Span, left, was traded to Washington in November. Since then, he’s been working to get to know his Nationals teammates and his new city. Span said he isn’t too interested in politics, but wouldn’t turn down a tour of the White House or Capitol.
But Span is doing everything he can to acclimate himself. “His process started on day one,” Tarasco said. “He showed a lot of respect toward his teammates: being on time, the way he ran balls out, the way he communicated with his fellow outfielders [Jayson] Werth and Harper. He spent time from the very beginning listening to what guys who had experience in the National League had to offer him.”
Tarasco said that much of Span’s value comes from being a consistent, steady player who is both impressive in the outfield and a strong leadoff hitter. He continually puts up good at-bats, making starting pitchers work hard early and throw more pitches, something appreciated by the game’s purists. “Making guys feel like, ‘Man, I’m having a tough time getting the lead-out hitter out and I’m only at the first guy.’ It sets a tone, it’s not flashy, but it’s so consistent,” Tarasco said.
Span wants to help the Washington Nationals go further than their playoff run last year. “Personally I want to be an all-star,” he said. “It’s something I’ve never done but something I try and do every day.”
CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball
Some traditions in D.C. are new to Span. He smiled upon hearing the details of the CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, which will be played at Nationals Park on June 13 this year.
His advice for the members of Congress suiting up to play ball: “Bring your sunglasses. For pop flies, the sun is going to play a big factor. See the ball, hit the ball. Keep it simple. We don’t need any congressmen pulling muscles.”