One morning last month, Denard Span was inside a yoga studio, talking about New Year’s resolutions. As he unrolled a purple mat over the lacquered wooden floor, his instructor told him about all the people who sign up in January and drop the practice a month later. Standing there in bare feet, black mesh shorts and a white T-shirt, Span shook his head. “Consistency, man,” he said.
He had driven from his home — high ceilings everywhere, framed baseball jerseys around a pool table upstairs, a batting cage in the backyard and two chirping Yorkies running around — and parked his white Range Rover on the gravel driveway at the Lotus Pond studio as scheduled: every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Yoga has become part of Span’s routine since a friend recommended it a year ago. It keeps his muscles flexible over a long baseball season and it centers his focus, he said, “away from the trauma” — the concussion that briefly threatened his career.
Span, 28, conquered that hurdle, and now the reminders of his next baseball phase are all around him. The Washington Nationals traded away their best prospect, Alex Meyer, to pry Span from the Minnesota Twins in late November. Span moved from the only franchise he had ever known, a team currently floundering at the bottom of the American League, to become the leadoff hitter and center fielder for a World Series contender. In December, he looked at rental houses around Crystal City and Nationals Park. He got lost in Georgetown with his girlfriend, Shadonna, looking for new sneakers. When his family came to his house for dinner one night, they scooped grilled chicken breast and salmon onto their plates using a spatula with a curly W etched into it.
Denard Span comes to Washington Nationals ready to take step up in his career
Washington Post | Feb 9