After what seemed like weeks since we knew he was coming, the big signing in DC today finally happened. Matt Capps, a closer, is now officially part of the team. What, you thought I was referring to someone else?
The Nats were nice enough to extend an invitation to all bloggers to participate in a conference call with the new addition this morning. I’m not positive who else was there, but I definitely heard Federal Baseball and Nationals Inquisition on the line. I’m not going to go over all of the specific questions, I think the above sites may end up putting up transcripts. But I am going to give you an overview of what he said.
Capps was excited at the opportunity to be a closer, part of the reason he chose the Nationals over other teams. I’ve seen reports that he had offers from 16 teams, including a 2 year deal with the Cubs, but he chose Washington. He also said he’d play anywhere and in any capacity that Riggleman wants.
He said he hasn’t spoken with them directly, but he has texted back and forth with Morgan and Burnett, his former Pittsburgh teammates. He said he’s very excited to get back together with them. He also was asked about advice for a youngster like Storen, and he said that the best advice he ever got was from Roberto Hernandez (I think). His advice was basically that despite all the pressure, all the money, all the attention, it’s the same game you’ve played since you were a little kid, so don’t forget that when you go out there.
I had the chance to ask a question, and I asked who he was most excited about playing with. He said that obviously watching hitters like Willingham and Dunn from afar he wanted to see them. He also mentioned Marquis. Finally, he said he was excited to throw with a hall of fame catcher real soon.
As for being non-tendered by the Pirates after one bad season, he said he was completely shocked. Capps was very impressive in ’07 and ’08, but pitched poorly last year. But he said that once he saw there was interest in him, he quickly became excited about the opportunities.
That was about it, it was a quick conference. Thanks to Matt Capps for participating and, once again, a big thank you to Mike Gadza for allowing the bloggers to be a part of the Nats’ community.