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07/28/10 8:05 PM ET

Miss Iowa issues challenge to Batista

WASHINGTON -- Katherine Connors, Miss Iowa 2010, wasn't pleased about comments made by Nationals right-hander Miguel Batista on Tuesday night.

After receiving a round of boos from the fans after it was learned that right-hander Stephen Strasburg wasn't making his scheduled start, Batista, who made the spot start, said he understood why the fans were not happy to see him pitch.

"Imagine if you go there to see Miss Universe and you end up having Miss Iowa. You might get those kind of boos," Batista said. "But it's OK. They have to understand that as an organization, we have to make sure that the kid is fine. You don't want to expose him out there."

On Wednesday, Connors had a few words for Batista.

"I know I can throw a pitch or two!" Connors said in a statement to DesMoinesRegister.com. "The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit?"

Batista said his words were taking out of context and he told his attorney to send flowers to Connors.

"The way I said it wasn't the way it was interpreted," Batista said. "What I meant was the person that you listen to is Miss Iowa, and you go, 'Oh, here you go.' When you take a look at the woman, you go, 'Hold on: She is from Iowa, but she is gorgeous.'

"That's what I want people to see. I walked to the mound and people started booing. They haven't see me throw a pitch. It's like the same thing. You go to see Miss Universe and you get Miss Iowa. You want to turn around and you see the woman and you say, 'Hello.' Miss Iowa is a really pretty woman, very beautiful."

Batista pitched like an ace on Tuesday, tossing five shutout innings in a 3-0 victory over the Braves.

Capps hopes to stay in Washington

WASHINGTON -- With the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, closer Matt Capps reiterated that he wants to stay with the Nationals. However, he understands that the team may have to trade him to improve the club.

"I haven't been shy about how much this organization has treated me," Capps said. "They are first class from the get-go. Obviously, I would like to be part of the change in direction that the ballclub is going in. On the same hand, they could get there a little quicker by adding a couple of pieces by getting rid of me. I know they have to do what's best for the team. That's [general manager] Mike Rizzo's job."

Capps was given a scenario: If he were traded to the Yankees, would he accept his new role as a setup man?

"If it's not a ninth-inning role, I'll be fine with that," he said. "In the next couple of years, if I'm not the ninth-inning guy and we are 20 games over .500 and I'm playing my part and contributing -- it's about getting that ring in late October."

Capps is the No. 1 reason Washington's bullpen has improved dramatically this year. Entering Wednesday's action, Capps has a 2.86 ERA with 25 saves in 46 games.

Scouts watching Nats as Deadline nears

WASHINGTON -- Scouts from the Blue Jays, Rays and Yankees were at Nationals Park the past two days to watch players from the Nationals. Reports have surfaced the last couple of weeks that the Yankees and Rays have interest in Adam Dunn. This past winter, the Blue Jays had interest right-hander Craig Stammen, but Washington was unwilling to part with him.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.