Lastings Milledge Can't Feel His Face
About 16 hours after the Wizards were eliminated from the playoffs, I got the following e-mail from Reader Mark:
I am pretty sure I just saw Lastings Milledge do the "I can't feel my face" after an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd inning (Saturday afternoon game against the Pirates). After his hit the camera panned to him at first base, and right then I saw what appeared to be Milledge waving his hand over his face.
Nah, couldn't be. Maybe there was a mosquito in front of his face or something. Maybe he was paying tribute to wrestler John Cena. Maybe it was some part of the baseball code. Milledge not feeling his face would be too good to be true.I got ready to ask him about his face feeling during his ESPNZone appearance this afternoon, waving my hand in front of my face to demonstrate.
"Oh, the DeShawn Stevenson?" he said immediately. "Yeah, man, gotta keep it going."
See, Cleveland? This is why DeShawn did what he did last month. Because now it's late May, and the Cavs are at home, and the Wizards are at home, and we're not supposed to be thinking about fallen NBA teams, except that a bright new MLB prospect is waving his hand in front of his face and calling it "the DeShawn Stevenson."
Have Milledge and Stevenson discussed technique, or cross-promotion, or anything like that?
"Nah, I never even met him," Milledge said, as my mind began drifting to thoughts of Soulja Boy's first appearance at Nationals Park. "You might can let him know next time you see him."
"We were both like, 'that's pretty cool,' " said Deon Troupe, Milledge's personal manager and another DeShawn admirer. "I was like, 'You need to do that.' "
"I went to a couple of Wizards games when I first got traded over," Milledge explained. "I don't know, it's just funny. You know the true meaning of it? It's like you can't feel your face. That's what it means. That's the truth."
And yet that's not the move Milledge has become known for; instead, think of the Dmitri Young finger waggle. More importantly, think of the comparatively mild on-field celebrations Milledge deployed while with the Mets last year, innocent displays of happiness that led to tabloid nonsense.
"You can't do nothing in the big leagues, you're just supposed to shut up and play ball," Milledge said, when I asked about his deviations from The Code. "I don't care. I make it fun. We're gonna make it fun."
To that end, here's the Milledge Code: no celebrations after home runs (that's showing off), "a little something" after singles (but only if they come with an RBI), no celebrations after sac flies or bases-loaded walks, and yes to triples ("but I haven't got one yet so I don't know what I'll do," he said.)
And doubles? "Doubles, you always do something, unless we're down by three," he said. "We down by three, you don't do it."
As for what the celebrations entail, that's more complicated. When he broke out of his slump with two doubles on Monday night, there was an exaggerated brow wipe, for example, but the library of mild joy is has many more chapters.
"It's a lot of stuff, 12 different things I've done already," he said, explaining that he doesn't set the night's celebratory lineup until just before the first pitch. "I just be doing some crazy stuff sometimes."
At the start of our conversation, Milledge had gestured to my ESPNZone-created vegetarian summer rolls, grimaced and said "who's eating that?" Now, I asked for him to detail at least some of his 12 different celebrations.
"I don't want you to KNOW, I want you to LOOK," he said. "I can't say some of the things I do. It's different man, it's different. Something funny might happen to me. I might eat something, like that," he said, pointing at my summer rolls, "and throw up. I might do that on second base, I might be like that on second base," he continued, making an exaggerated vomiting motion. "You never know what I might do."
Obviously. And the vomiting celebration would be an instant classic. But for the record, before the extremely superstitious Milledge left the restaurant, he promised that should he double tonight, he would briefly make like he couldn't feel his face. No doubles, and I'm assuming we'll never see the move again. And for the first time all year, I feel absolutely compelled to watch a Nats game, which is why DeShawn Stevenson should rule the world.
Posted by: WebberDC | May 20, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: WebberDC | May 20, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dc | May 20, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StetSports.com | May 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Patrick | May 21, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jrp | May 21, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.