- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Strasburg, Gonzalez, Desmond named to All-Star team
Harper could join them by fan vote
Question of the Day
First to shortstop Ian Desmond, a player in whom Johnson’s confidence has been paramount toward his results. Then to Gio Gonzalez, who pulled him in for a hug instead of the handshake he offered. And, ultimately, he found his way to Stephen Strasburg, his ace.
At each stop, all he could do was smile.
A year ago, who knew he could have this joyful task?
Strasburg was slaving away under the Florida sun taking incremental steps toward his return to the major leagues. He was learning to pitch with a new ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and still more than a month away from his first minor league rehab start.
Desmond was hitting .222, had 12 doubles and three homers and plenty were calling for the Nationals to give up on him. He was searching for an answer, for a way out of a funk he knew didn’t display the type of player he was.
Gonzalez was a member of the Oakland Athletics. The Nationals and the possibility of being a part of the best pitching staff in the majors were not on his mind.
On Sunday, they were named All-Stars, marking the first time that the Nationals will send more than two representatives to the Mid-Summer Classic. Their 19-year-old phenom, Bryce Harper, could make it four, if he’s selected out of five contestants — including the Braves’ Chipper Jones — for the Final Vote.
“It kind of shows you how the times are changing around here,” said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. “Before we had one guy a year because we had to, kind of. But those three guys have been great.”
“This one means a little bit more,” Gonzalez said. “Because everyone played a big part of it and everyone worked really hard. I’m not taking anything away from Oakland. … But it feels like we all did something big today.”
Strasburg and Gonzalez were shoo-ins. Strasburg, less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery, is 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA. He is on an innings limit, but the Nationals have said that if selected, and on schedule to pitch, he would be allowed to throw in the All-Star Game. Gonzalez, an All-Star for the second straight season, is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. The Nationals are 25-7 in games started by the two of them.
“It’s going to be a tremendous experience, and it’s a huge honor for me,” Strasburg said. “It’s amazing to think where I was a year ago. It’s great to see the hard work has all paid off, but it’s not done. It’s only the halfway point in the year, and we’ve still got a long ways to go.
“I’m excited to be a part of [the All-Star Game], but at the same time I want to help this team get to a World Series someday and get to the playoffs year in and year out.”
But while the pitchers were expected, Desmond — putting together the finest season of his career and one of the finest seasons of any shortstop in the majors- was a deserving candidate, if not a sure thing.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq