OBSERVATIONS: Jesse Winker Resurrecting Career with Nats

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, still yawning after The Late Show Monday night featuring Frankie Montas and The Walking Dead. Four walks in one inning? That’s hard to do, except the Reds’ Montas showed how easy it can be.

—NOD, NOD, WINK, WINK: Jesse Winker is drinking from the Foutain of Youth, but who knew the fountain was in Washington D.C. And good for him because he was one of my favorites on the 2021/2022 Cincinnati Reds teams.

The Reds traded him to Seattle after the 2022 season and then he landed in Milwaukee before signing with the Washington Nationals before this season.

After leaving Cincinnati, he was a Lost Soul. But so far he has found success in Washington. As of Sunday, he was leading the National League with a .490 on base average while batting .350. His 1.015 OPS is 10th in the league.

And while most players won’t miss the concrete mausoleum in which the Oakland A’s play, the place the A’s are evacuating and fleeing to Las Vegas, Winker at first hated it, but now loves it.

“The first time I came here was in 2019 with the Reds and we got no-hit by Mike Fiers. When I left, I thought, ‘Man, I hate Oakland.’ And then when I came back with Seattle, I had a whole different perspective on it. I started really looking at this place and imagining it at full capacity in the playoffs.

“ Then I look up, and you have Rickey Henderson’s jersey up there, you have my all-time favorite lefty swing, Reggie Jackson. I could only imagine him hitting a home run to the third deck…and it kind of gives you goosebumps. It’s inspiring.”

Now there is a player who loves and respects baseball.

And speaking of the A’s moving to Las Vegas. they began as the Philadelphia A’s, then were the Kansas City A’s, then the Oakland A’s, soon to be the Las Vegas A’s. How soon before they become the Auckland A’s.

—PITCH RICH: Only a team with more money than Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos combined could survive what the Los Angeles Dodgere are going through.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to respect them because they have an entire pitching rotation and bullpen pieces on the injured list that could win the World Series.

On the injured list are starters Clayton Kershaaw, Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Tony Gonzolin and Emmit Sheehan, plus relief pitchers Blake Treinen and Brusdar Gaterol.

Now check the standings. Geesh.

—WRONG GIBSON: If I were Kyle Gibson, I’d change my last name. Kyle pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals and one can bet a case of Budweiser that every time he pitches the fans think abouut Bob Gibson.

How can any pitcher live up to those expectations? When it comes to Gibson, St. Louis fans give a Hoot.

—THE LONGEST 10 MINUTES: It was a Day of Infamy for poor Detroit Tigers infielder Zach McKinstry. And while it is entertaining to see a position player pitch, it sometimes makes the game a farce.

McKinstry was playing third base against the Minnesota Twins in the 12th inning, bases loaded. After an 0-and-2 count, Minnesota’s DH, Ryan Jeffers, fouled off six pitches and worked the count to 3-and-2.

Then he hit a ground ball that went through McKinstry’s legs like a croquet wicket, a three-run error.

So what does Detroit manager A.J. Hinch do? He was out of pitchers. Closer Jason Foley had thrown 36 pitches and the score was 8-4.

Time for a position player to pitch. So who did he bring in? McKinstry, right after his three-run error. McKinstry walked the first hitter then gave up a three-run home run to Matt Wallner.

That’s six runs McKinstry helped the Twins score and nobody could have blamed him for hiding in a linen closet after the game.

Instead he faced the media with a smile and said, “Just a long day.” But there were about 10 minutes he’d like to forget. . .but never will.

—BO KNEW BOTH: Bo Jackson said he always wanted to be a pilot. He never sat in a cockpit, but he didn’t need an airplane. He flew low on a baseball field and a football field.

In 1989, Jackson hit 32 home runs, drove in 105 and stole 26 bases for the Kansas City Royals, then traded his batting helmet for a football helmet that same year and averaged 5.5 yards per carry for the Oakland Raiders that included a 92-yard touchdown run.

How did every NBA team miss putting him in short shorts?

—QUOTE: From Bo Jackson: “If my mother put on a helmet and shoulder pads and wore a uniform a different color than mine, I’d run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother.” (OK BO, how about if she wore catcher’s gear and was blocking home plate?)

—DOUBLE DRIVE TIME: One would think Kyle Larson would be greener than the felt on a pool table when it comes to Indy cars and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

One would be wrong. Larson is three-time champion of NASCAR’s Cup Series. . .in stock cars. He had never driven an Indy car and never drove Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

So what? He hopped into a McLaren Indy race car last week for practice and blistered the bricks at 226.384 miles an hour, the second fastest of 34 drivers on the first day of practice. The only faster guy was three-time IndyCar Series champion Joseph Newgarden, last year’s Indy 500 winner.

And here is what Larson plans to do: Run the Indy 500, hop in a private plane and on the same day and race in NASCAR’s Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 stock car race.

He’ll be only the fifth driver to make the attempt. None of the previous four won either race and only Tony Stewart (2001) completed the 1,100 milles.

Question: How do those guys ever driver a personal car a city street and keep it under 35 mile an hour?

—Wright Is Right: From my favorite deadpan comedian, Steven Wright: “I was hitch-hiking one day and a hearse stopped. I told him, ‘No thanks, I’m not going that far.’”

PLAYLIST NO. 42: Now I’m digging deep, as deep as the Los Angeles Dodger’ pockets:

Didn’t We Almost Have It All (Whitney Houston),, Lucille (Kenny Rogers), I Started A Joke (BeeGees), Bette Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes), Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield), Kiss On My Lipes (Hall & Oates), The One That You Love (Air Supply), Bennie & The Jets (Elton John), Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love (Barry White).

Don’t Close Your Eyes (Keith Hartley), After All (Cher & Peter Cetera), Just What I Needed (The Cars), Baby Come Back (Player), Anticipation (Carly Simon), I Get Around (Beach Boys), Waiting For A Girl Like You (Foreigner),Can’t You See (Marshall Tucker Band), Truly, Madly, Deeply (Savage Garden).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *