Thursday, July 29, 2010

His Emergency Start, Miss Iowa--Miguel Batista's Thoughts

Last night, before Our Washington Nationals took on The Atlanta Braves in game two of a three game set at Nationals Park, Sohna and I talked with Miguel Batista. We set up this interview on a completely different subject well in advance of his emergency start for Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday. But after Batista filled in admirably for Strasburg and stated his now famous quote about Miss Iowa, Nats320 gathered Batista's thoughts on getting booed on the very night where he proved the The Show Must Go On.

Here is that conversation:

Nats320: What was it like to be told 10 minutes before the game you are pitching? How did the team approach you?

Batista: Well, I was actually at the Chapel Room and they (the team) came before The National Anthem. "Hey, they want you in the pen! They want you to start the game."

"Yeah right," I replied. Then I came out and here’s Riggleman--‘"Hey, you got to start this game because Strasburg has a sore arm."

"Are you serious?!"

I couldn’t believe it. So I put my shoes on and started running to the pen. Five minutes later, I am in the game. That tends to happen in this game and you have to be ready for it, especially guys like me that can pitch on long rest and no rest.

Nats320: Did you expect to get booed?

Batista: No, but it was like I was telling people, they (the reporters) actually took my quote wrong. When I said that people pay to go see Miss Universe and they end up hearing that it’s Miss Iowa--you just define the person by the name of the town. But when you actually look at Miss Iowa, her name is Katherine Connors, you go--hold, hold, hold on!! This is a beautiful lady. I don’t know where you came from, you may come from Iowa, but she’s gorgeous!! And that is what I was actually trying to say.

How can they boo me when I haven’t even thrown a pitch? Why don’t you watch me perform and then you make your judgement? I tried to do the best that I could. I didn’t do the Strasburg 10 strikeouts. But as a team if you noticed, from the first inning, Nyjer was running. The guys were putting the ball into play. We didn’t hit the homers as we do, but we played smart baseball.

We are a winning team when we play smart baseball. That’s one thing that Riggleman has been trying to make the guys understand. You have to play smart. You can have the speed and agility of the youth, but you have to play smart because if you can play smart it’s not going to take much more to win.

Coming later today, an in-depth interview with Miguel Batista on a completely different subject.

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