Last night after he was called on to start for the Washington Nationals only because Stephen Strasburg was unable to get loose in pregame warmups, pitcher Miguel Batista said of the jeering reaction of Nats fans: “Imagine, if you go there to see Miss Universe — and you end up having Miss Iowa.”
When informed of Batista’s comment, Miss Iowa Katherine Connors said today in an official statement, “I know I can throw a pitch or two! The question is, can Miguel Batista walk the runway in a swimsuit?”
Adam Kilgore of the WASHINGTON POST also followed up on the story with Batista today:
As Miguel Batista walked out to shag batting practice today, I stopped him and asked if he had seen a picture of Miss Iowa.“You mean Katherine Connors?” Batista said. “Yeah, she’s gorgeous. Gorgeous.”
See, it seems Batista’s amazing quote last night comparing himself to Miss Iowa and Stephen Strasburg to Miss Universe has been misinterpreted. Batista’s point was not that the crowd was getting a bad pitcher/ugly pageant contestant. It was that they thought they were getting that, and ended up with something different altogether — five innings of shutout ball/a beautiful woman.
“People started booing me, and they hadn’t seen me throw a pitch yet,” Batista said. “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.’ “
Batista wanted to make sure Miss Iowa understood his sentiment. He arranged for flowers to be sent to Connors. “Hopefully,” he said, “they get there today.”
Doubt Batista has much to worry about, especially after this subsequent invite from Craig Heitkamp, executive co-director of the Miss Iowa Pageant:
Congratulations to Mr. Batista for an outstanding pitching performance last night. Sometimes it’s great to see the underdog win. We would like to formally invite Mr. Batista to serve on the judging panel at the Miss Iowa USA Pageant October 23 & 24 in Ames, Iowa.
If Batista balks, I’ll be happy to volunteer. Iowa pageant directors won’t have to worry one bit about me getting through their lineup more than once with a shutout.