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Williams takes rain check on Ruth impression

Aug 21, 2014, 10:42 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

This week Nationals manager Matt Williams revealed a goal for his team: win 10 straight and he’ll do his impression of Babe Ruth, an act he gained attention for in the early 1990s as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Well, now that the Nats have won 10 straight, will Williams hold up his end of the deal? Eventually, yes, he says. But now is not the time.

Here is how the skipper explained it:

“Well, as in any situation with games or any of that, timing is important. Timing is important, so I wouldn’t imagine that right now is the proper time. It’s probably not appropriate. But in some form or fashion, at some point, probably in the privacy of some stadium somewhere, we’ll bring it out again. I don’t know when that will be.”

If that sounded like a promise, Williams confirmed it was.

“I haven’t done it since the last time I did it, but a promise is a promise. At some point, somewhere … I can’t tell you when that will be, but at some point.”

As far as the timing goes, Williams didn’t expound. But there are a few conclusions that can be drawn.

For one, the Nationals are in the middle of a 10-game winning streak. Baseball players are superstitious and so is Williams, no one in the Nats clubhouse would want to do anything to shake up what they have going.

Also, Williams could be sensitive to the message it sends around the league, and to his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, whom the Nats just swept. Could it be construed as bad sportsmanship? You know somebody, somewhere will try and make that case.

If Williams were to do it this week, it would also draw a lot of attention, perhaps nationally. The hype is there, if he were to come through, that video would travel very far. Perhaps that is not the type of attention he wants at this juncture.

Speaking of timing, however, it would be a pretty big coincidence if he were to do it on Friday, as originally promised. The Giants just happen to be in town for a three-game series this weekend. Williams, though, wants to do it another time.

“It’s not appropriate. You talk to folks and you say ‘hey, boy, sure we’d like to win 10 in a row.’ But at some point it will be fun and appropriate, but not right now.”

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Good decision. Now is not the time for a victory lap (which is how the Babe Ruth trot would be perceived around the league). No need to give opposing teams any fodder for their clubhouse bulletin boards.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    MLB Network just spotlighted Zach Walters.

    • Andrew Wallace - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      Don’t listen to them. The guy is hitting .202. Even if he hits 20 homers a year, it’s gonna be from a defensively poor corner outfielder who barely ever gets on base. Not gonna be a star. Everyone chill.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        It’s a weaker Danny Espinosa right now. I won’t count him out but they were smart enough at least to out him in LF and bot the infield which was my personal scouting on him in the AFL.

      • unterp - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:12 AM

        I hope he becomes a star. Nice young man and wish the best for him, whether it happens or not…

      • natszee - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:49 AM

        I like the kid and wish him well but when I look at him, I do see a slight resemblance to Dave Kingman.

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    MLB has added the E# Nats are actually tied for the most favorable E# in any of the divisions in the Majors at 29.

    • natsguy - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      Its been there since July.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:44 AM

        Shows how much I know. Pretty cool.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        Yes, but it’s much more meaningful now.

    • tcostant - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Looks like this 10 game winning streak was a great time to push renewals and new season sales. We on the road a lot in Sept, so we need to enjoy this…

  4. laddieblahblah - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Shierholtz may be on his way, soon – 3 for 5 with a dinger at Syracuse. Taylor is not doing anything now but collecting splinters on the bench.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      You are right, he’s collecting splinters in a humbling way. Everyone seems to be getting reps except him. 9 days to expanding rosters. Might as well wait as Taylor is still a defensive replacement and the best pinch runner.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        Wouldn’t’ we want Schierholtz available for the postseason? If so, he has to be on the roster by Sept. 1, right? If Souza stays on the DL until then, he’s eligible. Who do you think is the best fifth outfielder for the playoffs? I tend to think Souza — has speed, defense, and power, if they think he’ll be healthy by then.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        I agree. Souza would be my choice. Only way to get Schierholtz is to have him take Hairstons spot.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        Well, that’s not the only way. He could take Taylor’s spot. Which is alot more likely since I think you’d agree that Rizzo isn’t going to DFA Hairston in the next week. But if Schierholtz is here pre-September 1 and does decently (i.e., better than Hairston), he can Souza could be the 4th and 5th OFs for the playoffs.

