Monday, February 25, 2008

Wily Mo Pena

He is big, strong and incredibly confident. Wily Mo Pena no doubt is a baseball player that realizes he has talent. Acquired from The Boston Red Sox by Our General Manager Jim Bowden last summer--Our Number 26 swung a mighty bat upon his arrival in Washington, DC. Handed the starting left field job for Our Washington Nationals--he clubbed 8 home runs in 133 At-Bats. And, some were MONSTER SHOTS. Wily Mo Pena may possess some of the quickest wrists and strongest forearms in the game. He can flat out crush the baseball.

Sohna and I briefly chatted with him after practice yesterday afternoon. And to be fair--some of his remarks are paraphrased. Like my spanish is not the best--Wily Mo's english has some limits--although he speaks well.

You came on strong late last season after your trade to Washington—do you set goals for this season? (SBF)

“No, I don’t ever set goals. I got out there and play. That is the way I have always been. I never like to say that (set goals). What I like is when the season is over everyone can see the numbers.”

Then, what do you need to improve on? (SBF)

“I need to work on my defense and my hitting. Everyone knows I have power, but I need to be more consistent. By going the other way—I can stay on top of the pitchers. If I can continue to hit the other way—I will became an even better (force) in the lineup. And, I need to work hard to reach that point.”

You had success in Washington by hitting the other way? (SBF)

“Yes, that is something I am working hard on right now. Last year, The Nationals gave me an opportunity and I made the effort to hit the ball the other way. And, I had some success. I have it on my mind to keep that going again this year.”

What about that defense? (SBF)

“Yeah, I need to work on my movement to the balls—taking an (inside track) to the flys. I need to get more comfortable out there.”

You are enjoying the opportunity The Nationals are giving you? (SBF)

“Yes, but I don’t want to platoon. I want to play every day. I want to win the job right here in Spring Training.”

What do you think about this team’s makeup right now? (SBF)’

“Oh, it is PERFECT. We have a lot of good young guys, big guys who want to play hard and that’s all you need for a ball club to be successful.”

There is some serious power in that outfield. (SBF)

“YES, you better believe it!! (laughing). We got (Austin) Kearns, (Lastings) Milledge, (Elijah) Dukes and especially me. When you have all that power in there you can do some damage.”

And, Nick Johnson, Dmitri Young. (SBF)

“All those guys, including (Ryan) Zimmerman. This team is going to score some runs.”

Potentially, a fun lineup to watch. (SBF)

“Unquestionably. You know people have been talking about other teams. What they don’t know is that those same people are going to be talking about our team in a couple of days, and a couple of months. We have the potential to be good.”

It could be a competitive team. (The African Queen)

“Yeah, a very good team in a new ballpark come April. I can’t wait to get into that batters box for the first game.”

The African Queen and I were impressed with his moxie. In all the players from Our Washington Nationals we have ever met--no one beats Wily Mo Pena for confidence. No one else comes close.


Positively Half St. said...

I understand Lastings could challenge him. I hope you get to talk to him soon.

paul said...

If my geography is correct, left field is going to be the sun field. Maybe Wily Mo will be taking Sundays off! I also think we will need Langerhans for the late innings.