07/30/10 8:19 PM ET
Nationals' Batista meets with Miss Iowa
Pitcher referenced Connors while joking of replacing Strasburg
By Greg Rosenstein / MLB.com
Nationals reliever Miguel Batista -- who made a joking reference to seeing Miss Iowa compared to Miss Universe when he replaced Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday night -- spoke to the pageant queen, Katherine Connors, for the first time near the Washington dugout.
An hour and a half later, they were together again, this time, battery mates for the game's first pitch.
Before throwing, Connors said she was a little nervous.
"I started practicing my pitching last night," Connors said. "I'm terrible. I play basketball, volleyball, tennis and I golf. I just don't play baseball. I wish I played it growing up."
Connors threw from the edge of the mound, and Batista caught it just wide right of the plate. Batista then walked to the mound to meet her and take a photograph. They then continued to talk while talking toward the Nationals' dugout.
She said she was happy with how her pitch was thrown.
"I think I could probably take his job after that pitch," Connors said. "[Miguel] gave me pointers when we were practicing for the pitching. He showed me how to hold a baseball, but I didn't hold it like that out there because that was for a curveball."
Batista entered the game on Tuesday to boos from the 31,913 fans in attendance who wanted to see Strasburg pitch.
Asked after the 3-0 win against the Braves what he thought of the crowd reaction, he replied, "Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos."
But after joking that she was initially upset about the comments, Connors said she thinks the entire situation is funny.
"He's extremely nice," Connors said. "I never took offense to him. After I heard the entire story, I thought it was hilarious."
Greg Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.