District 9: Gio Gonzalez
Here at Curly W Live, we are putting our own spin on the traditional “10 Questions” format this season. To mix it up a little, we will ask players, front office members, coaches and prospects nine questions we think you’d like to know the answer to, then take our favorite submission through Facebook and Twitter from the fans for the final question. Stay tuned all season long for the chance to ask your favorite National whatever you’ve always wanted to know.
Our “District 9” series starts off with the newest member of the Nationals rotation, one Giovany A. Gonzalez, better known to his fans as “Gio”. The left-hander made his way to Nationals Park on Wednesday for the first time since his December 23 trade from Oakland, and Curly W Live caught up with him prior to his introductory press conference.
1. What is the significance of the number 47?
Well, 47 was the number I got when I got called up. I figure it’s given me so much luck, and my family loves the number, so I was more than happy to get it.
2. Who had the most influence on you outside of baseball as a kid?
Absolutely my parents, my mom and dad. They were my heroes when I was a kid.
3. What is your favorite sport outside of baseball? Your favorite team?
Since I’m from south Florida I grew up watching the Florida Marlins, now the Miami Marlins. I grew up watching the Miami Heat. I watched a little bit of hockey here or there, the Florida Panthers. If I was to pick out one specifically it would be the Miami Heat. I watched those guys ever since I was a kid.
4. What is your favorite ballpark?
My favorite ballpark in baseball would have to be… well, absolutely Washington now (laughing).
5. What is the best team you’ve ever played on?
I have to say Oakland, the team that gave me an opportunity to play and gave me the chance to be who I am today. I always have to give credit to the team that gave me a shot to perform in the Major Leagues.
6. How would you describe your curveball on a clock?
I would have to say it’s a 12-6 curveball.
7. What was your most memorable strikeout?
Well, it was my first Major League strikeout, which was David Eckstein. It was call-up day in Toronto.
8. Who has been the toughest out so far in your career?
There are a couple of guys who are impossible to get out. But to narrow it down? It would be tough. I don’t want to narrow it down to one guy, there’s a variety of guys. Hopefully we don’t have to face them anymore. They’re mostly in the American League anyway (laughing).
9. What tourist attraction are you most looking forward to visiting in Washington D.C.?
I definitely want to see the White House.
Fan Question: (From @jeguerin via Twitter) Are you excited to bat regularly now that you are in the National League?
I’m excited to work with my dad on that. I’ve had no clue how to swing a bat the last six years, so hopefully my dad can help me win a Silver Slugger award. [I haven’t batted other than] Interleague Play against the Giants, mostly. You’ve seen my strikeouts, they’re pretty bad (laughing).
Bonus Question: (From Taylor T. via Facebook) Have you had any mumbo sauce yet?
Mumbo sauce? No, I have no idea what that is. I guess I’m going to have to try this mumbo sauce.