hold athletes accountable for the absolute veracity of every single word they say on Twitter, you're gonna run out of athletes to respect awfully quickly.

  44. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    222 – so you are saying that if Gio lied about anything in his tweet you will lose respect for him. OK, will you stop rooting for him when he takes the mound? Hope not.

  45. sjm308 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I think if Gio had listened to me (shocker that he did not) and had just said absolutely nothing, then this would not even be an issue. Several here disagreed but as you see, the more you say, the deeper you get yourself into a mess, innocent or guilty.

  46. JaneB - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    I knew he was okay. I know it's not official yet but I believed him in the twittesphere and I believe him here. I hope they DO clear him before the season starts. That he is on the US team, and got put there AFTER the allegations came out, is meaningful to me.

  47. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    sjm, that's the point. Gio didn't have to say anything. But he decided to speak out. If it turns out he misled us in his tweet, I'll continue to root for the Nats when he pitches, but my Gio fan-dom will end. Not that he or anyone else will care about that of course. But I don't like dishonest people, whether they are on our team or any other.bowdenball — I certainly don't hold athletes accountable for the absolute veracity of everything they say on Twitter. That would be a fools' errand. But this situation was not your garden variety tweet. This was Gio choosing to respond to a very serious allegation with full knowledge that what he said would be broadcast all over the baseball world. In that kindof situation, yes, I do want to see absolute veracity, not a carefully crafted, technically true but misleading statement. And of course, the statement was followed by two carefully managed and controlled press events depriving the press of any opportunity to question Gio about the inconsistencies between his statements and the facts as we now know them. Sooner or later, he's going to have to answer the questions. I hope he answers them honestly.I do want to point out that it's still possible that Gio doesn't know Bosch, and has never used any substance provided by him or his clinic. Maybe the ESPN report is correct that Gio didn't purchase anything illegal, but incorrect in that Gio's Dad actually purchased all the items for his own use, not Gio's. If that's the case, my concern will be alleviated and I will happily continue to be a Gio fan.

  48. JaneB - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Also, 222, it is possible that he could have taken something his Dad gave him without knowing where it came from. I am NOT NOT NOT saying he did. But he may have been telling the truth as he knew it. Just sayin' Just the other day I said I could never be friends with a diehard Phillies phan (we all have our prejudices) and it turned out, I already was. I spoke the "truth" as I knew it, but I just didn't know the whole thing.

  49. SonnyG10 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Ok, ok, ok. I give up!

  50. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    JaneB, you're absolutely right. There are several possible innocent explanations. I just hope the actual facts turn out to be that Gio was telling the whole truth as he knew it at the time, rather than being (too)clever (by half) in his statements.

  51. Steady Eddie - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    222, the ESPN story stated that the printout said that Gio "received" the legal substances, which are (however dubious in effectiveness) typically used for weight loss. As Gio is not going to be using weight loss stuff, especially going into the regular season (remember, this was in March 2012), the likeliest meaning is that Max used Gio's credit card to buy the stuff for himself. If that's the case, then Gio "received" the stuff only from the purely technical perspective of a commercial transaction.

  52. Theophilus T. S. - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    There is a difference between a statement that is broad — and incorrect/false — and the same statement ("I've never met Tony Bosch, etc.") that is in fact narrow (because it leaves open the possibility he met someone who worked for Bosch) and is literally true. I'm willing to accept that Gonzalez's initial statements were intentionally narrow and literally true but left lots of room for interpretation. However, his more recent statements appear to be in conflict with his original, narrow statements and leave him with a credibility gap. As I have previously stated, both the original documents and the documents underpinning yesterday's report are both hearsay and prove neither guilt nor innocence. Just as Bosch could have fabricated documents indicating guilt, equally he could have created computer data indicative of innocence. Hopefully MLB will end its investigation in a way that allows Gonzalez to keep his virtue. But he really ought to rely on the "I'm just a dumb jock" defense and keep his mouth shut, before everyone starts awarding him Pinocchios.

  53. SonnyG10 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Now that everyone has probably moved on to newer posts, I thought I would rant one more time. I have believed Gio from the very beginning. I thought to myself, if this guy is taking PEDs, where are the results? Like the old Wendy's commercials, "where's the beef?" And I thought if he's taking, he ought to get his money back. There is no 98 mph fastball or anything that looks like it could be enhanced performance. So I absolutely believed Gio and I still do. It just really bothers me that there are others on this blog that are so quick to throw Gio under the bus. Its like they are afraid Gio is pulling something over on them, and they are making sure that doesn't happen. They are quick to point out things from other sources and use that to imply Gio has lied, rather than believing Gio. I just can't understand why they do this and it just makes me angry that they do. It's not that I wouldn't be skeptical of a few other Nats players. For example if this news broke out about Michael Morse, I wouldn't be as quick to defend him because he does have tremendous power. I'm not saying that I think Michael uses PEDs, but I would have to wait for more proof before I would believe in his innocense. Oh well, hopefully this gets the bug out of my system. End of rant.

  54. natsfan1a - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Gardner - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    The guy who mows my lawn also sells drugs. I am sure I am in his ledger. I guess I buy drugs (I dont). I had a personal trainer who definitely used and sold steroids. I guess I am on the juice (never have been). There must be more to life than uninformed speculation. GO GIO. GO NATS!

  56. Gardner - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Gardner - Feb 21, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Morse was suspended for using steroids before he joined the Nationals.

  58. natsfan1a - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    True that.

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