The love affair taking place on the left side of the Nationals’ infield, which has been blossoming since last season, continued Monday at Nationals Park. During batting practice, shortstop Trea Turner and third baseman Anthony Rendon wore black T-shirts featuring images of the other’s face on the front.
“Anthony is my favorite player,” read Turner’s T-shirt.
“Trea is my favorite player,” read Rendon’s.
Turner led off the bottom of the first inning with his sixth home run of the season. When he returned to the dugout, Rendon tugged at the top of his own jersey before congratulating his favorite player. Turner then untucked his jersey to show off his custom shirt, which doesn’t appear to be available for sale anywhere.
Rendon, who appeared to have ditched his shirt for a red undershirt before the game, shared a hug with Turner in the dugout after driving him in with a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
“The more and more you get to watch him, the more and more you realize how good he is,” Turner said last month when asked why Rendon is his favorite player. “He did finish fifth in MVP voting a few years ago, but he’s not necessarily an MVP-caliber player in the sense that every year he’s competing for the award, but he is an all-star player. He plays really well defensively, hits really well, hits homers, hits for average, drives in runs, can run the bases and steal some bases. He does it all and I don’t think you get to appreciate him until you watch him play every day, and this year I’ve stood right next to him basically every single game, gotten a chance to see him play and the things he does. He’s special and we’re good friends, so I joke with him a lot. It’s kind of a joke we have, but at the same time, he’s a really good player.”
For the good of the team, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for Turner or Rendon to declare a Nationals reliever his favorite player as a sign of support during these trying times. It couldn’t hurt.