Welcome to the Tony Gonsolin Scatman Express
scat - /skat/
noun - improvised jazz singing in which the voice is used in imitation of an instrument
verb - sing using the voice in imitation of an instrument
It is quite fashionable to on be the “Tony Gonsolin is awesome!” train these days. I don’t mind; I am just taking the opportunity to note that this train used to be quiet.
From the dawn of time, humankind has always—
Gonsolin is literally 10-0. You were even there for some of it!
Some people have no sense of theater. Fine. We’ll do this another way. Before I get into it, I know that there is absolutely zero chance that folks will start calling Anthony D. Gonsolin, the Scatman, because we, as a fan base, are already hardwired to call him Catman, which is a shame because the story of Scatman John Paul Larkin has quite a few parallels to young Master Gonsolin.
It’s fine, he’s leaning into that other nickname too, based on his apparel and his Instagram page. Example below (though it’s not his shirt):
I had a pithy remark about how this site’s collective history had been wiped away with the “upgraded” system when I went to look for any comment that said before the start of the year that Tony Gonsolin is (and remains) my favorite Dodger.
But lo and behold, I stumbled onto something. While the posts from before the update are without the old comments, if you are able to get to the activity page of the SBNation profile, you can search for any comment prior to the switch over.
As I stated previously, 2021 “Gonsolin kept nibbling in the strike zone and kept walking people to the point of being ineffective. As I have previously discussed, Tony Gonsolin is probably my favorite Dodger, and if the current comment system was not terrible I would link to that story.”
The following is that story, now recovered and remastered for your reading benefit. Enjoy!
Originally republished on December 18, 2021:
Fair warning, I will hear no bad-mouthing of Tony Gonsolin! (You can have criticisms and I’ll likely agree with them. (“Dude, buddy, pal…stop nibbling. Chuck it in the zone and trust your defense.”)) [Author’s note: He finally did. See below.]
So with the benefit of additional information, I find it fairly amusing that I am gushing over someone that I literally only saw in person twice in 2021 with the following statlines:
- June 9 – Dodgers v. Pirates – 1 2/3 in., 2 H, 1 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K
- September 9 – Dodgers v. Cardinals – 3 in, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K
All told that that’s 4 2/3 in., 5 H, 2 R/ER, 7 BB, 7 K. Long story short, Gonsolin [used to] walk too many people to be effective in any role for the Dodgers. That said, he was my favorite Dodger in 2021. When I did the tour at Dodger Stadium, there’s a reason I chose to sit in between Gonsolin and Walker Buehler. Well, for Buehler, that’s a long story in itself.
Why do I have my attitude as to Gonsolin? Well…that is a bit of a story. First, let’s enjoy my burgeoning skills as a photographer. Here’s the Catman in his first start of the year in Pittsburgh on June 9, 2021.
As stated above, I saw Gonsolin pitch one other time in 2021 in St. Louis. And like in Pittsburgh, Gonsolin kept getting into and out of trouble while he was in the game.
While that trait was (and is) admirable, my admiration has nothing to do with that. His current mastery of the league is heartening because now everyone has a chance to see what I saw.
It all stems from the June 10, 2021 game in Pittsburgh, the one that was called for rain and I was the only person sitting in my seat at the end because I would not be moved. Fair warning, this anecdote does involve Trevor Bauer.
Anyway, Julio Urías is on the mound that day and he’s dealing with both bat and arm. If it’s not clear in the video I post/share yet, I can be pretty loud when the situation occurs. I was a drum major in high school and I used to sing opera as a hobby before throat issues made me drop it. I can still do Sogno when the mood hits, but that statement is neither here nor there.
During this June 10, 2021 game, I am sitting with a couple of guys, one of which I still text and we ran into each other at Buehler’s almost no-no in Phoenix – fun stuff. I start a chant of “Let’s Go, Dodgers.” As an aside, I think a good chant is helpful/productive when there is actually something to chant about. For example, the Dodgers are on offense and are in a scoring situation, or the Dodgers are on defense and are facing a scoring situation. Anyway, Trevor Bauer was originally standing near the end of the Dodger dugout.
I do not recall exactly what was happening in the game at the moment of this photograph. However, the Dodgers were doing in a scoring situation. I started a chant. Bauer moves to where he’s standing in the above photo. I’m close enough to hear a loud conversation from the dugout, but not every word. Anyway, Bauer says something to the effect of “Good God, that dude [meaning me] is loud.” Gonsolin says something to the effect of “I dig it” as the player group breaks up.
Then, later on, I start the chant again and Gonsolin starts banging the top of the dugout railing in time while bobbing his head.
That tiny moment was my coolest interaction, at least indirectly, with a Dodger in 2021. It was something so small. But I thought it was neat…and then the heavens opened up on me and that’s when the story of this day went from good to great, but that is a different story for a different day.
As a result of that interaction, I kept an eye out for Gonsolin for the rest of the year during my travels, which became a game within a game during my 2021 travels.
I tried to interview Tony Gonsolin during the lockout, if only because I wanted to personally share the above anecdote with him. Maybe I will get the chance to someday, but in either event, I will enjoy the tune that the Scatman is dealing out every five days, which are words to live by (and cycles back to the beginning of the essay):
Everybody stutters one way or the other / So check out my message to you / As a matter of fact, a-don’t let nothin’ hold you back / If the Scatman can do it, so can you.