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Dick Heller: Clothes do not make the men
The Nationals unveiled their new jerseys Thursday at ESPN Zone in the District before a gaggle of fans presumably with nothing better to do. Now all the club needs to do is find some new players to put in them.
Lots of new players.
Manager Manny Acta and center fielder Lastings Milledge served as models, along with several winsome young women who probably couldn’t hit good pitching. (Come to think of it, neither did most of the real Nats in 2008.)
Right fielder Elijah Dukes, who had been advertised as a participant, was a no-show. Probably he has no sense of high fashion.
The occasion was hardly fraught with drama. It started with this exchange between Acta and radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes.
Slowes: “How’s it going, Manny?”
Slowes: “Not superfantastic?”
Acta merely laughed, possibly recalling his team’s abject futility (59-102) last season.
After the women pranced around in the marginally altered home and alternate jerseys - plus a gaudy “patriotic” shirt with more stars and stripes than an American flag - Milledge emerged in the club’s standard road jersey for 2009.
It features several minor changes, but all you really need to know is that “Washington” will appear on the front in underlined script rather than block letters - thereby conjuring unpleasant images of the expansion Senators’ shirts from their last few years of existence. But for those who prefer the blocks, it’s clearly a case of cursives, foiled again!
As hard news, the new suits will not exactly chase President-elect Barack Obama off the front page. Even Milledge seemed underwhelmed.
“How do you like them?” Acta prompted him.
“Oh, I like them,” Milledge replied obediently. Then he added, “I can’t say I don’t like them, can I?”
A while later, after scads of panting autograph seekers had gone back to work or whatever, Milledge expanded his answer for a reporter in search of an earth-shattering scoop.
About the Author
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