While Pope is in DC, Nats visit Church at Shea

More than a billion eyes will be viewing Nationals Park on Thursday when Pope Benedict XVI says mass. Several members of the Nationals recorded greetings on Sunday that will be played on the scoreboard. Bench Coach Pat Corrales said, “Welcome to Nationals Park...Bless this park, we need all the help we can get!”

New York...New York!
Nats catcher Paul Lo Duca isn’t sure what type of reception he’ll receive from fans here in New York. But, he did say that if they boo him it’ll be okay because it’ll sound like fans are chanting Doooka! Yesterday it was like old home week for him. He’s got a lot of friends over at Shea Stadium. The home clubhouse attendant, Dominic told me Paul is a favorite in the Big Apple because he calls it as he sees it and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. That’s something that may have gotten him in trouble a bit as a Met but so far his candidness hasn’t been an issue in D.C.

Oh Baby!
If you notice Ryan Church is a bit sleepy these days, he’s got a good reason. He and his wife Tina have a five week old son, Mason, who has been keeping his parents up at night. Ryan’s Mom and Dad have been in town helping out and they told me they’re keeping tabs on the Nats, too because they still have a fondness for several players on the team that they will always have a soft spot for...

Highlight a lowlight for Lastings...
You may recall seeing a highlight of Lastings Milledge high-fiving fans along the right field stands after he hit his first homerun in Shea as a Met. He got a lot of grief from his teammates and the media in New York for doing that. But, Paul Lo Duca, his Met teammate at the time told me, “I laughed...He didn’t know any better and hey everything gets blown up in New York.” Lastings told me fans in DC may get the chance to high-five him, only this time it’ll be after a walk-off homerun.