Inside Pitch Live with Ian Desmond
Shortstop Ian Desmond sat down with Nationals radio announcer Dave Jageler for the first 2011 installment of Inside Pitch Live on Saturday in the Stars & Stripes Club. Desi discussed the 2011 season with Jageler and took questions from fans. Below is excerpted from that Q&A session:
Dave Jageler: We had 35,000 here last night, and the red was drowning out the orange, which is good. One thing that I’ve known and maybe you notice it too, but when there’s a key spot in a game, there are cheers anticipating what’s going to happen, not just after it happens. This crowd has been into it.
Ian Desmond: I’ve always said that we’ve had very smart fans. They know the game. There just haven’t, in the past, been that many of them. And that’s not a knock to Nationals fans—I wouldn’t want to come watch a losing team, either. It’s nice to have people who understand the game in mass volume who cheer you on in big situations.
DJ: How do you think the new lineup is working?
ID: It really speaks volumes to the kind of person that Jayson is, for him to accept that role. Hitting fifth in the Phillies lineup, that’s a treat for anybody’s standards. To go to the leadoff spot, you’re going to lose out on some of the RBI situations, but he’s accepted it with open arms and I think the whole team, whether it’s me hitting ninth or Bernadina hitting ninth, it’s good that we’re all on the same page and it’s not a problem. In a lot of clubhouses, that would stir up a lot of controversy.
Female Fan: How’s the baby doing?
ID: He’s doing outstanding. Seven hours a night, he’s sleeping. I’m blessed.
Young Fan: How tired do you get?
ID: Right now, I’m actually pretty tired. I’m going to need some energy here shortly. But it’s fun. When you’re out there on the field, you don’t really think about being tired. You just think about winning. That’s what makes you go.
Young Fan: Do you have a mansion?
ID: No, I have a little shanty. You know what that is? Jayson has a mansion. No, I don’t have a mansion. I try to keep things humble.
Young Fan: How do you get ready for a game?
ID: It starts when I wake up, and I eat breakfast. Breakfast’s the most important meal of the day, you know that, right? So I wake up, eat breakfast, and start thinking about the opponent, what I want to do today, and as far as batting practice and stretching. Things like that.
Male Fan: What’s the pregame routine like?
ID: We just keep our feet moving. That’s one of the most important things, defensively. We’re out there practicing, getting our feet positioned, and taking as many ground balls as we can without exerting too much energy. Really, the footwork is the most important part.
Male Fan: Be honest, what’s better – Montreal or DC?
ID: I never actually got the opportunity to go to Montreal, but I definitely like the way this organization is going now that it’s in Washington.
Female Fan: Family life is a challenge during a season. How do you manage that away from home? Obviously you miss your son while you’re away. How are you able to balance that?
ID: It’s definitely hard. I think my time in the Minor Leagues groomed me towards this. Being away from your family for six or seven months, living in hotels or with host families, things like that definitely prepared me for today. But fortunately today I’m able to have my wife and my family here, and when we’re in Miami I have other relatives down there. But it’s not easy. It’s a sacrifice we have to make.