As I did a couple of days ago, I will issue a warning to the superstitious readers out there.
If you feel that me discussing a winning streak will in any way impact the Nationals’ performance on the field tonight, or if such conversation will upset you, it might be best to click off this page and return to MASNsports.com later this afternoon.
Glad that we’ve gotten that out of the way.
Back in the early stages of this season, Nats manager Matt Williams sat down with my colleague F.P. Santangelo for an on-camera interview for the open of one of our game broadcasts.
At the time, this old video of Williams doing a spectacular Babe Ruth impersonation had made an internet revival, and it was being discussed by large groups of Nats fans on various social media platforms.
Toward the end of Santangelo’s interview, he asked Williams about the Ruth impersonation, and tossed a bit of a friendly challenge out there towards the Nats skipper. If the Nats won 10 games in a row this season, Santangelo said, would Williams be willing to do the impersonation again, on the field in front of our MASN cameras?
Williams agreed, despite the fact that, as he told reporters later on, the last time that he did the impersonation was when that video footage was taken, which was all the way back in 1991.
Well, here we are some 4 1/2 months later, and the Nats have now won eight games in a row.
They are currently mid-way through their four-game series against the Diamondbacks, who are 20 games under .500 following last night’s 8-1 loss at Nats Park. Tanner Roark gets the ball for the Nats tonight, with Gio Gonzalez set to start tomorrow.
Personally, I had started thinking about the challenge as soon as the Nats’ current winning streak reached five, but I wasn’t going to bring it up to Williams. Two nights ago, however, after the Nats’ third straight walk-off victory, a reporter asked Williams about his impersonation promise, and whether it was still on the table.
“Well I didn’t necessarily want to bring that up,” Williams said with a smile. “But it is. Yes, it is. It’s still available.”
So there we go. Two more wins, and the Nats manager will shove a pillow into his jersey, waddle around the bases and tip his cap to the crowd as he rounds second.
Given that it’s been so long since Williams has done the impersonation, I then asked whether he’s rewatched any tape, studied any footage to prepare himself should the Nats hit that 10-game winning streak.
“Not yet,” Williams said, again smiling. “Again, we don’t look too far ahead. We’ve got to look to tomorrow.”
Two wins to go.