Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals have a tremendous amount of attention on them as spring training gets underway. That attention unfortunately will be split between the Nats' chances to win a World Series title and revelation of Gonzalez's name being linked to Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic.
The Washington Post reports that Gonzalez's name "appeared five times, including a specific 2012 annotation that referred to an order of 'Zinc/MIC/…and Aminorip' for $1,000." The Washington Post goes on to report that "in records later divulged, Gonzalez’s name appears next to a substance called “pink cream.”
Gonzalez went on to tell the Post that his father had gone to the clinic as an "illegitimate patient" and believes that his father's boasting about his son could have led to the confusion. Gonzalez continues to defend his innocence: “At the end of the day, I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will. I’m actually pretty excited about this year.”
ESPN revealed on Wednesday that two sources reported that Gonzalez did not receive any banned substances from Bosch.
Entering spring training, all that remains certain is uncertainty—and a ton of "he said, she said."
Gonzalez is excited about this season—but will he be able to handle the extra pressure and perform as he has in the past? Gonzalez was full of smiles and positivity last season but will have to try to block out the impending investigation that will overlap with the beginning of this season's spring training.
Gonzalez has the luxury of being on a team full of stars and stand-out talents that will help to drown out his PED story. The Miami clinic story doesn't appear to be going away anytime in the near future; however, the new names that come out might eventually make Gio's situation seem not so relevant anymore.
Does the extra drama mean that Gio is going to have an atrocious year? Absolutely not, but he might indeed show he is a little bit distracted by the whole affair.
He is only human.
But if he can block everything out every fifth day, then Gonzalez will have a year that is predominantly positive.