Photo: Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel
Washington Nationals utility player Mark DeRosa isn’t on the playoff roster, but as a team leader, he still does everything in his power to ensure the Nats fight until the bitter end.Before Thursday’s must-win Game 4 against the St. Louis Cardinals, DeRosa grabbed the clubhouse microphone and began to recite “The Man in the Arena,” one of Teddy Roosevelt’s powerful speeches, according to The Washington Post.
Here’s the most famous part of that speech (via Theodore-Roosevelt.com):
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
It came out laced with obscenities, of course, but it resounded with DeRosa’s teammates, first baseman Adam LaRoche told The Washington Post.
Jayson Werth eventually came through with a walk-off home run in the ninth inning to deliver a 2-1 win for the Nationals, setting up a do-or-die Game 5 for both teams on Friday.
“Coming from a guy like that, who everybody has so much respect for and has been in the postseason, a lot of time it’s joking but a lot of it is serious, too,” Adam LaRoche said. “Kind of keep the humour going but also pump guys up. He’s going to make a great manager one day.”
That circumstantial leadership needs to be present for the Nationals to make a World Series run, especially for a team with six starting players that are playing in the postseason for the first time, including eight-year veteran Ryan Zimmerman.
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