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Denard Span had no idea what a double-switch was

Apr 15, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

Denard Span AP

Before this season Nationals center fielder Denard Span played his entire five-year career in the American League with the Twins, so he wasn’t quite up to speed on National League rules.

In fact, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that Span was confused about being removed from yesterday’s game as part of a standard double-switch and initially thought he was being benched by manager Davey Johnson:

“I’m like, ‘Did I not hustle? What did I do?’ ” Span said afterward. “I didn’t know what was going on. I’ve never been pulled out of the game like that. I’m still learning. Honestly, I’m starting to kind of understand it, but I still don’t fully understand it. I understand what’s going on, obviously. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Even after a gentle explanation, Span still wasn’t quite sure of the whole double-switch thing. … “If I ever become a manager,” Span said, “it’s going to be in the American League.”

Not quite as bad as Donovan McNabb not knowing the rules to NFL overtimes a few years ago, but still kind of weird. The good news for Span is that by the time he becomes a manager there’s a decent chance both leagues will be using the designated hitter anyway.

  1. gigab0t - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    eeehhh…that’s ok, denard. just keep hitting the ball.

  2. jm91rs - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    As a national league fan I hate that double switches take a potentially good hitter out of the lineup for the sole reason that his spot in the order is convenient for the switch, but I do appreciate that it’s harder to takes a lot more thought and strategy to pull off pitching changes.

    • natslady - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      It was 9-0 at the time.

    • bolweevils2 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      But in this case, they were only taking Denard Span out of the game, not a potentially good hitter.

      (OK, unfair. But it was too easy to pass up.)

  3. Jon Weisman - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    I almost think Strat-o-Matic should be required training for any major-leaguer

  4. bryceharpersmojo - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    And tomorrow Davey is going to teach him his ABC’s

  5. zzalapski - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Were Espinosa and Strasburg impressed?

    • evanwins - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      They were.

      And the Nats TV broadcasters heaped tons of praise on Span for his inquisitive style and mental hustle. They also said he had the best learning brain in the league. They concluded with a little known fact that Span’s urine tastes like the sweetest nectar they have ever drank and that it magically gives sight to the blind.

    • Kevin Gillman - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      At least Denard Span has played 9 Major League Baseball innings at a time before, so I am sure Strasburg was impressed.

  6. dluxxx - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    This doesn’t surprise me. I mean, Denard learned everything he knows about baseball from the Twins system, and it’s been blatantly obvious from watching years of Twins Interleague games that Gardy has no clue what a double switch is as well…

  7. beefytrout - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Dude wanted to stay in the game. Can’t fault him for that.

  8. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    – Thought conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook shooting were “interesting”
    – Thinks texting and driving is funny
    – Never heard of a double switch

    And it’s only April 15th!

    • danglesnipecelly24 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      – Obviously isn’t very smart
      – Thinks hes some sort of comedian
      – Should probably jump off a bridge

      You are dumb!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Awwww….did I make you sad?

        The guy has had some dumb comments in a short span (no pun intended), and if he were on another team, you would agree. You want be a homer and defend him, be my guest. If I were a Phillie, I would dying for him to STFU

      • cktai - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:12 AM

        You lost me on “(no pun intended)”. Such a wasted opportunity.

  9. danglesnipecelly24 - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM


  10. natslady - Apr 15, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Somewhere there is a video of last June when the entire Yankees outfield didn’t understand the double switch. I’m at work or I’d look for it. Really funny, three guys each pointing “me?” “him?” “you?”

  11. albertmn - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Guess this is one of those cases where you don’t have to have played the game to know about the game. I would think a fair number of fans understand at least the basics of the double switch. I like Span, but a little surprised he didn’t know this rule. When he moved to the NL, I would have thought he would have asked someone, “So, what’s different in the NL?”

  12. bellweather22 - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    You have to realize that in baseball, Yogi Berra passes for an intellectual. Having played the game, I found it insufferable how dumb the average player was. They knew little about anything besides baseball and women…. and they really didn’t know that much about baseball and women either (although they thought they did). I’d say that Span is about average in that regard. He probably had about four or five teammates quietly tell him that they didn’t know what a double switch was either.

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