clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wire Taps: Nationals' Matt Williams and Max Scherzer hum anthem; ESPN in Viera

An improptu version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Matt Williams and new Washington Nationals' starter Max Scherzer are bonding it seems. Scherzer threw live batting practice. SportsCenter visited Viera. Catch up on 24 hours of Nats news...

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

A funny thing happened before new Washington Nationals' starter Max Scherzer threw his first live bullpen session of the Spring. According to reports from Viera, Florida, both the 30-year-old righty and Nats' skipper Matt Williams paused and "performed" (meaning Williams hummed) an improptu version of  "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Williams was asked afterward if he'd ever done that before.

"It's part of Max's thing. He always takes that break for the national anthem when he prepares to go start a game. So he wanted to take the break..." -Matt Williams on Max Scherzer's first live batting practice

"Never before a live BP session," he joked. "But it's part of Max's thing. He always takes that break for the national anthem when he prepares to go start a game. So he wanted to take the break, so we hummed it for him and made him feel comfortable in that regard, so he could go out and do his live BP."

So... what did that tell the manager about the Nationals' newest rotation addition?

"I'm not sure what it tells you about him," Williams said. "Other than that he pays attention to the anthem, which is a good thing. But it's part of his routine. He always takes that break. So, and then he fires five or six more balls and he's ready to go, so we do all we can."

The moment was captured by MASN's Chris Johnson:

Odd? A little. But mostly fun, it seems.

As for the first live batting practice sessions of the Spring? Williams said all went well...

"It's a little step down from their last bullpen," he explained. "Their last bullpen was twelve minutes, but nonetheless, it's a little more intense because you've got a hitter in there. But everybody threw the ball well, everybody feels good after it, and the other group will go tomorrow, so all good."

NATS BEAT: Scherzer stories; first live BP sessions + More

• "When throwing from the stretch during bullpen sessions, Scherzer checks on an imaginary runner at first base..." - "Max Scherzer throws live batting practice, plus other notes" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Emmanuel Burris, Sandy Leon, Matt Skole, Kila Ka'aihue and Dan Butler were the five hitters who stepped in to face Scherzer." - "Nationals Pastime: Scherzer, Nats pitchers face live hitters" - Chris Johnson,

• "An article by the Wall Street Journal from September reported the Nationals had shifted 258 times at that point in the season, saving 11 net hits." - "Nationals look to increase use of defensive shifts" - Jamal Collier,

• "With that matter of pomp and circumstance out of the way, Scherzer proceeded to face hitters for 10 minutes, using his full arsenal of pitches and emerging pleased with the end result." - "Live batting practice features anthem, broken bats, few actual hits" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Before he started the session, Scherzer hummed 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' He likes to pretend he is in a real game before he throws from the mound." - "Scherzer sharp in first session facing hitters" - Bill Ladson,

• "If you’ve decided to head to Florida for Spring Training, we certainly approve. But there are plenty of things to learn in advance to help make the most of your trip." - "Insider’s guide to Washington Nationals Spring Training" - Noah Frank, WTOP

• "The highlight on Sunday was Max Scherzer throwing his first live batting practice as a member of the Nationals." - "Daily Wrap: Live BP gets underway, SportsCenter visits Nationals camp & more" - Amandaa Comak, Curly W Live

• "Williams said he and his coaches will continue to shift that selectively this season, deferring more to their pitchers and their game plans..." - "Rain shortens workouts in Viera; Matt Williams says Nationals won’t shift more in 2015" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Once he came back, he was his old self except for the last game of the National League Division Series against the Giants. Give Gio a break. He will be OK." - "Inbox: Would Nats consider 6-man rotation?" - Bill Ladson,

• "McLouth, who throws right but bats left, doesn't blame the injury for his poor production last season." - "Nationals Pastime: McLouth closing in on full strength" - Chris Johnson,


• "Past failures, more than anything, seem to drive Barrett to find future success. And he already has shown a track record for overcoming adversity on the field." - "Past failures drive Aaron Barrett to want the ball in big spots again" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "With Adam LaRoche no longer on the team, Harper is the only slugger on the team with power from the left side of the plate. Harper said he is up to the challenge." - "Harper says he has to 'step up' for Nationals" - Bill Ladson,

