Luis Gonzalez at a news conference for high-school journalism students Friday. (Photo by Jose Romero)
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Gonzo was told to beware of inquiring young people's minds and the types of questions they might ask him when he arrived at downtown Phoenix's ASU Cronkite School of Journalism to talk to high-school students Friday morning.
The questions might be direct and pointed in nature, he was told. Nevertheless, the Diamondbacks legend made his appearance before a large group of students, mostly Latinos, who had been briefed and were ready to fire away.
First question from a kid in the back row: The impact of SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law, on the MLB All-Star Game, which will take place at Chase Field July 12.
Second question: Thoughts on a possible boycott by players, including Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo, a 2010 All-Star from Mexico who originally said last July that he'd skip the game if it was indeed to be played in Arizona this year and he is selected again.
"More bark than bite," Gonzalez characterized the remarks of players who said they'd consider a boycott.
What about fans staying away?
"We'd probably do more harm than good if we boycott this game," Gonzalez, the ambassador for MLB's All-Star Summer and special assistant to Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, said. "My personal feeling on SB 1070? I really have no feeling on it."
A political-style response from a former big leaguer with no political aspirations of his own, as he made clear to the students at the 14th annual Arizona Latino Media Association high school multimedia journalism workshop.
Gonzo couldn't help but chuckle and smile at the type of questions the teenagers had for him, praising them for their edgy approach and willingness to ask the tough ones.
After some questions about the All-Star Game and Gonzalez's admission that he has yet to become a Facebook or Twitter guy, there came a query about Maricopa Country sheriff Joe Arpaio, known nationally for his unique incarceration methods and how he enforces laws.
"He's a different bird," Gonzalez said. "He's definitely the Ochocinco, or the Chad Johnson, of people involved in law enforcement."
Gonzalez was asked about the state of the Diamondbacks, probably to his relief though he handled all of the questions calmly, and said he was excited about this year's team and the new coaching staff.