Winterfest Day 2, or what you can learn from watching Davey build a snowman.
By Laura H. Peebles (ArVAFan)
I’m starting with the last segment of the day, the Snowman Building Contest. The rules were that each player, working with an audience member, had 30 minutes to build and decorate a snowman using the materials provided. Materials were three Styrofoam globes, tinsel garland, LED light string, toothpicks, carrots, ribbon, dowels, glue and tape. There were also three additional items brought in during the session that had to be used: bright-colored plastic utensils, Froot Loops, and then one different item for each team.
Watching the three of them, Davey approached the project by immediately building a stable base (using tape, I think) and using the dowels to anchor the three globes together, so immediately he had a stable setup to decorate. He and his teammate then decorated the snowman—or rather a snow woman, given the “jewelry” then hung on her. Trea never did get his stabilized—he was still holding it at the end. At least Pedro got a box as his extra item to use as a base. All of them ended up sticking the plastic utensils in the “heads” as hair (Davey saying he was going for the Bryce Harper look).
Davey won the contest by audience acclimation. Yes, his was the best put together, but watching how he approached the process, working with his youngster, dealing with the additional items, and still coming out with something coherent made me think that perhaps the Nationals really are in good hands. Oh, and Mike said that Davey’s area was clean and neat, compared to Trea and Pedro’s areas.
Now, restarting the day with the State of the Nats, Day 2.
In addition to reiterating many of the things said yesterday, Davey added that he was beginning to develop relationships with some of the players, saying we had some interesting players on the team (he didn’t quite say eccentric, but that’s the direction he was headed).
Valerie went on about the All-Star Game, mentioning the pre-game fan fest, which will be at the Convention Center and is expected to include former players. There will be a celebrity softball game and a 5K at the stadium. Invoices for the ASG strips will be going out in January. In non-ASG news, she did say that there would be several bobbleheads. As far as clothing merchandise, there will be new items from Tommy Bahama and Columbia Sportswear, among others. The Virtual Home Run Derby that was at Winterfest will be moved to Nationals Park, and the kids’ play area will be redone (hint: the “castle may not be there when you come.”)
Valerie also reminded folks of the Guaranteed Giveaway program for STH, to avoid the long lines at the games on giveaway nights.
Since next year’s fan fest will not be at the Convention Center, (and Nats Park might indeed be the location) she wants email/tweets with suggestions for sessions. One questioner got applause for asking for more “adult” options such as scouting and analytics panels.
Someone asked if there would be a Davey Martinez bobblehead. That doesn’t appear to be likely for this year, but it led to a conversation in which he admitted to having been a mini-bobble, but not a full bobblehead, and definitely not a gnome. Rizzo said that he looked more like a gnome guy.
I asked Rizzo outright if the USA Today had their facts right about the Nationals payroll. He confirmed that the Nats had not exceeded the luxury tax threshold, but went on to say that ownership has always provided the resources he needs to put a competitive product on the field. He said that the MASN situation has not been a hindrance to signing players [author note: he wasn’t under oath, so what he said doesn’t really count.] Speaking of competitive product, he reminded everyone not to underestimate the competition in the NL East: don’t think that just because we have a good team that we can “come out and throw our glove on the field” and expect to win.
When Rizzo was asked about Jayson, he finessed the question, saying he’d seen Jayson and he was in good shape and that he expects him to “find a place to play.”
When someone thanked Davey for his candid answer yesterday about Game 5, Rizzo jumped in with a “no more about Game 5!” to which Davey said he’d avoid that by winning in Game 4.