In the statistical records, the impact Mark DeRosa had on the 2012 Washington Nationals will be overlooked. It wasn’t noteworthy, really. DeRosa, the oldest member of the Nationals last season, appeared in just 48 games after a mix of personal tragedy, injuries and an influx of young talent took their toll on his playing time.
In those 48 games, he hit .188 with five doubles and six RBI. His one stolen base was a highlight for his teammates and prompted DeRosa to jokingly acknowledge that despite the rumors, he could indeed still run.
But DeRosa, who signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday that will pay him $750,000 and includes a $750,000 option for 2014, will be missed in Washington. One of the most beloved teammates many Nationals have ever had, DeRosa was an integral part of the personality of the 2012 Nationals and an important influence on many of the Nationals’ young players.
Arguably the most memorable moment for the Nationals’ 2012 season was their win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series when Jayson Werth hit a walk-off home run that kept their season alive for one more day. Before that game, DeRosa read an excerpt from Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena,” to the team and it was a moment several players noted as inspirational.
Manager Davey Johnson, who personally recruited DeRosa to the Nationals in the winter of 2011, even considered bringing DeRosa back to the team for the 2013 season because of what he brings in the clubhouse and on the bench, but the Nationals simply didn’t have the roster space for him.
DeRosa said at the end of the season that he wasn’t sure if he was ready to retire but he didn’t know what opportunities would be available to him.
“I still think I can be valuable,” DeRosa said on the night the Nationals’ season ended. “I’m also honest with myself and realize the last three years since I got hurt pales in comparison to what I’m capable of doing. If the phone rings I’ll listen, if it doesn’t, I’ll move on.”
Well the Blue Jays came calling so, at least for one more season, DeRosa can stave off retirement and play his role on what figures to be another contender. The Nationals will need to find a new clubhouse entertainer.
– The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday night that Cincinnati will be getting the 2015 All-Star Game, a game the Nationals and D.C. had been considered one of the favorites to get.
The Nationals have been hoping to host an All-Star Game since they opened Nationals Park in 2008 but there is a long list of National League teams with new stadiums and the league prefers to alternate between American League ballparks and National League ones. If they keep that format going, the earliest the Nationals will now be able to host the mid-summer classic will be 2017.
Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, will host the All-Star Game this season and the Minnesota Twins will host the 2014 event.