Know Your Nats: Willie Harris
You asked, and Willie answered. Notes from NatsTown sat down with fan favorite Willie Harris during the previous homestand with the questions you submitted. This utility player, who is known for his speed, acrobatics and energy, answered the questions with his usual flair. Check out what Willie had to say, and look for the video of the interview during the next Nationals home game.
1. Russell from NY: You play many positions on the field. Do you have a favorite? Would you come out of the bullpen and pitch if you had to?
Well Russell, I think my favorite position would probably be second base mainly because that’s where I came up playing all the way up through the Minor Leagues. Just more comfortable at second base. And if they needed me to come out of the bullpen, I’d give it a shot.
2. Diana from Bethesda: What’s the story behind your Michael Jackson at-bat music? Can you moon walk?
Well Diana, I think I can moonwalk. But I was just really paying tribute to Michael Jackson, the late Michael Jackson. In that series, I just wanted to come out to some of his music and kind of give the fans a little bit of that Michael Jackson that we’re all going to miss.
3. Kyle from DC: I hear you’ve been developing an alter ego a la Nyjer Morgan and Tony Plush. Can you tell us about him?
Well Kyle, you know, Tony Plush is a guy in between the lines. Nyjer Morgan is a guy that kind of floats around the clubhouse and the hotels away from the ballpark. But Nyjer and myself, we’re working on a name for me and we’re trying to come up with something that will fit me just like Tony Plush fits him.
4. Alex from Clarendon: What is your favorite baseball memory?
Well Alex, I think my favorite baseball memory would have to be winning the World Series in 2005. Being able to come off the bench and face one of the premier closers in the game, which is Brad Lidge, and be able to get a base hit off of him and score the game-winning run of game four to seal the deal, that’s by far my biggest moment in the game.
5. Geoff from PG County: If you weren’t a baseball player, what sport would you play?
Geoff, I think I’d probably be playing football. I was a pretty good punter in high school and I think I could go out there right now and punt one about 50 yards with the height and give my defense time to collapse on that receiver or that DB down there on the other end of that punt.
6. Nick from Alexandria: Is there any player you look up to? Who do you model your play after? Well Nick, my favorite player, and the guy I model myself around, is Ichiro Suzuki, mainly because he plays small ball and if he has to he can get you with the long one. But he plays fundamental baseball. He steals bases, he does everything pretty much right, bunting, defense, everything is pretty solid for Ichiro.
7. Andy from Silver Spring: If you and Nyjer Morgan had a footrace, who would win?
Well Andy, I think that could go either way. If we raced ten times, I think Nyjer would beat me three times. But if I was racing Tony Plush, he’d probably beat me seven times. So give or take, who knows?
8. Matt from Georgetown: Do you think Teddy will ever win?
Well Matt, I think that Presidents Race is set up, man. I was trying to get in there to be Teddy some kind of way one day just to get him one victory but I don’t think Teddy will ever win.
9. Mike from Virginia: You are a huge fan favorite. Are you as easy going off the field as you are on the field?
Mike, I’m a little bit more ‘easier’ off the field. When I’m here at the ballpark, I just want to go all out. I want to leave everything out on the field. Whenever I get an opportunity out there to help my team win I just want them to know that I’m here to play hard. Some days you’re going to have good days and some days you’re going to have bad days. You just gotta try to stay even keel, keep everybody upbeat, and everything will be good.
10. Todd from Chevy Chase: Have you always considered yourself an underdog because of your size?
Yes, Todd. I was told when I was in college that I could never make it to the Big Leagues and the guy that told me that is Mike Martin down at Florida State. Now when I go home, I just want to go and shake his hand and let him know, it’s not how big you are, it’s how big your heart is.
11. Ryan from Arlington: What’s your favorite thing to do or place to go in DC?
Well Ryan, I really don’t go too many places, but my favorite place would probably be that sushi restaurant down in Georgetown. Lot of life down there in Georgetown, but like I said, I don’t really do that much. I’d rather sit at home and watch Fred Sanford and Martin Lawrence TV shows.
12. Megan from DC: Who is the craziest guy in the clubhouse? Who is the team comedian?
Well Megan, I’m probably the craziest guy in the clubhouse, but the team comedian is by far Josh Bard. You would never guess it, but he’s the funniest guy I’ve ever been around.
13. Tyrone from Atlanta: What’s your favorite nickname?
Tyrone, my favorite nickname…I hate to say this, but Melvin Mora, with the Baltimore Orioles when I came up, he gave me the nickname ‘Hollywood’ mainly because I was kind of flashy and wore the wristbands with the tape and things like that. That nickname ‘Hollywood,’ I left that in Baltimore and became low key and didn’t want too many guys not liking me because of my swagger.
14. Maura from Bethesda: What’s the best prank you’ve pulled or seen pulled on a baseball player?
Well Maura, the best prank that I’ve seen was (laughs), it was on me actually. I’m sitting on the bench in Baltimore as a rookie, and I look down and my shoestrings are on fire. I don’t know what’s going on. So the guys, they got me really good. I’m jumping around trying to dump the whole water cooler on my feet just to put the fire out. So now I have cold feet and wet feet. But that’s pretty much the best prank that I’ve seen that has been done, and of course it was done to me.
15. Derek from Chantilly, VA: Which actor would play you in a movie?
Well Derek, I would have to say Martin Lawrence. So many people tell me I’m somewhat like Martin. My family, they say ‘you act just like that guy!’ Our demeanor and just the way we carry ourselves…I think Martin Lawrence.
16. Burt from Laurel, MD: What songs do you listen to when getting ready for a game?
Well Burt, I like to listen to Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’ mainly because it just breaks it all the way down for you. You only get one shot, and if you get that one shot you need to make the most of that one shot and try to do your best with that opportunity.
17. Christine from Hagerstown: How does the team stay entertained during all those rain delays? Well Christine, there’s all types of things we do. Some guys come up and play cards, some guys link up on the PSP and play golf, and some guys just lie around and take naps. It just depends on how you feel that day or what’s your demeanor. Everybody is different, but at the same time when that rain delay is over, we’re in between the lines getting after it.