• "Espinosa's change to the right side of the batter's box removes another left-handed hitter from the roster." - "Nationals Pastime: Espinosa stays right while Williams talks left" - Chris Johnson,

• ""Although he is not restricted from participating of the team's workouts, the Nationals are limiting the volume of McLouth's activity as a precaution." - "McLouth nearly up to speed from shoulder surgery" - Jamal Collier,

• "Nationals coordinator of instruction Gary Cathcart is working two camps a day at spring training - the early camp filled with prospects and the major league camp." - "Nationals early camp prospect capsule: Outfielders" - Byron Kerr,

Strasburg talks:

• "Strasburg: My understanding of it is, it's important to peak at the right time. You look at what the Giants did last year, they were hot." - "Strasburg talks winning formula, 2015 goals in Q&A" - Bill Ladson,

Jordan talks:

• "But Jordan believes those mechanics, dislodged by injury, failed him last season." - "After frustrating 2014, Taylor Jordan hoping for healthy season" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Gio talks:

• "The injury weighed on him. The normally gregarious left-hander still smiled and laughed, but dealing with personal defeat stung." - "Washington Nationals’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez aims to keep emotions in check" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

Heath Bell talks:

• "A Yoda statue sits on the top shelf of Bell’s locker ,just above his No. 21 Nationals jersey and a pair of Vans." - "The Heath Bell Smoothie Experience" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Kruk talks Nationals:

• "ESPN's tour bus rolled into Viera on Sunday to preview the Nationals during a special midday presentation of 'SportsCenter.'" - "Nationals Pastime: A conversation with John Kruk on the Nationals" - Chris Johnson,

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Werth on Phillies; Detwiler in TX

• "Funny thing is, Werth has no desire to dance on the grave of his former team." - "Still a contender, Werth recalls good times with Phils" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

• "Another time, Storen visited the same physical therapist as future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, and Storen’s appointment happened to be just before Rivera’s appointment." - "Drew Storen receives praise from Rivera" - Buster Olney, ESPN

• "'It was definitely the best I have pitched in my big league career,' said Detwiler, who is now with the Rangers. "Being in a playoff atmosphere, it drives you.'" - "Detwiler attempts to restart career with Rangers" - T.R. Sullivan,

• "I gave some thought to taking Bryce Harper there, but thought he might fall to me in the second round." - "Mock Draft Army NL-only Draft Analysis" - Ray Guilfoyle, Fake Teams

• "The Nationals already had an elite rotation, but added Scherzer, the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner, in the offseason." - "MLB: Top five starting rotations of 2015" - Jon Santucci, TC Palm

• "Since beginning their professional careers, Jhonatan and Donovan Solano have spoken over the phone before or after every game." - "Fairy Tale: Brothers Donovan, Jhonatan Solano together with common goal for Marlins spring training" - Christina De Nicola, FOX Sports

• "Souza stood in the Rays clubhouse and related his inspiring journey, from prospect to suspended to a moody underachiever to out of baseball to turning to God to becoming a prospect again..." - "Rays’ Souza came long way to make The Catch" - Martin Fennelly, The Tampa Tribune

NL EAST UPDATES: Wheeler Dealer; Haren sticks with Fish; Braves' prospect; No Utley

Mets: "Wheeler, too, would like to start April 6 against the Nationals. This time, however, he is more content to let the process play out without any campaigning." - "Mets could start Zack Wheeler vs. Washington Nationals on Opening Day" - Mike Vorkunov,

Marlins: "The durable Haren has made at least 30 starts in each of the last 10 seasons, and he is expected to be a key part of the Marlins' rotation." - "Haren likely to start first Grapefruit League tilt Thursday" - Steve Dorsey,

Phillies: "Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will not be in the lineup for Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees at Bright House Field." - "Utley won't play in Grapefruit League opener" - Todd Zolecki,

Braves: "Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez trumpets his ability to find a diamond in the rough in Spring Training on an annual basis." - "Youngster Murphy impressing behind the plate" - Mark Bowman,