With sports on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people have had to find other ways to entertain themselves while being forced to stay at home.
Arguably the most popular show since quarantining began has been Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which is a docuseries about the life of a zoo owner Joe Exotic, who breeds big cats.
The series was interesting, to say the least, and featured some interesting real-life characters in the world of big cats and zookeeping. Naturally, with the Major League Baseball season being put on hold, Los Angeles Dodgers players have had time on their hands to watch Tiger King.
In a recent interview with LZ Granderson of the L.A. Times, Justin Turner pegged Tony Gonsolin as his one teammate that relates most Joe Exotic of Tiger King:
When I asked him who on the roster was closest to the exotic one, he replied, without hesitation, Tony Gonsolin. The pitcher’s mustache and hair were two reasons. Then there is his nickname: “the Cat Man,” for his love of cats and cat shirts.
“I don’t know if I want to throw a teammate under the bus,” Turner replied, with a bit of hesitation. “We all think Carole is the evil one. There is something off about her. She tried to make herself seem holier than thou, but there is something strange about her. We don’t have any Caroles on our team … maybe we got rid of them all.”
The answer is not a surprise considering Gonsolin’s exotic look and love for cats. He wore a different cat shirt every Saturday during his rookie season with the Dodgers, coining the day “Caturday.”
While Gonsolin’s cat craze is what he is known for, he has also proven to be a solid contributor in his young career. He earned the respect of his veteran teammates like Turner by going 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 1.03 WHIP while striking out 37 and walking 15 in 40 innings across 11 games (six starts) last season.
Gonsolin was also impressive in Spring Training before everything got shut down in 2020, tossing 5.2 shutout innings with six strikeouts and one walk in three games. Whenever baseball is able to return, pitching depth will be a big key for the Dodgers with young pitchers like Gonsolin and Dustin May being able to contribute either as starters or relievers right away.
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