Denard Span loses fly ball in thick fog at Wrigley Field (Video)

The Washington Nationals were in Chicago to take on the Cubs Thursday and the conditions at Wrigley field were less than desirable for those playing in the outfield.

denard-span-fogIn the bottom of the sixth inning, Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena hit a fly ball to center field that would normally be handled routinely by Denard Span. This time, that wasn’t the case.

Immediately after Valbuena made contact, Span motioned with his hands to show he had no idea where the ball was. Shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Doug Fister tried to help, but didn’t provide much assistance. By the time the ball landed, rolled around, and was picked up by Span, Valbuena was coasting into third with an easy triple.

Tough to place much blame on Span when this is what he was looking up into.


Denard Span homers after mom tells him to swing at more first pitches

Denard-SpanWashington Nationals outfielder Denard Span is having a down year by his own standards. A career .282 hitter, he entered Sunday afternoon’s game against the Kansas City Royals hitting just .264 with 36 RBI. With the help of his mom, Span was able to improve upon those numbers.

Apparently one of the 29-year-old’s issues was that he was not being aggressive enough. Span had been taking a lot of first pitches throughout the season, which is something his mother took note of. That prompted her to shoot him a word of advice.

Span responded by going 4-for-5 with a homer in a 6-4 loss to the Royals. As Hardball Talk pointed out, the home run came off a first pitch from Ervin Santana, as did his singles in the third and ninth. Coincidence? I think not.

As this NBA star could tell you, advice from family members can be very useful sometimes. It certainly sounds like Span’s mom knows her baseball.

Denard Span Joins Justin Morneau in Complaining About Target Field

The Minnesota Twins proudly moved into their new stadium last season and had tremendous success, winning the AL Central while posting the fourth best record in MLB. They went an incredible 53-28 at home in their new digs, and the new stadium plus the success of the team helped them sell out all their games and rank sixth in the league in attendance.

Though the development and opening of the new stadium was met with great celebration, some players have become dissatisfied with the new field. Slugging first baseman Justin Morneau termed the spacious dimensions in the outfield “ridiculous,” and says the far fences lead hitters to develop bad habits of trying to pull the ball. Center fielder Denard Span recently joined Morneau by complaining about Target Fields’ issues as well.

“It just seemed that hits (up the middle), last year at Target Field I wouldn’t get those, and did at the Metrodome,” Span said. “It just felt at times like the infielders were catching up to those up the middle. It seemed like the grass would slow it up just a little, and I was out bang-bang at first.”

Span’s batting average was down nearly 50 points from 2009. He had 16 fewer hits in 51 fewer games last season, so the numbers back up his claims. While Morneau complained about the distance of the fences, Span says the grass saps his speed. Sorry to say that’s just the reality of playing outdoors. And after going 53-28 at home, I highly doubt any changes are coming.

Story via Over the Baggy