Thursday, March 08, 2007

Don't Let The Door Hit You--On Your Way Out


When The African Queen and I attended Nationals Spring Training in late February, there was NO PLAYER more unfriendly than Tony Womack. He went out of his way to get away from the many fans standing between the practice fields asking for autographs or pictures. And, when I approached him to see if he might be interested in speaking to me for The Nats 320 Blog-- I will just say he said, "NO!"--and leave it at that. You get the idea. And, remember, I really didn't approach him with any preconceived notions. His attitude and inflection said it all. Tony's reactions to Nationals Fans was in stark contrast to the warm, friendly and congenial efforts by virtually every single player attending camp in Viera, Florida.

Today, Womack was, thankfully, included in the first round of cuts by Our Washington Nationals--given his unconditional release.

Just last week, Bill Ladson hinted at Womack's Bad Attitude in a story on Nationals.com. Even The Washington Posts' Barry Svrluga got a curse comment out of Tony Womack: "I can still play this game, regardless of what anybody says."


There is NO QUESTION in my mind we don't need another Damian Jackson, "Clubhouse Cancer" on the team. I am extremely happy with Our Washington Nationals--Today. I want to cheer for players that, not only want to be in The Nation's Capital, but also willing to be friendly and decent, to the fan base. That's not much to ask from Professional Players. From The Lerners, to Stan Kasten, to Manny Acta, the word is out--TREAT THE FANS WITH RESPECT!

Good Riddance--Tony Womack!!

6 comments:

Bang the Drum Natly said...

Well, damn...

This actually hits me pretty hard, because Womack is (as far as I know, forgive my ignorance if I'm wrong) the only professional baseball player to hail from my 1,200-or-so-student alma mater, Guilford College. He was also born the same year as myself, so it really wasn't a stretch to quietly root for a player from a school which, to put it extremely mildly, ain't much in the national spotlight (or any spotlight, for that matter).

I guess I'd just assumed that he was a good guy, as Guilford was a place which promoted acceptance of any and all, everyone there was great, and was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. Add to that, I'd always had a respect for Womack (based on my limited times seeing/hearing of him playing throughout his career), in that he seemed to play the game the right way. He was never "great," but he played the game as best he could, which is all I ask.

So, his release saddened me, but after seeing the aforementioned Ladson piece, and reading about your experience, SBF, I have to agree. As said, I had just assumed he'd be (as you say) "willing to be friendly and decent." I appreciate a player who wants to prove he can play on the field, but his unfortunate brand of arrogance has no place off of it, and thus I can only concur that his release will make the clubhouse and overall "Nationals Nation" (too early?) will be the better for it.

Cheers

Chris Needham said...

Hey, if they can give me a quality start, I'll let them take liberties with my mother.

But if they stink on ice and have that attitude? Eh... screw 'em.

Joe Riley said...

I like to think that character still counts for something. It's something of an intangible, but perhaps it's like pornography - you might not be able to define it, but you know it when you see it. I'm just glad that Manny Acta, Jim Bowden, Stan Kasten, et. al. can see it, too, or the lack thereof.

What was it Dr. Emilio Lizardo said? "Character is what you have in the dark"?

Reddy Kilowatt said...

To comment on the Nationals treating the fan base with respect; Stan Kasten was on the John Riggins Show yesterday for over an hour. He reiterated that the team has asked each member of the squad to make at least 1 public appearance every month to show the Washington fan base how honored they are to play in the Nation's Capital. He's also asked everyone to be available for autographs before each game. That's pretty special and rare among professional sports teams.

SenatorNat said...

The commentary on this celebrated blog is becoming literary in nature! Terrific stuff - keep it coming; and I love the handle "bang the drum natly" Newmanesque...

As to Big Stan with Riggo, he indicated that the Lerners business plan was to sell the naming rights to the new stadium such that any "traditional moniker" would not probably occur as it would undermine that value. The money is being relied on for players in the future, etc.

I read that, for example, to mean that the Nationals owners PRESUME that Wachovia Park, as an example, would be worth more to the purchaser than say: Wachovia's Nationals Park; or even Wachovia's Nationals Park at the Navy Yard. I really do not understand the reasoning on the face of it alone.

I would think that Citibank's Yankees Stadium would certainly be worth more to Citibank than renaming the venerable place in its name alone...

Granted, that may be a sui generis case; but fashioning a baseball sounding description to go with the corportate name is something that the Lerners should provide in concept to the purchaser as an option, at least. So, again by way of example - AOL's Nationals Park at the Navy Yard would, in my view, hold equal or greater marketing value to AOL Park. It would certainly be useful to have the name of the team and the nearby location and metro stop all in one identifier...

Hebrew Nationals Park of course is one where you could truly have it both ways!! Old joke, but it works well herein, don't you think? Erudite On, Everyone...

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...

This is truly a surprise to hear (read). I had a chance to meet and receive an autograph from Tony Womack during one of the Nationals' practice and he was extremely "friendly." Based on the brief conversation, he was very happy to be playing with the team and management.

Maybe it was just a bad moment for him at the time "Screech's best friend" approached..... or maybe you might check your own "vibe"?? Did you receive the same response on the second approach or was this the first time you attempted to meet the guy?