- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wizards star Bradley Beal was brought up a Cardinals fan in St. Louis, but he’s also happy to rep allegiance to other Washington sports teams. In this World Series, that includes the Nationals, even though they swept Beal’s Cardinals in the National League Championship Series to reach the Fall Classic.

Beal said he watched the Nationals’ Game 6 win over the Houston Astros that tied the World Series 3-3, and he spoke affectionately of budding superstar Juan Soto.

“I love him, man,” Beal told reporters at Wednesday’s shootaround. “I love everything he do. I love him carrying that bat to first base, everything. If they’re going to do that, you return the favor. You smack that (expletive) out the park and then you drop that bat right at first base.”

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Beal was referring to Soto’s home run in the fifth inning of Game 6, in which he carried his bat all the way to first base before dropping it in a celebratory manner. Soto was copying what Astros star Alex Bregman did in the first inning of the same game.

Soto later said he simply thought what Bregman did was “cool” and he wanted to try it, too. Both Washington manager Dave Martinez and Houston manager A.J. Hinch were unhappy their players celebrated like that, though, implying it was disrespectful.

Beal was on Soto’s side, saying it was just a natural part of sports.

“Baseball, I think they’re not able to express themselves, right?” Beal said. “Yeah, it’s weird … It’s definitely tough because you can agree with a lot of, like you said, balls and strikes and things of that nature. You can’t really celebrate and taunt like you want to. It sucks, but that’s why I play basketball.”

The Wizards’ home opener is Wednesday — against the Houston Rockets, scheduled for the same time Washington and Houston will face off in Game 7 of the World Series.

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