The Washington Nationals took the field sporting a very patriotic look Tuesday morning. The club went through batting practice and the rest of its pre-game warmups wearing blue and gold Navy caps to honor the victims of Monday's Navy Yard shooting.
The caps were delivered to the park by four-star admiral James Winnefeld (pictured: left), who is currently the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Nats kept the hats on right up until game time, holding them over their hearts for the National Anthem and the moment of silence held to pay respect to the 13 people killed in Monday's massacre.
The Nats switched back to their regular blue hats with red trim for the start of their day/night double-header against the Braves, presumably because they did not get clearance from MLB to wear the Navy hats during play (ed. note: ughhh).
The crucial NL East showdown between the Nats and Braves was originally scheduled to begin Monday, but the tragic events just down the street forced the game's postponement.
There was a point in the early afternoon when the teams were informed to report to the field as usual, but the players were very reluctant to do so. The teams' union reps even got together to call the Players Association and express their desire to postpone the game. Said Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, per the Washington Post:
"There was [sic] a lot of guys that didn’t want to play, thought it was kind of disrespectful to play," Johnson said.
"It’s right across the street. To be able to hear cheering, and supposedly they’re using a parking lot for families — I don’t know. It should just be quiet for today."
Nats right-hander Dan Haren -- who was scheduled to start Monday -- spoke to a similar sentiment, but added that though it seemed immaterial in the wake of the shooting, the team would likely be back on the field Tuesday:
"We really didn’t want to play out of respect for the families and everyone involved," Haren said.
"Baseball obviously has to go on at some point, but it’ll probably be a little too quick to come here and have fans come in here and try to get up for a baseball game...
"As inconsequential as [it] may seem, we’re going to have to come out and do our jobs."
Haren took the hill for the Nats Tuesday morning, opposite Braves left-hander Mike Minor.