It’s late and there’s no DLD. So goes life when your team 1) had an off day yesterday; and 2) sucks. But I cannot let a certain something go unobserved by you, my A’s fan brethren and sistren.
But lo! a ray of sunshine doth pierce this veil of sorrow! His name is Gio Gonzalez, and as Susan Slusser chronicles in today’s, well, Chronicle, he’s like a cross between Gandhi and the cutest puppy dog ever.He comes from tough beginnings, which taught him and the kids in his Hialeah Florida neighborhood how to hit back up the middle:
And he loves humanity:
Gonzalez's cousin, Orlando Dager, agreed, saying, "He went from nothing to this, it's hard to believe it. We played with tires and cardboard for bases, threw them down under the big electrical poles. If you hit it left or right, you'd hit a window and you'd be out, so we all learned to hit it up the middle. If we had a rock to hit and a broomstick to swing, we were playing."
So many windows were broken that Gonzalez's father, Max, had a window-replacement company on speed dial and worked out a discount rate. Gonzalez recalls many cuts and bruises from sliding on the rocks and glass, and twisted ankles from stepping in holes.
But more important than any of that: he remains immune to the venal corrupting influence of some of his fellow A’s starters…he’s gonna wear the home whites!
"Gio, he wants to save everybody," Dager said. "He can meet you today and he wants to try to help you. There's a bum in Hialeah and Gio is his best friend - everyone who sees him has to give him money and food because of Gio. He goes over and above."
Gonzalez said the man is named Joe and he said he's always tried to help him out when he can. "Whatever's in my pockets, whatever is in the car - I can have $10 bucks and be starving, but I think, 'Well, I have a home I can go to,' so I give it to him," Gonzalez said. "I've told everyone if they pass Joe under the bridge at 103rd, make sure to give him money or food or books, because he loves to read."
No other links required.
Now, here he is, taking the ball tonight in Oakland.
"I'm telling you, I can't wait to put on that white uniform," Gonzalez said. "That will be the prettiest uniform I'll ever see."