WASHINGTON — Despite celebrating the franchise’s first World Series berth, the scene inside the Washington Nationals winning clubhouse was an all too familiar one.
As players, coaching staff and officials celebrated the sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series with champagne and beer, reggaeton blared over the speakers.
When “Calma” by Pedro Capó and Farruko played, all attention gravitated toward the players huddled near the middle of the clubhouse.
Led by Brian Dozier, players including Gerardo Parra, Max Scherzer, Asdrúbal Cabrera and manager Dave Martinez danced to the summertime anthem.
As the chorus came into focus, a shirtless Dozier took the lead and belted his heart out.
Holding the Warren C. Giles NL championship trophy, teammates sprayed him with champagne, while a nearby Sean Doolittle waved his signature blue lightsaber in the background.
In near perfect, Spanish Dozier sang:
“Vamos pa’ la playa
Pa’ curarte el alma
Cierra la pantalla
Abre la medalla
Todo el mar caribe
Viendo tu cintura
Tú le coqueteas
Tú eres buscabulla
Y me gusta
Lento y contento, cara al vie-ento
Lento y contento, cara al vie-ento”
If you’ve been following the Nationals’ many celebrations from Wild Card hopefuls to NLCS champions, the signature celebration is nothing new. What it represents goes beyond the silky smooth vocals of the Puerto Rican artists.
“It’s a Latino song and I like to speak Spanish and listen to my Latino friends,” a soaked Dozier told La Vida Baseball. “I like to learn a lot of Latino songs, and that’s kinda the song of the year. So, ‘Vamos pa’ la play.’”
The chorus lyrics roughly translate into a quasi-love song, where the duo are making plans to head to the beach, drink Medalla, a popular Puerto Rican beer, and enjoy the scenery and wind of the Carribean.
“It’s an inspiration for all of us,” Cabrera said.
Per Cabrera, the song was included in a playlist. Everyone on the team took after it.
For Dozier, the song is one of many ways that he connects with his Latino teammates.
“Some of my best friends are Latin,” Dozier said. “Probably the best one in the game Eduardo Escobar, he’s like my brother. A lot of guys on this team [like] (Gerardo) Parra, (Aníbal) Sánchez.”
A former player for an extremely Latin Minnesota Twins team, Dozier also actively engages with his teammates by speaking Spanish.
“They get mad at me sometimes when I speak a lot of Spanish to them,” Dozier said. “They’re just like ‘Hey, just speak English.’ And [I’m] like ‘I need to practice a lot.’ So, I’m always trying to practice.”
His attempts to connect with his teammates through their native tongue or through something as simple as music are appreciated.
“It means a lot,” Cabrera said. “I think these things are so special because we’re always together. No matter who likes music, different music or not, we always try to have fun with everything.”
Fun was indeed had throughout the duration of the four-minute song. In between belting the chorus, Dozier took huge shots out of the NL trophy, Parra celebrated on Instagram Live, and Martinez got showered by his players.
And yet while “Calma” has come to define this postseason run and tops Dozier’s current list of favorite reggaeton songs, Pedro Capó and Farruko aren’t his favorite artists.
“Daddy Yankee is my guy though,” he added.
Until then, it’s all about the playa. Vamos.
Featured Image: Washington Nationals via Instagram