Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Detwiler, Stammen join USO tour

USA Today Images
Ross Detwiler caught Gen. Martin Dempsey's pitch before Game 5 of the NLDS.
When newlyweds Ross and Keri Detwiler boarded a plane for Hawaii last week, neither could have anticipated a development that would force them to cut their honeymoon short.

Certainly not a development that included a seven-day, four-country tour of military bases alongside the most powerful general in the U.S. Army.

"When I got the phone call, I just said: 'I'm going to drop everything I can and make sure I can go on this,'" Detwiler said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You never know if you're going to be able to do something like this again."

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? A chance for Detwiler and fellow Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen to join Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other celebrities on the USO's annual holiday tour visiting American servicemen and women deployed around the globe.

It didn't matter to Detwiler that he would have to cut his honeymoon short. And how did his new wife feel about that?

"Well, she's still in Hawaii, so she doesn't mind," he said with a laugh. "She was definitely on board to let me do this."

Stammen, likewise, didn't have to think twice about accepting the invitation.

"When I got the call, it was pretty much a no-brainer," the right-hander said. "I had to make sure everybody was on board with it, my family. But it was pretty much a foregone conclusion once I was asked to go."

The group -- which also includes Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, country music singer Kellie Pickler and comedian Iliza Shlesinger -- is set to depart Washington, though none of the civilians knows where they're actually going or how long they'll be there.

That information is classified for security reasons, so everyone has to prepare for the unknown.

"They told us to pack for cold weather and for warm weather," Stammen said. "So my bag is pretty full, because we don't know where we're going. It'll be pretty interesting."

Neither knows what exactly to expect when they arrive at their unannounced location.

"I think it's going to be an eye-opening experience of what they have to go through on a daily basis while they're deployed," Stammen said. "Any thoughts of what we think goes on over there, I think we're going to realize it's not anywhere near what we think is going on. Once we come back, I'm sure we'll have a greater appreciation for what our military does for us."

Both Detwiler and Stammen have loose connections to the military -- both pitchers' grandfathers served in World War II, and a couple of Stammen's former college teammates at Dayton went on to join the Marines and the Army -- but both have developed an appreciation for the armed forces while playing professionally in Washington and interacting with wounded warriors and military officials.

"I think definitely playing here in Washington plays a huge role in it," said Detwiler, who grew up outside St. Louis. "We're in the middle of the capital here, and you see the high-ranking officials around Washington all the time. We get a lot of opportunities that we normally wouldn't if we weren't in Washington."

Detwiler has already had two opportunities to meet Dempsey (who described himself in October to CSNwashington.com's Chase Hughes as a "rabid Nationals fan"), catching the Chairman's ceremonial first pitch before a June game against the Yankees and again before Game 5 of the NLDS.

"I got to shake his hand and just have a loose conversation with him," Detwiler said. "You just see those guys for their jobs, you don't realize the person behind it until you actually get to sit down and talk to them. That was pretty cool, to be able to talk to one of the most powerful people in the world."

Now both pitchers have a chance to spend a week with Dempsey and travel to distant corners of the globe neither ever dreamed of seeing in person.

"Not at all. You don't really think about the opportunity until it's given to you," Detwiler said. "I think we're just truly blessed to be able to do this. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing that almost nobody gets to do. It's definitely pretty cool, to be able to go over there and thank the troops for what they do and to be able to give something back to them for fighting for our freedoms."

Even if it means leaving your brand-new wife behind in Hawaii to finish your honeymoon alone.

62 comments:

peric said...

WOW in the middle of a honeymoon. That's new and different.

Tcostant said...

I like that they going to support the troops, but leaving your wife in Hawaii while still on your honeymoon is not cool. That is not cool Det!

baseballswami said...

It is very cool - now he knows he married the right woman, who knows him well and shares the same values and priorities. Very proud of the guys, but of Keri, too. And Stammen is getting married soon, too. I hope they both tweet if they can. They will have some stories.

