If you play the music, he will dance. At least that’s what Aníbal Sánchez said when the 36-year-old, 14-year veteran was asked by reporters about footage from a sim game released by the team which featured the starter dancing his way to the mound in Nationals Park.
“We’ve got music on the speakers, we can dance and have some fun,” Sánchez joked after the club’s initial experiment with fake crowd noise and music playing during a game.
“I just did that on the first outing because I know nobody is around and it’s between us,” the pitcher explained, “but I take my job seriously as soon as everything starts.”
Sánchez said he also enjoyed the piped-in noise MLB teams are planning using to avoid having just the sounds of the game playing during the 2020 season since fans won’t be allowed in as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the country.
“It sounded real,” Sánchez said of the crowd buzz soundtrack.
“I never thought that it’s going to sound that real. It’s a lot noise, but you realize that’s what you hear when you’re on the field with a lot of fans in the stands.
“It’s weird, because it’s not coming from people in the stands, it’s coming from the speaker, but — I wasn’t in the game ... but it’s probably going to make you feel like the real games at the end.”
Sánchez took the mound last night, in the last intra-squad game before the Nationals play a few exhibition games in the lead-up to next Thursday’s season opener against the New York Yankees.
Manager Davey Martinez liked what he saw from his starter on the hill in Nationals Park last night.
“He looked good,” Martinez said. “He looked real good. Seventy-one pitches. We wanted to get to five innings. But he threw the ball really well. He came to Spring Training rip-raring to go.
“This guy has been throwing off the mound every day almost every day since he’s been here.
“He’s a different breed. But he’s coming, he’s ready, he looked really good today.”
The skipper for the defending World Series champs was asked if he’d seen Sánchez dancing recently, and what he thought.
“It’s hard not to notice,” Martinez laughed. “But yeah, I love his energy. I said this before, he’s one of the guys that keeps everybody loose in that clubhouse.
“He had the music cranking just like he normally does before he goes out on a game day pitching.
“It was loud and he was dancing in front of his locker getting ready for the game.
“That’s what he does. I love him. Like I said, he’s one of the guys who keeps everybody full of energy and brings it every day.
It’s nice to have a guy like that to go out every fifth day along with those other guys.”