If Josh Hamilton really does turn out to be Roy Hobbs, maybe The Trade will cease being something horrible, something full of regret (although I doubt it, given that Griffey only has a couple of years left. Can you imagine an outfield of Dunn, Hamilton, and Kearns? Sigh...) I'm just glad if he had to go somewhere, it was to the Nats.
Here Austin Kearns takes batting practice. He didn't launch any out of the park, at least none that I saw, but he does have pop in his bat, regardless of his critics' talk of his power. He's one of those guys that has a sweet swing - it just looks so natural. He's not reached his potential yet, but I have faith that he will. He's just a good, solid player who is an asset to any team he plays for. Of course, I'm partial, because I've watched the guy since he played Single A ball for the Dayton Dragons.
Yesterday was an Austin Kearns day for me, as I managed to score a Kearns autograph. For some reason I decided to wear a freebe cap instead of my real one, and it's a good thing I did, because I was not at all expecting to get any autographs and did not have anything else for him to sign. I do carry a sharpie in my Nationals bag that I take to games, so I guess I was half prepared. I can tell you I was more excited than the kids around me to get Kearns' autograph. He only signed a few, but he was willing to sign my hat. I wondered if my Reds shirt had anything to do with it. Or my gender?
He has a decent signature. At least you can tell whose name is on the hat, even though only four letters are legible - A,U,T, and K. I don't understand how difficult it is to write the letters of your name - it's the first thing a person learns to write! I think about signing things, though, and I guess I may skip a few letters every now and then. Sometimes you just have to write fast, and god knows when you have kids, me, and middle-aged men begging you to put your graffiti on their crap, you have to hurry a bit!
Some potbellied, middle-aged man kept pushing me to try to get to Kearns. Now, I don't think there is anything wrong with an adult trying to get an autograph. After all, baseball brings out the kid in all of us. But you're an adult - act like one! Don't go shoving women and children out of the way like a circus elephant. Ha, though - I got the last laugh, because I got an autograph. Although I think he got one, too, before me even because of his shoving. Jerk.
There was a media circus at the game, which made it pretty exciting. I was a little envious of those press passes around people's necks because they got to be on the field, the green, green field. I was telling Anthony from Oriole Post that I don't think I'd be able to handle a press pass, as I'd be too excited and feel like a kid around the players. But maybe I could push down the excitement until after it was over!
I noticed that Kearns and Zimmerman have become buddies. They were hanging out on the field together for a lot of the warmup. Zimmerman was not on the field during batting practice, but when the starters came out to warm up right before the game began, he and Austin were often together. Bronson Arroyo said something once that kind of struck me as odd, because it was something I hadn't really thought about before. He said that he loves how the Reds are not just teammates, but they are also friends. They go out and do stuff together, and he said that was something he hadn't experienced before. It's great how my two favorite Nats are buds. I'd love to run into them at some DC bar sometime and have a couple of beers with them!
It was funny to see Zimmerman and Kearns running on the warning track while the game was going on. I've only seen that when watching Spring Training games on television, but it's pretty surprising to see in real life. I like the relaxed feeling of Spring Training and am looking forward to going next year. I took 300 photos yesterday. I can't begin to imagine how many photos I will take in Florida. Good thing I got the 2 gig memory card. Maybe I'll need another 2 gigs if I'm there for more than a couple of days - not only will there be hundreds of baseball photos, but I'll also have all of those beach photos!
Kearns was 1-2 with a walk yesterday. The Nats scored first but pitcher Jason Bergman was awful. It was the first of many, many losses I expect to see this year, but who really cares? It's just great to finally be able to go see baseball again!
To finish the day of baseball, I rode on a Metro that had an entire car painted with the Nationals. Here is Austin's giant likeness on the side of the car. Thing is that it's a picture from last year and has his old number 28. Who cares, though? It's awesome that the Nationals are actually marketing - it's like they're a real baseball team! Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, this is the car I always want to ride in on the subway!