MicheleS said...

Aww.. those are some good guys. Keri is obviously a good catch. I probably should share my cookie recipe with her so she can fatten Ross up before spring training. :-)

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Like RGIII, two guys who absolutely get it. Thanks, fellas.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hats off to both Ross and Craig and especially their families for sacrificing their Holiday season for such great cause.

peric said...

Ross Detwiler, who many referred to as a 'whiner', showing abundant levels of class. Nice.

Now we just need for Brian Goodwin to do that ... ~smiles~ maybe then some here will give him a break.

natsfan1a said...

Very nice. Atta way, boys. Stay safe.

[Obligatory editorial question: Mark, would that be the "Marines" as opposed to the "Mariners" in re. Stammen's former teammates?]

SlowPitch63 said...

Thank you ,Ross, Craig aand both families. I'm a retired Army Viet Nam helicopter pilot. I had a chance to see Bob Hope and crew in Hue South Viet Nam Christmas of 1970. Whatever you think this means to those visited, mu;tiply it by 1000. It is so important for our troops to know they are remembered and appreciated. In return they appreciate so much your taking your holiday away from your families to be with them.
Let's Play Two!

Mark Zuckerman said...

natsfan1a said...

[Obligatory editorial question: Mark, would that be the "Marines" as opposed to the "Mariners" in re. Stammen's former teammates?]


Whoops, uh, yeah, make that Marines, not Mariners. Guess baseball never completely leaves my mind!

natsfan1a said...

I thought maybe your baseball-specific spell checker changed it. :-)

RickH said...

Excellent! Good for them. And good for Mrs. Det for going along with it.

MJR said...

So getting married and going on a honeymoon isn't a "once-in-a-lifetime thing"?

Good on the new Mrs. Detwiler for being cool with it, though. It will be an amazing experience, for sure. Stay safe, boys. We need you healthy and strong for the "World Series or Bust" (WSoB?) run!

A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said...

Tcostant, thanks for the excuse for more Warren Zevon.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Thanks Gorse... one can never get enough Warren Zevon.

A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said...

Most welcome, Jack.

Sometimes I say things I shouldn't.

LoveDaNats said...

Much admiration for Craig, Det and their families. God bless.

Joe Seamhead said...

Hats off to all involved in this.

sjm308 said...

Let me join in on the praise for Craig and Ross!

Also let me praise Warren Zevon, may he rest in peace. His last album as he faced death is a true masterpiece. I still get a little weepy on "keep me in your heart". You guys probably have it but the tribute album "Enjoy Every Sandwich" is another favorite & I stump just about everyone with Adam Sandler's version of Werewolf.

Back to baseball

Go Nats!!

Feel Wood said...

MJR said...

So getting married and going on a honeymoon isn't a "once-in-a-lifetime thing"?


Not if you're Hugh Hefner or a Kardashian.

MicheleS said...

JoeSeamhead..

Keep fighting the good fight buddy! tell Mrs Seamhead hello and hopefully see you both at FanFest.

SJM308.. Umm.. will we have a Kieren sighting at Fan Fest or is it too soon?

A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said...

I can't link, in here, to "My [Stuff]'s [Fouled] Up", but if you don't mind the NSFW, it's worth a google.

natsfan1a said...

Probably not, in these days of starter wives and such. (I'm a starter wife who is still on, er, active duty.)

MJR said...

So getting married and going on a honeymoon isn't a "once-in-a-lifetime thing"?

natsfan1a said...

Seconded on both counts.

MicheleS said...

JoeSeamhead..

Keep fighting the good fight buddy! tell Mrs Seamhead hello and hopefully see you both at FanFest.

SJM308.. Umm.. will we have a Kieren sighting at Fan Fest or is it too soon?
December 11, 2012 6:21 PM

Joe Seamhead said...