        Hard to imagine Schierholtz would be worse than Hairston. But Hairston may have saved himself with that sac fly the other night. Just like Chad Tracy saved himself with the pinch hit homer in August last year.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        They have many options and Taylor is one of them or just make the decision that Hairston’s tenure is over. You can DFA him and doubtful anyone would pick him up so you bring him back once he clears waivers which would be in early September. It would mean he wouldn’t be available for the post-season roster unless he was replacing an injured player.

        RZim is automatically available since he’s on the DL and same for Souza if they wait to activate him after Sept 1st.

        Schierholtz and TyMo are the other intriguing guys.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        If they put a position player on the DL for the first round, then he’s in the organization in time to be the replacement. So there’s that.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        Yep, a little bit of creativity.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        In post-season, generally you carry 4 starters, 8 relievers, 5 bench players Lobaton, Frandsen, Espi, ?, ? and your 8 starting position players.

        If RZim comes back, Espinosa could also be off the post-season roster as Asdrubal takes his place.

        I have been thinking the Nats needed to bring in 1 more reliever (starter) before Aug 31 who could be an XFactor guy eligible for post-season. AJ Cole would be a cool pick the way the Rays did with David Price.

        Rizzo of course has a plan but I only see 2 locks for the post-season bench and that’s Lobaton and Frandsen. I only see 3 locks for the post-season rotation and that’s Fister, JZim, and Stras. Roark could easily go to the ‘pen but it would take Gio to step up. About a month ago I had Fister, JZim, Stras and Roark as my 4. I do see the possibility that Roark could go to the ‘pen and almost tandem with Gio. Let Gio do his thing and nibble, nibble, and if he has to be pulled early, you have Roark to relieve him.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        “[Taylor is] collecting splinters in a humbling way.”

        I was going to ask if there is any other way to collect splinters, but in fact, if I were on an MLB bench for any reason whatsoever, no one within earshot would ever hear the end of it. So yeah, there is.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        I wonder if teams will go to composite wood benches to cut down on splinters. Those benches still put off splinters with all the guys that still wear metal spikes. By this time of the season those benches really are torn up.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      3 for 5 with a dinger at Syracuse.

      Again? Or is that from the first game?

    • tcostant - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      I heard they want to get Shierholtz to get 20-25 AB’s in triple A, he should be up (with Taylor going down) on Sunday or Monday.

  5. stoatva - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    It can’t be better than Dempsey’s classic Babe Ruth Rain Delay Theater. It just can’t.

  6. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Well, technically speaking, he revealed it in May. But I’m down with it either way. Go, MATTY!

    “This week Nationals manager Matt Williams revealed a goal for his team: win 10 straight and he’ll do his impression of Babe Ruth, an act he gained attention for in the early 1990s as a member of the San Francisco Giants.”

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      And he didn’t so much reveal it as get cornered into it by F.P. But, sure.

      Although I think putting it off to next spring training is kinda weak.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        True that.

        And agreed. Come on, Matty. Like the commercial said, step up to the plate. (What?)

  7. rabbit433 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    That’s funny….’I haven’t done it since the last time I’ve done it”. Never mind the Babe…..he mimics Yogi Berra too!

  8. Pete "Hit 'n Run" Wood - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Come on Matt, the fans are waiting!!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Arizona was flying out. He should have done it once their buses left and got it done.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        My impression, and this could just be me, was that he was more concerned with the meta-dis doing a Ruth impression would represent. Sort of like Davey’s “World Series or bust” wasn’t directed at another team, specifically, but the attitude was taken by some to represent an unacceptable kind of arrogance.

        Matty is all business. He’ll be off the clock when it’s over.

  9. ArVAFan - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    He said maybe Field 4 in Viera. With any luck, someone(maybe me) will leak the video.

  10. micksback1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    not sure, maybe mw should stick with what he said originally. you know about karma, cubs, goats, gypsies, etc..


  11. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Did the game recap in one sentence. :) So I had to put in some filler.

    • Doc - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Good filler, NL!





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