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Lerner makes All-Star bid for District
The Washington Nationals have contacted commissioner Bud Selig to make their pitch to play host to an All-Star Game in their Anacostia Waterfront ballpark, which is scheduled to open in 2008.
“I personally have sent a letter and spoke to the commissioner,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said. “They will consider it at the proper time. We told them we would love to have the All-Star Game here. We didn’t ask for any specific year, but we are going to go for one, that’s for sure.”
Next year’s All-Star Game is scheduled for Yankee Stadium, the final season at the historic ballpark. The Cardinals’ new Busch Stadium in St. Louis has been selected to play host in 2009.
“My guess is it would be sometime between 2010 and 2013, whenever they decide to give us one and based on other requests from other teams,” Lerner said.
Baseball traditionally awards the game to a team with a relatively new stadium, and there are four cities with recently opened ballparks yet to play host an All-Star Game: Philadelphia, Phoenix, Cincinnati and San Diego.
“We have a step up over any city because we are the nation’s capital, and it would be a showcase for the nation and the world,” club president Stan Kasten said. “Having said that, I don’t know what year it may happen, because there have been so many new stadiums built in the last decade that still haven’t gotten theirs yet and there are two new New York stadiums on the way. There are a lot of pieces. But there is no question about it: We are going to get one.”
The District has played host to four All-Star Games: 1937 and 1956 at Griffith Stadium and 1962 and 1969 at D.C./RFK Stadium.
Micah Bowie, who was scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs, had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left hip and will be replaced by Class AAA Columbus right-hander Tim Redding.
News of Bowie’s injury became public yesterday, but the left-hander said it had been bothering him for two months. He first felt it chasing down a squeeze bunt in San Diego on May 1, then aggravated it Thursday in Atlanta when he was struck on the shin by a line drive.
“My foot was planted, and when the ball was hit, I tried to move my leg and jerked it pretty bad,” he said. “The inflammation hasn’t gone away as fast as we would have liked.”
The Nationals don’t believe the injury is serious, and the move was retroactive to Friday, so Bowie will be eligible to return July 14.
Redding was 9-5 with a 5.32 ERA at Columbus but posted a 3.62 ERA over his last six starts. The 29-year-old right-hander went 10-14 for the Houston Astros in 2003 but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2005.
Redding was selected over fellow Columbus starters Joel Hanrahan (3-2, 2.70), Emiliano Fruto (3-5, 3.93) and John Lannan (1-0, 0.77) because he already was scheduled to start tonight and because of recommendations made by Clippers manager John Stearns, pitching coach Steve McCatty and farm director Bobby Williams.
“They said he’s pitched a lot better his last six or seven starts,” general manager Jim Bowden said.
By John R. Bolton
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