Thanks, Ladies. If we don't see you at FanFest we will see you in the spring. We renewed the partial plan, plus we will go to a few more games. Now my younger grandson is jealous of his older brother's day at the park, so we'll have two budding shortstops vying for games! ST is not out of the question, but that may just me going with a couple of buddies. My partner in crime on the 4 tix that we have in sec. 311 is trying to get me, him, and our buddy Hank, [author of Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train] to go down together for at least a week. We'll see how the pocketbook is, along with other concerns. Peace & Harmony

peric said...

Keep fighting the good fight buddy! tell Mrs Seamhead hello and hopefully see you both at FanFest.

Yes, let's all keep fighting ... sheesh, shakes head ruefully, more hypocrisy.

peric said...

Also let me praise Warren Zevon, may he rest in peace. His last album as he faced death is a true masterpiece.

Now, that is sad ... werewolves in London again ... great song.

sjm308 said...

Michele & 1A:

It is obviously up to Kieran's dad but I will extend the invitation.

Seamhead, my spousal equivalent is actually thinking about spring training and we are definitely planning on San Fran in May. Life is good

sjm308 said...

Peric: not sure if you got a chance to see Warren on Letterman but it was sad, poignant and lots of other words that maybe Candide can add as you watched him fade.

MicheleS said...

Peric, that address was to Joe Seamhead and not you, please refrain from commenting on things that do not involve you

SJM308. Glad to see the spousal equivalent is thinking about spring training.

peric said...

Peric, that address was to Joe Seamhead and not you, please refrain from commenting on things that do not involve you

Surrreee it didn't MicheleS. Surrre. Yeah huh?

peric said...

Peric: not sure if you got a chance to see Warren on Letterman but it was sad, poignant and lots of other words that maybe Candide can add as you watched him fade.

No, I didn't. Brilliant musician but don't they all seem to die young due to the many toxic and sometimes lethal substances available to them 24X7. Very sad.

MicheleS said...

Yes Peric, actually it was.. Simply excited that JoeS is planning a trip to Spring Training even if Mrs S won't be joining him? Not Surreee what your are reading into it. Again since the adminstrator has had to delete several comments over the last few days, unless I specifically ask you a question, please refrain from answering a comment that was directed at others an not at you.

peric said...

Not Surreee what your are reading into it. Again since the adminstrator has had to delete several comments over the last few days, unless I specifically ask you a question, please refrain from answering a comment that was directed at others an not at you.

Dear blog adminstrator, please inform the dictatoress that she isn't in charge of this blog. IN point of fact her comment above contains threatening language. Please remove all recent comments by MicheleS. Thank you.

sm13 said...

In a day of great moments, the moment before the now infamous Game 5 when Gen. Dempsey took off his general's jacket to reveal the Nats jersey underneath was a highlight.

My hat is off to Det & Craig. Going to "classified" locations, translates as going into war zones. Best of luck and safe travels!

MicheleS said...

Drew,
Hopefully you are reading this.. WHY would the Dbacks trade Bauer? Are they that desparate for a short stop to give up on him? or was Bauer all hype. Just seems like so many of the top prospects are being traded this off season.

sjm308 said...

MicheleS - I am not in anyway a betting man but I will bet that our blog administrator would not find any reason to remove anything you write!!

Kieran/chainsaw has been awake long enough to say hi. By the way, the under is winning right now on gear for this little one.

sjm308 said...

This is soooo biased, but I wish there was a way I could send some of you the photo shoot we just had. Family has seen it but you guys are kinda my second inmaginary family if you know what I mean.

SonnyG10 said...

Ross and Craig, if you read this, thank you for doing this for our service men and women. I hope you both find this a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. Stay safe!

natsfan1a said...

Hi Kieran (waves). Would love to see some pics. Gotta turn in at present, though. :-)

NatsLady said...

Reds fill some holes with this trade. And they didn't have a lot to begin with.

