Adam Eaton plans to take two weeks off after the World Series before starting his offseason training regimen.
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“I’ve asked a couple guys, ‘Why is it so hard to repeat?’” Eaton said Friday on the phone from Washington, D.C., “and they say it’s because you’re so tired. I played 185 games, including spring training, this year, but no rest for the weary. We’ve got to get back it, stay strong and try to trick the body for next year.”
The two-week break does not mean Eaton plans to sit on the couch — at least not this week or early next week.
One day after helping lead the Washington Nationals to a 6-2 victory in Game 7 of the World Series, the 2007 Kenton Ridge graduate and former Miami University outfielder flew home to Washington on the team plane with his wife Katie and son Brayden, 3. Knowing they wouldn’t make it back in time for Beggar’s Night, the Nationals celebrated Halloween while in the air.
“The flight attendants and some people got some candy,” Eaton said. “All the kids got dressed up. About halfway through, all the kids came down the aisle and Brayden was Captain America. It was a real neat experience.”
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On Friday, Eaton made an appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Fairfax, Va., signing autographs and posing for photos with fans. The World Series parade was scheduled for Saturday. On Sunday, the team plans to attend a Washington Capitals game. On Monday, the Nationals will visit the White House.
“It’s going to be a good weekend,” Eaton said.
Before Eaton got too busy, he made some time to talk about his postseason experience.
Q: You got to spend a lot of time with the World Series trophy. How would you sum up what winning the championship means?
A: It was kind of a mind-numbing moment, something I never thought I’d get to experience. What a special year for everybody on our team and myself and my family. To be able to hoist the trophy and be a World Series champion for the rest of my life is pretty special.
Q: What it was like seeing your son run the bases after Game 7 of the World Series?
A: It was pretty cool. My mom and dad and my wife and Brayden were there. As soon as the game was completed, of course the first person I want to see is them. They’ve really sacrificed a lot through the year. They’ve been with me through the thick and thin of my knee injury and everything else. To be able to get with them after the game and Brayden to be able to experience the field and be around where I was able to win the World Series was pretty special for me. He doesn’t think much of it. He’s just 3. But it’s special for me and the family.
Q: At any point this season, even when the team got hot in the summer, did you think this was possible?
A: It’s a hard question for me because I’ve never been to the World Series. I’ve never been to the playoffs. The ignorant side of me said we had a really good team. The ignorant side of me said we have a really close bond and the veterans beyond belief who had the need to win the World Series. On Opening Day, basically all the old guys got up and said, ‘We’re getting old. This is the time for us to win it.’ It showed. They went out here, and a lot of the old guys produced. For me to say. ‘Oh yeah, I knew we were going to do that,’ it would be very ignorant because I didn’t know what it took, but now what’s really neat is I have that experience and I know what it takes now. It was a pretty remarkable season.
Q: How did you play some of your best baseball of the season at the end of the season?
A: I stunk in September. I struggled in late September and really in the first two rounds of the playoffs. I had some timely hits, but I didn’t hit for average. I walked a little bit early on. That’s kind of how I keep the long streaks away: trying to walk and grind at-bats out and get hits here and there. I hit .130 or .140 the first two rounds, but then I was able to kind of get into a rhythm once we hit the World Series. For me anyways, it’s just keeping things simple. I just stick to my plan, and over time, you have rough at-bats, but things are going to turn, and it just happened to turn when we made the trip to the World Series. It worked out nicely.
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Q: You hit two home runs in the World Series and pointed into the stands each time as you rounded third and headed toward home. It it safe to assume you were pointing at your family?
A: Everyone was thinking I was taunting the fans and all this other stuff, but I’ve done that — Brayden is 3½ — since 2015 or 2016. It’s just for me to be able to involve them in my success. I wouldn’t be here without them. Every time I do hit a home run, I point to them because I want them to know this is for them. It’s important for me to acknowledge that. It’s not about me. It’s about them and them helping me along the way.
Q: How did your car celebration with Howie Kendrick start?
A: This spring training, we wanted to go and have some experiences on off days. We went to Atlanta and were able to do a Porsche experience — just him and I and Michael Taylor. We drove on the track and had a really good time with it. That was right around the All-Star break. Howie and I have discussed our love for cars all the time, and everyone started the dancing thing. We were like we can’t dance. We love cars. So we should drive. It started off with mild driving. All of a sudden it got a little louder. And we hit some big home runs, and it got really loud. Now it’s kind of a thing. With a long season, you’ve got to think up anything you can to make it enjoyable and fun for everybody.
Q: Do your parents, who went to all seven World Series games, plan to go to Washington for the parade?
A: They’re exhausted. They got a little taste of what Adam’s travel arrangements are like. They said they were done and they’ll watch the rest on TV. I don’t blame them. It’s been a whirlwind.
Q: What did you think of receiving the cards signed by people in Springfield and at your old schools in Northridge?
A: Unbelievable. It’s just so awesome. The teachers I had are still there sacrificing their time and teaching the young ones in our neck of the world. Just the overall outreach and support, I felt that. It helps me. It goes a long way. I don’t raise that trophy by myself. It’s all the great teachers, coaches, mentors through my time in Springfield who have enabled me to be where I am.