When Gerardo Parra signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, one player among those most disappointed he wouldn’t be returning to the Nationals was leftfielder Juan Soto.
At 21 years old, Soto and his jubilant personality attached to Parra’s fun-loving antics like a magnet. The star outfielder embraced the dugout dance parties and “Baby Shark” hit celebrations. But heading into 2020, Soto has been forced to come to terms with playing without Parra in D.C.
“We're gonna miss him on the Nationals,” Soto told NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Doolin on the Nationals Talk podcast. “I was talking to him at his house...we're gonna work on the golf...he told me he wants me to get that and help me do that and I'm gonna work on that.”
If Soto’s abilities with the bat are any indication, he probably won’t be half bad at golf after a few lessons with his now-former teammate. Although Parra will be spending most of the next calendar years overseas, Soto is hoping to get him back to Washington at least one more time.
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When asked whether he’d want Parra to throw out the first pitch for the Nationals’ home opener against the New York Mets on April 2, Soto was quick to voice his support for the idea.
“Hell yeah...and hear ‘Baby Shark’ again,” he said.
Even without Parra, the Nationals are hoping to carry over the strong clubhouse chemistry they built during their World Series run into the 2020 season. There may be fewer “Baby Shark” montages on the video board, but Washington still boasts several personalities—Soto included—that make for a light-hearted vibe around the team.
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