Reds get:

OF Shin-Soo Choo
INF Jason Donald

Indians get:

SP Trevor Bauer
OF Drew Stubbs
RP Bryan Shaw
RP Matt Albers

Diamondbacks get:

SS Didi Gregorius
RP Tony Sipp
OF Lars Anderson

Faraz Shaikh said...

I would have liked Nats to get Bauer if it meant an average SS prospect and a good reliever. Some may say we don't need a pitcher but it is Bauer we are talking about, #5 prospect in all of baseball. There has gotta be more to this.

Feel Wood said...

Faraz Shaikh said...

I would have liked Nats to get Bauer if it meant an average SS prospect and a good reliever.


The Nats don't have an average SS prospect available to trade. And don't say Espinosa. They are not trading him.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Didi guy is not anything great as far as I have read it. he was not even top 100 or top 10 SS prospects on MLB list. I am sure Lombo had ranked better in his days as prospect.

peric said...

The multi-team trade finally occurs. That's actually where the Nats could find a way to improve themselves with Lombo, Moore, or Bernadina. But, Rizzo will wait until he gets what he wants he's in no hurry.

Honestly I wonder if Morse turns into as good a deal for the Nats? If the trade partner is Tampa Bay one could see Tyler Moore. Perhaps a three-way with Baltimore ... might be the only way those teams make a deal with each other?

With one year left on Morse's contract and no position in 2 years it does seem as Morse will be traded. There probably is a scenario where both Morse and LaRoche leave leaving Tyler Moore, lefty Chad Tracy plus Zim as depth.

You could end up right on the Morse prediction Natslady.

NatsLady said...

I say again, the Diamondbacks mystify me. They couldn't handle Bauer (talented but off-beat), they got impatient with Stephen Drew (talented but "too slow" recovering from injury) and they have jerked Justin Upton around for two years now with trade rumors.

peric said...

The Nats don't have an average SS prospect available to trade. And don't say Espinosa. They are not trading him.

Lombo but he's definitely a second baseman. The others are still minor leaguers bereft of major league experience lead by Walters.

Espinosa is not an average SS shortstop by anyone's measure even with the left-handed hitting issue.

peric said...

and they have jerked Justin Upton around for two years now with trade rumors.

John Tower. Very different. Its had its affect on Justin Upton. Now its not just BJ misbehaving its now the underachieving brothers acting out according to the pundits. Both need a change of scenery. BJ has his now.

peric said...

Peric, denial is not just a river in Egypt. It wasn't someone who complained to the blog admin (aka Mark) about you. It was everyone.

Right and I guess that's why so many of your comments were deleted right FeelWood? I guess that's why denial is your river not mine.

Dude, I can complain to Mark as easily as anyone else and ask him to enforce his rules when you and others precipitate the name calling. YOU don't think he'll delete you or them? WATCH.

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peric said...

Just to aggravate even further statcorner.com has put out its final stats on the Nats hitters.

This site's advanced stats replacement value put Danny Espinosa first among the position players with a 21.7. This stat incorporates park and defense neutral stats for offense and defense.

Second was Adam LaRoche with a 21.3 paV.
Third was Ryan Zimmerman with a 21.1 paV.
Bryce Harper with a 19.8 and then Ian Desmond with an 18.2.

These values represent overall value for both defense and offense.
The batV score, of course, depicts a different picture. But, according to this
advanced stats site recommended by FanGraphs Danny Espinosa was the Nat's best all-around player last year.

Eugene in Oregon said...

NatsLady,

What was the rap on Trevor Bauer? Was he the one who like to do extra-long toss?

NatsLady said...

Eugene, yes. Also, he had something like 19 pitches in his repertoire.

peric said...

MicheleS - I am not in anyway a betting man but I will bet that our blog administrator would not find any reason to remove anything you write!!

I'll take that bet SJM308.

NatsLady said...

