- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ever since first baseman Dmitri Young took a batted ball off his head last Saturday in Atlanta, Robert Fick has filled in admirably.

Heading into last night’s game, Fick was hitting .429 with one homer and six RBI since taking over for the still-injured Young at first.

“Robert Fick has been playing well,” said Young, his neck is still stiff a week after taking Mark Texeira’s grounder off his head against the Braves. “He’s been carrying it for me all year.”

Young, who just recently overcame the headaches that had plagued him all last week, expressed some “serious doubt” as to whether he would play at all the rest of the season.

“I have to be very cautious with it,” Young said

The last week has been a reversal of fortunes for the two teammates. Young, in his first season in the District has enjoyed his best season in years, earning a spot on the NL All-Star team in July and making a case for National League Comeback Player of the Year.

Fick, on the other hand, languished on the bench for most of the summer and struggled in spot duty at the plate. He lost his mother, Gloria, to lung cancer in June and spent two weeks on the disabled list with injured ribs in August.

“He has filled in good for Dmitri these past few days,” manager Manny Acta said. “You got to play well when you’re called up, and he has.”

Carpenter’s final games

Today will be the final day in the RFK press box for Nationals play-by-play man Bob Carpenter — and his last as the voice of the Nationals. Carpenter, who has been with the club for the past two seasons, said the Lerner family has elected to not renew his contract following the end of the season. Carpenter was informed of the decision early last week, and still seemed unsure of the reasoning behind their decision.

“When a couple of things shake out, then maybe I’ll talk about it more,” Carpenter said prior to last night’s game. “I don’t want it to turn into a ‘He said, they said’ kind of thing.”

Carpenter has spent more than 20 seasons in the booth with five teams. Prior to coming to the District, the St. Louis native called Cardinals games for a decade and also has served for the Twins, Rangers and Mets. He hopes to find another gig in a major league city.

“I’ve been down this road before,” Carpenter said. “I never wanted it to be this way, but I have kind of become a journeyman announcer.”

At the conclusion of the Nationals’ season next week, Carpenter plans on beginning his search for a new job in baseball. Carpenter spent last winter calling Oklahoma men’s and women’s basketball games and plans on continuing in Norman for the 2007-08 season.

Extra bases

Christian Guzman took another round of batting practice yesterday afternoon, one day after he was activated following a lengthy stay on the disabled list. Guzman spelled Felipe Lopez at shortstop in the ninth inning of Friday’s game. …

Wily Mo Pena, who had started 21 of the last 28 games since joining Washington, sat out last night’s game with soreness in his right hand.

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