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Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to report today and answer questions about Biogenesis.
Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to report to Space Coast Stadium and is expected to meet with reporters and answer questions about his alleged ties to the Miami clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancing drugs.
We don't know what exactly Gonzalez is going to say, or how much he's going to say -- he already denied ever taking any PEDs or even knowing Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch -- but the left-hander plans to address this subject upon his arrival in Viera and then move on to strictly baseball matters.
As I wrote after the initial Miami New Times report, this story has the potential to become a significant distraction for Gonzalez and the Nationals. But if he does indeed address it today and truthfully answers as many questions as he can, it should go a long way toward putting the situation behind him.
There's plenty from a baseball standpoint Gonzalez needs to accomplish early in camp. After agreeing to pitch for Team USA in next month's World Baseball Classic, he'll be leaving the Nationals potentially for more than two weeks, with the American team scheduled to begin workouts in Arizona on March 3. That gives Gonzalez less than three weeks in camp to get himself into game shape, then potentially about 10 days to complete his post-WBC preparation for the regular season.
Gonzalez's spring travel will seem like nothing compared to Roger Bernadina, who after flying to Florida from the Netherlands will depart Feb. 24 for his native country's first-round games in Taiwan. If the Dutch advance from pool play, Bernadina will then head to Japan for the WBC's second round before ultimately returning to the United States.
For now, Gonzalez and Bernadina are the only Nationals scheduled to participate in the event. Danny Espinosa was listed on the preliminary roster for Mexico -- though he grew up in California, his father is of Mexican descent -- but told reporters he has decided to withdraw so he can focus on getting his torn left shoulder ready for the regular season.
Espinosa and Bernadina are two of several position players who have reported early to camp. More of them will start trickling in with each passing day before Friday's official report date, but the Nationals hope to have every pitcher and catcher accounted for today.
Those pitchers and catchers won't hold their first formal workout until Thursday (today is reporting day, tomorrow is physicals day) but many will play catch on their own. These first few days are mostly about guys getting settled in and the Nationals ensuring everyone is physically fit.
As always, I'll be here to chronicle everything in multiple media platforms, with some new additions this season. Along with this blog and CSNwashington.com, I'll be taking on an expanded on-air role for Comcast SportsNet and will have live reports from Space Coast Stadium each night this week at 6 p.m. (so be sure to tune in for that). I'm also starting up another season with ESPN-980 AM and will be making daily appearances on their shows. (I'll update the regular schedule on the left-hand rail once it's finalized.)
And for breaking news and instant analysis, please follow me on Twitter or keep track of my Twitter timeline on the right-hand rail of Nats Insider.
Now that we've taken care of all that housecleaning, I hereby proclaim the 2013 baseball season underway!