Hurricane Ike Hits Home For Mock And Family

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By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 15, 2008

MIAMI, Sept. 14 -- Garrett Mock is from Houston -- "It is home," the Washington Nationals' reliever said -- but all of a sudden, what he knows of the city bears little resemblance to what it has become. The windows of his parents' house? Gone. The floors? Flooded. The canal behind their house? A river.

Only Sunday morning did an anxious Mock finally hear the details from his parents, who stuck it out in Houston while Hurricane Ike ripped through Texas. Mock's conversation with his mother, Becky, didn't last long, though; she needed to conserve battery power on her cellphone. She feared weeks might pass before electricity returned. Mock promised to send her a spare, charged cellphone.

For the last few days, thoughts of Ike -- and its aftereffects -- have kept Mock restless and often tuned in to the television. In between worrying about his wife and child (who flew to Washington a day before the hurricane) and his folks, he pitched two scoreless innings on Saturday night. When he spoke with his parents on Sunday morning, his mom described a house that was "hotter than fire."

Said Mock: "My mom was like, 'Yeah, we turned the car on and took a little nap just to get out of the heat.' And I was like, Mom, stop wasting that much gas, because if you've got to leave. Gas is already over five bucks per gallon, and every gas station that you can have gas to get to probably will be out of it. So they need to go into survival mode."

Martis Commits to WBC

Washington rookie pitcher Shairon Martis, from Curacao, has committed to represent the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic -- an obligation that will take Martis from spring training during the tournament (March 5-23) and likely for whatever training is scheduled beforehand. Martis has played for the Netherlands before, in the 2006 WBC. But there's one difference: This time, he likely will be competing for a spot in the Washington rotation.

Manager Manny Acta, though, is encouraging Martis's participation, and said: "I don't think that will make matters worse for us. I will never stop anybody from representing their country or playing in the WBC. I support them 100 percent."

Martis called his experience in 2006 -- when he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in his only start -- "something special."

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