Jun 12, 2010, 3:31 AM EST
Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Austin Kearns belted two homers — and almost a third — against his former team.
CLEVELAND — Austin Kearns knows what the folks in Washington think of him. He knows his 3 1/2 years in a Nationals uniform were a complete bust and he didn't come close to earning the $17.5 million contract Jim Bowden inexplicably gave him in January 2007.
Kearns heard the criticisms and the boos through much of 2008 and 2009, a pair of dreadful seasons that saw the outfielder go from a multimillionaire in Washington to a nonroster invitee in Cleveland.
All the while, Kearns knew what most everyone else did not: He was injured. In 2008, he had a stress fracture in his leg and bone chips in his elbow. In 2009, he had a tear in his thumb. All the ailments eventually required surgery, but before he would go under the knife, he insisted on playing through the pain.
Why? Why not just reveal how banged up he was and take himself out of the lineup?
"It's tough, man," he said. "You've got a lot of pride, no matter what. You want to be out there every day. Your teammates are out there. It's tough to say, 'I just can't go out there,' for anybody. I think for any player, that probably gets the better of you sometimes."
So Kearns will always be remembered as one of the worst players in Nationals history, certainly when his contract is taken into consideration. Which made his two-homer barrage in the Indians' 7-2 thumping of the Nats tonight sting all the more for fans back in D.C. who had to be asking why they never saw anything like that during theRead more »
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals prospect spotlight: Erick Fedde
- Nationals prospect spotlight: Lucas Giolito
- A reason for fans of each MLB team to be thankful
- Nationals prospect spotlight: Trea Turner
- Bud Black joins Angels after missing out on Nats' manager job
- Baseball in the District – How will Nats rebuild their bullpen?
- Nats bring Henley back as third base coach
- Nats roster review: Matt Thornton
- Report: Nats interested in trading Papelbon and Storen
- Is O'Day worth the price tag to the Nationals?