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Gio Gonzalez the "Spaceman?"

Gio Gonzalez the "Spaceman?"

In the long history of Major League Baseball, few players have left a mark with their personality quite like Bill "Spaceman" Lee. A former left-handed starter, Lee played 14 seasons and was a one-time All-Star, but perhaps he is better known for his antics both on and off the field. He famously created the 'Leephus' pitch, wrote several books, and publicly spoke out on politics and drug use.

The former Red Sox and Expos pitcher is still well-known among baseball fans and hosted a chat with the website Deadspin on Tuesday. Most of the questions from fans were about drugs and what he is doing after baseball, but one question-and-answer hit home for Nats fans.

A reader posed a question to the Spaceman asking which current big leaguer most resembles his pitching style. Here is the back-and-forth:

Deadspin reader: what current pitcher would you say pitches most like you? Zito?

Lee: No, the guy who used to be with Oakland and is now with Washington

Unless Lee is referring to Henry Rodriguez, the "guy" he is talking about is Gio Gonzalez. Gio was traded to the Nationals over the offseason from the Athletics and is left-handed. Gonzalez also happens to be the life of the Nationals' locker room.

Statistically, they really aren't that similar. Both pitchers have maintained low ERAs across 200 inning seasons, but Gonzalez both strikes out and walks a lot more batters than Lee ever did. In 1974 Lee pitched 282.1 innings and posted just 95 total strikeouts, Gio has 168 this season through 159 13.

The "Spaceman" would be considered a pitch-to-contact guy much more than Gio Gonzalez and he was also a bigger pitcher at 6'3". Lee didn't elaborate, or specifically use Gonzalez' name, so as with most of what we know about Bill Lee, we may have to fill in the blanks.

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Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

When it comes to sports, we sometimes forget that the athletes we look up to are just normal people.  Normal people who have a lot to prove to millions of people on a weekly basis.  Former Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel has discussed one his human moments in an interview with 590 The Fan in St. Louis.

Ankiel admitted to drinking vodka during his plight as a pitcher. He referenced his first two starts of the 2001 season, in particular against the his opener Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed his anxiety to giving in to alcohol to soothe him. In the previous postseason, he became the first pitcher since 1980 to throw five wild pitches in a single inning. 

It may have worked for a couple of games but Ankiel eventually realized it was only making matters worse.

Ankiel began playing in the MLB at the age of 19 and has had a fluctuating career through six teams.  All the while, he has keep a “never give up” mentality.

Why the sudden need to vent? The St. Louis baseball pitcher is getting up close and personal with his upcoming book, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed my Life” which is co-written with sports writer, Tim Brown will be released on April 18.  

His two seasons with the Nationals, resulted in 127 hits and 52 RBIs as an outfielder. 

MORE NATS: Can't miss Nationals promotional schedule

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras