To recap: Batista was the poor soul who had to climb the Nationals Park mound on Tuesday in front of over 40,000 booing fans who had come to watch Stephen Strasburg(notes) and were disappointed the phenom had been scratched from the game at the last minute.
Despite the negativity in the stands, Batista pitched brilliantly, helping the Nats to a 3-0 win over the first-place Atlanta Braves. After the game, he said he understood the disappointment of the hometown fans with a candidate for the Julian Tavarez quote of the year award.
"Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe, then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos," Batista said.
Ouch. Anyone who's ever spent a football Saturday in Iowa City could tell you his comparison was completely off the mark and the striking Connors soon struck back by releasing a playful statement.
"I know I can throw a pitch or two!" Connors said. "The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit?"
Perhaps petrified of the possibility of being made to parade around in a two-piece, Batista later explained himself to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post and revealed that he had arranged for flowers to be sent to her home in Bettendorf, Iowa:
"People started booing me, and they hadn't seen me throw a pitch yet," Batista said [before explaining how his quote was misinterpreted]. "It's like you hear Miss Iowa, and you say, 'Iowa?' And then you see her up close and you say, 'Wow, she's gorgeous.'"
So all's well that ends well in the worlds of baseball and beauty pageants. Connors talked with the Des Moines Register on Thursday and said that she didn't hold any ill will toward the 39-year-old journeyman pitcher and that all the media attention she has received has been "hilarious." She says that she and Pauli Mayfield — a Miss Iowa from a different circuit — would even like to throw out the first pitches to Batista at a future Nationals game.
Given this fun little baseball angle and the good sportsmanship of all involved, that sounds like a plan that needs to happen. Well, so long as the women aren't pitching in the stead of Strasburg that night.
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