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‘Renaissance man’ Miguel Batista wants to make sweet music for Nats

Mar 5, 2010, 10:56 PM EST


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Miguel Batista, who debuted today, believes he can help the Nats win now.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Spend 10 minutes with Miguel Batista and you're liable to hear him quote anyone from Vince Lombardi to Walt Whitman. Catch him on a good day and you might even hear him quote both.

There are stranger characters in the game of baseball, but not many as diversely talented as Batista, a 38-year-old right-hander who not only has made 530 appearances in the big leagues but has also published two books. One is a collection of poetry in Spanish, titled "Sentimientos en Blanco y Negro" ("Feelings in Black and White"). The other, which just went to print in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico earlier this year, is a crime novel called "The Avenger of Blood."

Find another big-leaguer with THAT on his resume.

"We referred to him in Arizona as a 'Renaissance Man,'" said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who served as the Diamondbacks' scouting director when Batista pitched there earlier this decade. "He was in the middle of authoring a book in Spanish. And he would read poetry. He'd listen to classical music in the clubhouse. But I also remember him from those years in Game 3 of the World Series in NewRead more ยป

  1. peric - Mar 6, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    The Syracuse Chiefs expect no less … ;)

  2. FakeReiss - Mar 6, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Hey, sorry for the late notice guys. But my friend FakeBell and I are hosting a viewing party for MLB Network's telecast of Manny Acta's and Austin Kearns's debut with the Cleveland Indians. As Jerome would say, it's RIGHT NOW. And actually, Manny's team is already up 4-0 in the second, and Austin has singled and scored. But hey, come on by anyway. And bring your own fake tomatoes to throw at our fake screen.

  3. HabsProf - Mar 6, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Well, if there was ever proof that performance in Spring Training does not correlate with performance in the regular season, it would be the statement "Austin has singled and scored".Sorry, I'm feeling a little snarky today. By all accounts, Kearns is a great guy who felt bad about his performance with the Nats, but I am not sad to see him in another uniform.

  4. peric - Mar 6, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    This is one team that absolutely must come out on all cylinders just to break that cycle of losing. I'm not sure they can afford to spend spring training "working on individual things" and losing games. Its a very, very bad habit/cycle that this team is mired in right from the beginning of Manny Acta's reign … and why he is now in Cleveland.You come out like Ian Desmond … not like Shairon Martis.

  5. JayB - Mar 6, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I thought "the time for excuses was gone".Exusues mostly what I hear so far….."It is early Spring Training, it is only spring training, he was too excited, our real pitchers are not in the game long enough"…and the one two really love…."most pitchers are only throwing fast balls" and "we have better pitcher we are not just choosing not to use them right now".Well you know what….the other teams have better hitters they are not using much right now too…..This team has not learned how to win that is for sure but they sure know how to lose with excuses.Here is what Rizzo should say to help back up his first day speech and set the correct tone going forward."I am pissed that several pitchers have been in camp for weeks and are not ready to face weak lineups of hitters they should be way ahead of. It will not be tolerated and I will be making some cuts early from MLB camp because I expect our pitchers to be ready to complete. Martis, Baslistar and Louis A. are both going to be reassigned to MiLB camp tomorrow. I do not know how they could have missed the message I sent for this year. Be ready, Be focused or head down to Minor league camp and learn how to prepare there. Our camp is no longer open tryouts, those days are done."

  6. natsfan1a - Mar 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    Thanks for the piece on Batista. Sounds like an interesting guy, and one of the more unique ballplayers from a literary standpoint.Speaking of Acta, I noticed that his Indians came out of the ST chute with a 9-2 win over the Reds.

  7. JayB - Mar 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Yea I saw that too. Looks like Manny learned something too….I started his top team and went with his best pitchers to try to set a tone of winning….that is new for him and something I think Riggleman and Rizzo should have done here. This team needs to win spring training games…god knows they have no experience winning any other type of game.

  8. FakeReiss - Mar 6, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    As you can see, I had a great time last night at the viewing party with my BFF FakeBell. (Apologies to my other BFF FakeNats320, you know I love you too dude.)Go Acta. Go Kearns. Go Saul. GO TRIBE!

  9. Sildenafil - Sep 14, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    I know what you are talking about because I do know Miguel Batista, he is my "amigo" and we always try to keep in contact and get together to hang out and drink some energetic drinks, he is a very talented baseball player and an amazing human being!

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