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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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 20, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  Nats , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: L-Millz and Riggo
Next: Mystics Go Vegan Hard-Core Punk


Agent Steinz -

Now you got it. Keep ridin' the L-Millz, Lijah, and MeatHook train and good things will happen.

I know you have a baby girl, but get in that clubhouse!

(And stop fielding The Danny and Larry Michael's calls).

Posted by: WebberDC | May 20, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

While on the topic . . .

Bog alert, Bog alert!

This must be covered. Z and L-Millz on the auction block? Bring the PowerShot!

Posted by: WebberDC | May 20, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

why would someone want to copy a move from a chump and thug? hmm.

Posted by: dc | May 20, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Why won't anyone hire me to bog Baltimore sports?

The Orioles club house and the Ravens practice facility must be an Indiana Jones-like treasure repository, waiting to be unearthed by a young and energetic blogger.

Posted by: | May 21, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

First Deshawn, then Lastings Milledge...I can't wait until Brooks Laich and Malcolm Kelly can't feel their face.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

What is this whole "I cant feel my face thing" about.

Waving your hand in front of your face wasnt invented by Deshawn Stevenson, it was created by WWE champ John Cena and the gesture means "You cant see me" not "I cant feel my face".

Steinberg please do a little research on this and write a correction so DC fans know the truth.

Posted by: Patrick | May 21, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

What it means is, I am so hot, I can't feel my face. This is usually done when a player is really feeling it on the court,field,or diamond. Come on, it is not that hard to decipher nor is it a bad thing. Everyone is just down on Deshawn because he called "the annointed one" out. I love it when he does it. But for me, it is just a game and is not that serious.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

By the way, no one needs the correction but you, the rest of us knows what it means. Lighten up! It is what it is and it means what Deshawn wants it to mean when HE is doing it! Lighten up dude, lighten up!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

patrick, I'm sorry to break this to you, but wrestling is fake.

Posted by: jrp | May 21, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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