The biggest question facing the Nationals entering Saturday’s game against the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves: Buttoned or unbuttoned?
Several players showed off some chest hair by leaving the top buttons of their jerseys unbuttoned and going undershirt-less in Friday’s painful, 13-inning loss. Jayson Werth looked like he belonged on a romance novel cover.
— InsideThaDugout (@InsideThaDugout) June 21, 2014
Here’s an excellent compilation from @recordsANDradio.
“It was awesome,” utility man Kevin Frandsen told Adam Kilgore. “It’s liberating.”
Was it also an attempt to exorcise the Nationals’ bad juju against the Braves, who have won six of the seven meetings between the teams this season?
“No reason,” Frandsen said. “Just did it.”
So…buttoned or unbuttoned going forward?
“You never know,” Frandsen said. “We didn’t know until we did it. It could happen again. We’ll keep you guys on your toes.”
UPDATE: While several players’ top buttons are open, everyone appears to be wearing an undershirt.
Stupid red undershirt is covering my beauty. I’ll be out later…
— Werth’s Chest Hair (@WerthsChestHair) June 21, 2014
Kilgore reports that manager Matt Williams instituted a far different change in routine Saturday afternoon.
He told Nationals players they did not need to report to the clubhouse until 5 p.m., and he canceled batting practice on the field. Between the marathon game Friday, a Sunday matinee and two games against the Astros that pushed four hours earlier this week, Williams wanted his players to relax.
“There’s been a lot of grinding going on the last four days,” Williams said. “You just try to give them the opportunity to step back for a minute and not force anything on the field today.”