When I first heard the Washington Nationals acquired pitcher Gio Gonzalez I was like many: quickly on the computer Googling “Giovany Aramis González.”
My first exposure to him wasn’t an article telling of his feats or a Youtube video of this kid mowing them down. No, it was a photo, a telling photo, that spoke to that psychotic inner fan in all of us, that belief that fan and player have made some sort of cosmic connection. It was a photo of Gonzalez at some sort of Marvel Comic gig standing with Iron Man.
More on that in a moment…
By now most if not all of you have been well versed in what is going on in Miami right now. If you want the nitty-gritty details, I’ll turn you over to the nuts over at Federal Baseball who either have the Jedi Library at their disposal or they are just really good researchers. The quick version is a PED clinic known as “Biogenesis” (based out of Miami, that blight of a city) is accused of having connections selling various MLB banned substances to (wait for it) MLB ballplayers– one of these possibly being one Giovany Aramis González.
Christ, here we go again. Chemistry is goddamn witchcraft I tell you…
Gio’s name appears five times in notebooks of receipts and orders that have been turned in as evidence. In some instances it is by himself and in others his name is written by that of his own father. None of the substances listed next to Gio’s name appear on the MLB Banned Substance List.
The Gonzalez Family firmly denies any wrong doing or Gio knowingly taking any illegal or banned substances or even having contact with the company. The Nationals released a statement that they remain mum. The MLB remains deeply involved in the investigation and any actions or official word are forthcoming. Read the Federal article. It is all there.
This is all devastating news on several fronts. The herpes on the game that is steroids still lingers waiting for someone to scratch. A young Cy-Young candidate on a young and rising team has been accused of cheating which is neither good for the team, the fans or Gio himself. His career now holds a stain that he won’t be able to get rid of. Even if investigators and the MLB come back and declare him completely innocent, you know there will be those douchebags at every turn who you couldn’t convince of his innocence even if you threatened to feed their children to rabid crocodiles.
If Gio is guilty, how absolutely disappointing and terrifying. If innocent, tragic. Everything Gio has fought for and bled for stamped out. His very character pulled through the mud by the sins of the game that are catching up with it.
It is that character where the answer lies.
If you look over the evidence that is known and provided, Gio Gonzalez is innocent and the threat of a 50-game ban is crap- or should be. Nothing on the banned substance list was listed next to his name and his father admits contact only for himself with BioGenesis and Gio had no association with the organization or anyone in it. They have nothing on Gio except some alphabet soup labeled next to his name in some notebooks from a disreputable business.
Back to Iron Man– it takes a special sort of geek to take his love of comics and superheroes into adulthood and put it out there on display for all to see. I should know: I am one of them. Comic book lovers share a deep connection with their graphic work of choice be it Batman or Iron Man. It is like these heroes become a part of our lives and oddly enough we become or “take” certain things from them and apply them to our own lives. I make no apologies in confessing I learned more morals, ethics and the desire to just be a good person in life from Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing adventures than I did from the Bible.
I am going completely out on a limb here and say it was probably the same for Gio. His heroes in ink (like those in real life) made their mark upon him, even subconsciously. Everyone wishes they could be a superhero: that pillar of fortitude that fights for justice and liberty with incredible powers and a strict code of responsibility. Gio Gonzalez has come closer to being a superhero than many of us. A baseball player from Hialeah, Florida making good, making the Majors and bringing style and greatness to a franchise in Washington D.C.
Something about this whole Miami thing just doesn’t make sense when Gio is in the equation. A guy who grew up reading about heroes, loving his heroes and eventually becoming one to many I can’t see doing something like this. It is a tarnish, a kryptonite of sorts to Gio’s character. Something like this would hurt him more than it would hurt us or anyone else. It doesn’t mesh with the little kid reading comics inside him. I don’t think he would do it for this reason and that is why I believe him when he says he didn’t.
Is this stupid? Naive? Completely off? Probably. Maybe. But I don’t care. To me, it just feels right. I’m going on gut here, NQ readers. I guess I feel this way because I would be devastated if I was in his position. I would feel ashamed. I would feel like I let down the people of Gotham.
The chemistry that makes up Gio Gonzalez I believe is already set in ink. That is why it is safe to believe in Gio Gonzalez.
Superman will never stop fighting for us. The Batman will never kill the Joker. Spiderman will never shun his responsibility. Professor X will never cease in his quest for equality. Giovany Aramis González would never take steroids and betray the trust a team and community have in him.
I believe in Gio Gonzalez.