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Original Issue

Lastings Milledge


On getting traded to Washington after being a highly touted Mets rookie
It's a better fit for me because I play every day—I'm part of the team's future, and I have high expectations for myself to do well. I didn't have high expectations last year.

On his Mets teammates' negative reaction to his high-fiving fans after he hit his first home run last year
I like to have fun with things, so I was a little surprised. People in the clubhouse and the organization thought it was childish, that I shouldn't have done it. But I don't care what they say. I guess you could say I was nonchalant about that incident, but I'm not nonchalant about playing the game. I take every game like it's the last I'll ever play.

His name
My mom [Linda] named me Lastings because she knew I'd be her last child. My brothers are older. I'm 23, Greg's 35 and Tony Jr. is 32.

His brothers
They were ballplayers but never made it past rookie ball. Now they follow me. In the minors, my family drove to all my games in an RV, and my brothers are still always around. They watch out for me, make sure I'm O.K. and support me if I'm struggling.

His parents
My dad [Tony] was a Florida state trooper for 25 years, and my mom still works—she's the head of her division in a factory where they inspect peanut butter jars to make sure they're not dirty or cracked. I ate too much peanut butter in the minor leagues.

The tuba
In seventh grade I needed a fine arts credit. I can't draw, so I started with the tuba. Not easy. I did it from seventh until 11th grade, playing in high school concerts and in a jazz band. I don't have a tuba now, but I miss it. I'll probably get one.

"I appreciate that baseball's what I do for a living. I take every game like it's my last."