From MLB prospect watch:

Trevor Bauer

For their involvement, the Diamondbacks parted with Trevor Bauer, sending the 2011 3rd overall draft pick to the Indians, and essentially selling him for 50 cents on the dollar. Bauer was considered by many to be the top overall arm in the 2011 draft, with some teams liking him even better than UCLA teammate Gerrit Cole, who went first overall to the Pirates. Other teams were put off by his unique training regimen and pitching philosophies, as well as his religious adherence to them. He even went as far as to say he wouldn't sign with any team who wouldn't let him continue his extreme long-toss program.

Bauer's professional career has been mixed with struggle and domination, with the juxtoposition sometimes coming within the course of a single game. In his first full season in the minors, Bauer posted a 2.42 ERA between Double and Triple-A, striking out an impressive 10.8 batters per nine innings, but walking 4.2 batters per nine over the same span.

WIth Bauer, it can be difficult to determine whether his high walk totals come from a lack of command or a refusal to give into hitters and vary from his plan. What is clear, however, is that the extra base runners hurt him dearly in the major leagues.

In four major league starts, Bauer struck out 17 batters in a 16 1/3 innings, but walked 13, leading to a 6.06 ERA. There were also reports of the Diamondbacks souring on his philosophy and attitude, and that, coupled with diminished velocity towards the end of the year apparently made him expendable.

It's hard to make an argument that doesn't end with the Diamondbacks having sold pretty low on Bauer. Just a year-and-a-half after he was selected third overall, the Diamondbacks essentially traded him for a defense-only shortstop. That doesn't seem like a good return, even if Bauer only ends up becoming 75 percent of what was originally expected out of him.

peric said...

Trevor Bauer – When Bauer was drafted out of UCLA last year love affair between the right-hander and the nation began due his clear ability and intelligence. But Bauer, a strikeout artist and engineering major, quickly fell out of favor the Diamondbacks due to his stubborn adherence to his style of pitching and unwillingness to be coached. While pitching up in the zone and his tunneling concept may have earned him the Golden Spikes Award in college, the Diamondbacks (and many others) believed to fulfill his potential he would need to change. Rumors suggest the Diamondbacks are insisting Bauer be the centerpiece of any major acquisition despite other organizations requesting Tyler Skaggs. A trade would be great for owners of Bauer, as it would get him out of one of the game’s best hitter’s parks and the dog-house.

sjm308 said...

Peric:
Not that you would ever show, but MicheleS, Kevin & I will be toasting another successful season at Justin's between April & Oct(and maybe even Nov!!!) I won't lose the bet but you are welcome to join us!
I am arranging for them to have warm milk available for Kieran (with a drop or two of Guinness for his health).

Laddie Blah Blah said...

SlowPitch63

Hats off to you.

I had a friend who was a Medevac pilot at Iadrang Valley in support of the 7th Cavalry. He was shot down 3 times, once each day during that battle, and captured by the NVA after the last one, but made it back. Glad you did, too.

SlowPitch63 said...

Thanks, Laddie, your friend sounds special.
Let's Play Two!

SlowPitch63 said...

To all:I've followed the game almost all of my 67 years and still play 150-200 games of slow pitch softball a year and practice indoors twice a week during the Winter.
But I have no klnowldge whatsoever of advanced sabermetrics. I have post graduate degrees and many years of experience using advanced quantitative methods but have never applied them to the game we love.
Would you provide recommendations for web sites or even, you know, books where I could get a basic understanding of the field.
Thanks,
Let's Play Two!

natsfan1a said...

SlowPitch, seconding the hat tip for you and adding one for Laddie's friend.

Tcostant said...

Hamilton to the Angles, hope that doesn't mean ALR is heading to Texas.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/13/josh-hamilton-leaves-texas-without-giving-rangers-chance-to-match-angels-offer/comment-page-1/#/2012/12/13/josh-hamilton-leaves-texas-without-giving-rangers-chance-to-match-angels-offer/

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