MissChatter: Batista's Challenge Is On

MissChatter: Batista's Challenge Is On
July 30, 2010, 12:39 am
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Thursday, July 29, 2010 8:29 pm

By Miss Chatter
CSNwashington.com

If you think the Miguel Batista vs. Miss Iowa story is huge here, just imagine the enormity of it in Iowa! I was invited to chat for a few minutes on Iowa's KXNO sports radio show with host Keith Murphy this afternoon. Thanks to that, the mystery of the two Miss Iowas on Twitter has been solved. Apparently both are legit, but only one, Katherine (Katie) Connors, whose retort and challenge to Batista was in the Des Moines Register blog post, is the one on track for the Miss Universe pageant. The other must be on the fast track to some other crown. See, you learn something new non-baseball related every day.

Despite it being right in my wheelhouse, I hadn't had a chance to post yet on the comments Miguel Batista made in reference to fans booing when he took the mound in place of Stephen Strasburg Tuesday night. Yet somehow I think I may or may not have been instrumental in how the news exploded here in Washington. I retweeted a link to the Register blog post with her rebuff and then local media snatched it up and ran with it. Who'd I get the initial tweet from? Mark Hanrahan, who yes, is related to former Nationals relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan, and happens to live in Iowa. And that, your honor, is how I had the pleasure of ending up on an Iowa sports radio station.

The original quote by Batista regarding his taking the booing in stride was, Imagine, if you go there to see Miss Universe and you end up having Miss Iowa.

Now, Batista meant the phrase as a compliment saying she's beautiful, and while maybe not what you expected going in, still worthy (much like his pitching performance Tuesday). He even sent Connors flowers. But before the peace offering arrived, Miss Connors charged back I know I can throw a pitch or two! The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit? Somewhere along the way, and I'm not sure she said it herself, but word got out that she'd like to throw the ceremonial first pitch before a game to prove it. This MLB Network clip with Miss Iowa may have had something to do with it.

Somewhere somehow somebody made that happen. Before my scheduled radio time slot today, news broke that Miss Connors is flying to DC and will in fact be tossing the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's game. And you guessed it, Miguel Batista will be on the receiving end. I listened to the show a little before going on during today's rain delay. Miss Connors had been on about an hour before me and apparently told them she was practicing her pitching to get ready.

When asked about it after today's game, Batista said, "Hopefully by the end of the day when she goes back to Iowa, she'll say something good about us, hopefully like, 'hey, he was a cool guy.' ... I don't know, something cool. Hopefully we show her the best of Washington and she'll have a good time."

Hopefully the Phillies fans don't spoil that good time. Roy Oswalt was traded from Houston to the Phillies today and guess when he'll start? You got it - tomorrow against Craig Stammen. As we've learned this season - they travel.

It doesn't sound like Batista expects Miss Connors' pitch to actually hit his glove on the other side of the plate. "She can be awkward or very wild when she throws so I have to be careful. If she's practicing in a swimsuit or high heels, not a chance!" Yet would he hold up his end of the challenge and walk a runway in a swimsuit? "Not a chance. I'm not even going to try that one. I know she challenged me to that but she beat me already because I'm not even going to try." (Darn! That would be a hoot!) "Can she throw a pitch tomorrow? We will all find out!"

This challenge is so on! Having thrown in the bullpen before, I hope Miss Connors didn't throw too many practice tosses! Otherwise, she is going to have one sore arm when she takes the mound before tomorrow's game! Can't wait to see it! I'm pretty confident Nats fans will be cheering, not jeering.