Miles and miles of heart
Right now, the Nats look pretty lethargic. They're swinging at bad pitches, not running out hits at full speed, and even just waving their gloves at plays that deserve more effort. I'm not going to single out any player for lack of effort; I don't know what's in their heads. Besides, that's more of a general observation about their lethargy.
Tough streaks do make me appreciate the outstanding effort of guys like Jamey Carroll. He's not even close to the best player on the team. But it's fairly evident he's one of the hardest working. He's always the first player on the field after the visiting team's batting practice. He runs hard to first base. He makes some sparkling plays in the field. He chokes up on his bat to get better control. The man plays the game the right way. All this from a 5'9" 170 pound guy who you might mistake for a dad or a Little League coach.
After tonight's tough loss, I hung around the players parking lot, hoping a player or two would stop to sign autographs, despite the tough loss. Most players just drove on by with their families and significant others -- and it was hard to recognize them in the dark through tinted windows. Some damn fine cars, though!
Jamey Carroll was one of the handful of guys who did stop. He was very gracious, smiling and talking to people while he signed a few autographs. I told him my dad went to the rival of his high-school alma mater. (Which is true, by the way) He responded with a good-natured "booooo" and a smile. I already had his signature, so after that I stood back while he interacted with others. While he was signing, a middle-aged man who was with his daughter spoke up: "Hey Jamey, you guys turn it around, ok?"
Carroll stopped, looked the guy dead in the eye and replied, "We will. Promise."