Stealing my 1st base in MLB

Tomorrow night, I guarantee I will steal second base in the top of the 4th inning of the Mets at Nats game. No joke! And it’s going to be one of the coolest yet embarrassing experiences ever!

During the Dream Gala live auction, I was busy chit chatting while my husband actually bid on something. I wasn’t even paying attention. Normally, live auction items get so expensive that we end up priced out of the cool stuff. Although, I’m a shark when it comes to the silent auction tables.

Anyway, surprisingly, he won a “Stealing Second Base” experience and it will come to fruition tomorrow night. We get to wine and dine in the Presidents Club. Then before the top of the 4th inning, we will go out on the field with the grounds crew and walk away with the removed 2nd base, which will later by autographed by (upcoming rookie of the year!) second baseman Danny Espinosa. Suh-weet!

Ok, so maybe the base won’t be stolen as in a theft. And maybe we won’t be running from first to second during game action. But still… it’s fun and I’m super excited.

However, as Mr. Chatter has been arranging this, during the last phone call he was informed they’re going to make a *big deal* about it on the field and now I’m a little embarrassed/terrified. So uh, I guess if you’re at the game tomorrow, watch for us on the scoreboard or something? I’ll give my best Miss Iowa wave to the crowd. But now I think I have to dress especially cool for this. Beast mode shirt? Generic jersey? Evening gown? (Ha, kidding on that one!). Help?

I’ve always been a promoter and advocate of the Nationals charitable and community involvement efforts. I guess I’ll just try to view this as another step in that direction.

And woo! Think of the photos I’ll get from the prez club!

Davey Johnson is no coddler

Well, Davey Johnson’s postgame interview following last night’s 7-6 loss to the Astros was certainly a departure from the norm we’ve grown accustomed to with previous managers. He didn’t mince words when discussing Jordan Zimmerman’s not-so-great start and wouldn’t even consider the fact Jordan had been hit in the shin with the ball earlier as an excuse. Johnson used phrases such as, “Those things upset me,” and “those kinds of mistakes are hard to stomach”.

I’m torn between liking the brutal honesty and the appearance that Johnson takes these losses personally. On the other hand, part of me cringes at the same time because his facial expressions and tone in the moment after the game made it seem like he was throwing Zimmermann, usually a solid pitcher, under a bus. Instead of using typical phrases like, “sometimes a pitcher doesn’t have a feel for the ball, but Zimmermann’s an outstanding young pitcher and I’m confident he’ll bounce back for his next start,” he used, well, something else.

Do the players need this kind of tough love with high expectations? Or is this something that can cause some resentment in the clubhouse? Who knows….

Video here on masnsports.com | Transcript below

Debbi: Davey, starting with Jordan Zimmermann, I know he’s a tough kid, but that had to have affected his pitching after he was hit…

DJ: Well, I mean, the thing that bothered me the most that whole ballgame is I’m not one over my whole career with good young pitchers, good arms, and I have a couple guys in scoring position, I’ve got a base open – if he gets ahead of the guy, I don’t expect him to make bad pitches. I expect him to hit; the hitters got to hit a pitch off the plate. A nasty pitch. And he hung a slider right down the middle. It was flat and drove in two runs and uh or drove in a run. And then the squeeze – didn’t cover first. Those things upset me. I mean, I thought he battled and maybe he didn’t have his best stuff, but the one thing, when you’ve got two strikes on a hitter, you just basically don’t give them a cookie. There’s a lot of times during the course of the year I have situations in the middle of the lineup where I definitely don’t want to have to give in and give a really good hitter a pitch to hit. But that was the toughest thing tonight that got me the most.

Debbi: Some opportunities that were missed – you know, you look at Jerry Hairston, and that was aggressive getting thrown out at 2nd base and a couple other things.

DJ: Well, you know Jerry swung the bat great all night and you got to try to make it. The ball, unfortunately it came right back to them. It’s going away from us and he makes a perfect throw. I know he’s out and I know if there was any doubt, Jerry would have been out there arguing till the sun went down. I didn’t see it on the replay, but the ball beat him easy, so I figured that he was out. But uh, just breaks. We battled hard, I was proud of the team, we kept battling and right back in the ballgame. That big run we gave up tot he bottom of the order again with Coffey, so I’m just, you know, a lot of things bad happen.

Debbi: Michael Morse though, I mean, he’s just been really rock solid out there. How well is he swinging the bat right now?

DJ: He’s unbelievable. He’s on fire. Everything he hits hard. I don’t think they hit him on purpose in the last inning. You don’t put the tying run on with some guys who can go out of the yard. I think they were trying to pitch him in but you know, it’s just a tough game. I liked the offense. Didn’t like our pitching as much.

Q: Davey, was there something with Jordan that was different tonight that you could pinpoint?

DJ: Well, the one thing he was doing that I hadn’t noticed before is, you know and I guess he gets in the habit sometimes, his elbow was dropping on his breaking ball. The elbow was coming here [gesturing] and it was flat. Didn’t do it all the time, but the one time he really did it was to Barmes with the guys on 2nd, 3rd and two strikes. He just threw a flat slider right down the heart. But he’ll learn. I mean, he’s a young pitcher, got a great future, but those kinds of mistakes are hard to stomach.

Q: Do you mean the at bat with Barmes – the 2nd at bat before the squeeze play?

DJ: Yeah, you know, I mean any other situation with the catcher coming up 7th hitting .250, if he gets ahead of him, you know make a good pitch and get him out. If he doesn’t, walk him and try for the double play. But then you have to give in to the hitter and he needs to learn how to do that.

Nats U (Baseball 101) Coming This Saturday!

It’s the date I look forward to every year, Nats U for women (formerly Baseball 101) at Nationals Park! This year’s event will take place this Saturday, July 9th, at 10 AM and includes a ticket for the Nats vs. Rockies game that night. There are two ticket options this year – $50 for outfield reserved seating for the game or $150 for an upgrade to the PNC Diamond Club (includes food and draft beer/ house wine).

Women get on-field, in-bullpen and in-batting cage instruction from Nats coaches for a couple hours. No matter your skill level, there is something for everyone! Best of all, the event provides and exclusive opportunity to test your baseball skills on the MLB field itself. Prior to the evening’s game, there will be a Nats U happy hour as well.

Even better, the date is the same as the HEIST at Nationals Park, so some baseball Twitter friends from the New York area will be joining in the fun! Can’t wait! See you there?

Purchase Tickets Here

Celebrating Independence Day

Independence from slumps, boos, you-name-it! The Nats won 5-4 on a walk-off wild pitch delivered by the Cubs’ Marmol in the bottom of the 10th inning. Most fans sweltering in the stands were not only hoping for a win, but a quick ending as well. Ok, at least I was! Happy 4th of July indeed! [ Photos on Flickr ]