Brooks Laich would have much rather made his first appearance of the spring in front of a big crowd wearing hockey skates.
Instead, the Capitals’ 29-year-old forward will take the mound Monday night when he throws at the ceremonial first pitch before the Baltimore Orioles game against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Laich has been a member of the Capitals for nine years and says he understands the disappointment fans are feeling after seeing the Caps eliminated from the playoffs in six straight seasons.
“I know a lot of people are going to be discouraged, fans and people around town,” Laich said. “It’s hard to convey, but I see everything behind the scenes and I see where we’re headed. The coaching staff, the structure we have, the guys we have in place. The future is very bright.
“You get sick and tired of saying that, trust me, I’ve been here long enough. People say you have a good team and I want to win right now. It’s difficult to win, but our future – it’s hard to say right now because we just got shellacked 5-0 – but moving forward we have a very good chance to win and compete for the Stanley Cup. I firmly believe that.”