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An eventful All-Star win for Nats

Jul 11, 2012, 5:12 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper lost Mike Napoli's fourth-inning flyball in the twilight.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sure, there was that routine flyball Bryce Harper never saw amid the Kansas City twilight, a botched play that will show up on All-Star blooper reels for decades to come.

"It didn't hit me in the head," Harper cracked. "So I think I'm doing OK."

He's doing more than OK. So what if the 19-year-old's first All-Star Game was less than his finest hour on a baseball field? Those few hiccups paled in comparison to his overall experience over a whirlwind 48 hours.

And considering teammates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez did their part to help lead the National League to an 8-0 drubbing of the American League in the 83rd Midsummer Classic — thus ensuringRead more »

  1. Positively Half St. - Jul 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I want to think positively, that either way the Nats will only play 2 World Series games in DC, as they sweep the American League champs.+1/2St.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Thinking the same way +1/2St.

  3. Bote Man - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Harper definitely got a more rousing cheer during introductions than most of the All Stars lined up.That photo at the top of this article says it all, though. Classic Harper pose in the outfield.

  4. NatsNut - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Hey Mark, i know there were tons of substitutions to keep track of, but Bryce walked off Weaver. ;)"His evening got off to a positive start when he drew a walk off Harrison…"

  5. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I can't believe I watched the whole thing (yawn). Awesome for the NL to win three in a row. Trying not to think about October yet. Still a lot of baseball to play. But, niiiice.I love the intros, too, Mark (from prior thread). Fun seeing Harper hanging out next to Chipper in the dugout. Glad he didn't swat him away. "Take a hike, kid." (Bonus point if you know which future ballplayer was once on the receiving end of that comment from a ballplayer hero.) :-)

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    He did get a nice cheer. Biggest was for the hometown guy. Next biggest was for Chipper.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    A big 65th Birthday cheer for the best on NI – NatsJack!

  8. Gonat - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… A big 65th Birthday cheer for the best on NI – NatsJack! July 11, 2012 6:43 AM ______________________________Absolutely!

  9. MicheleS - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    I hope that NatsJack's 65th Birthday present is that the Nats sweep the fish this weekend!

  10. sjm308 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Happy Day NJ! Hope MicheleS's wish comes true for all of us.GoNats!!

  11. Steady Eddie - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    NatsJack — Many happy returns, and seconding Michele'S wish for consecutive JZimm/Gio/Stras/EJax filleting through Monday (are you staying for all four?)!And fill the empty 2 1/2 days until that starts with viewings of Strassie's 14K gem — with dingers from our 3-4-5 to add to the good vibes.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Wow…. Thanks everybody. Nice to be recognized at this glorious time in Nats Nation. Having been a dues paying member from the beginning, watching this wonderful venue that Mark has created grow, and getting to meet and converse with all of you has been the most enjoyable aspect of being a Nats fan.And now add on the excellent organization the Lerners have brought together for us, the quality people that make up the Nats roster and minor league system, times could not be better.again, Thanks for the shout out.

  13. UnkyD - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Happy To Ya, NatsJack!

  14. rabbit34 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    NatsJack….happy birthday!! Look at the brightest side, you'll never catch up with me!! I'm ahead of you by a nose!

  15. Knoxville Nat - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Allow me to join in with the rest of the crowd and wish NatsJack a happy 65th. Let me also take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your posts here, especially those from the off season such as fall training, extended spring training, etc. For those of us who can't get to DC often enough or to Viera for that matter, your observations and insights are of great help in feeding my appetite for all things Nationals.

  16. mick - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Happy BDay Natsjack!!!! your 39, lol

  17. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I won't mind a 7 game WS win from our Kardiak Kids.

  18. m20832 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Happy Birthday Natsjack! And I also echo Knoxville Nat's sentiments!Fish fry this weekend!GYFNG!!!

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Happy birthday, NatsJack, and I second the wishes of MicheleS regarding a Nats gift to you in Miami. You should have time to catch an early bird special before Friday's game. ;-)

  20. Tcostant - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Harper: "Nothing you could do about it," he said with a shrug. "It happens. I wasn't really bummed out. I don't even care. It's going to happen probably 40 more times in my career, so … whatever." Me: How about caring enough to correct this so it doesn't happen 38 more times?

  21. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Happy Birthday NatsJack! You don't look a day over 25….or 20….ok, or 7, given that this is an online forum and your font looks the same as anyone else's! ;-) But Happy Day and here's to the wish for a sweep of the Fish for you!!

  22. Tcostant - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Maybe some should tell the Nationals website manager that we are in the national league. They have the all-star game listed as a 0-8 Loss(http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=was#y=2012&m=7&calendar=DEFAULT).U'm just saying…

  23. JamesFan - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Harper is a bit of a puzzle to me. Overall, I'm all in on his brilliant future. He's a phenom, he's 19, he's aggressive, he hits, he throws, he runs and on and on. He also makes huge mistakes. He is awkward at best in the outfield and often misplays balls that should be caught. The ASG game was the most recent high visibility example. He often throws to the wrong base and his baserunning is frequently thoughtless. He can look very bad at the plate. All of this rolls right off of him as Harper and everyone else moves on. Stuff happens.I assume that he will work hard to fix all of this fairly soon and that coaches and vets will forget the hype and correct him directly. These mistakes are ok for a 19 year old phenom in the first half of his first season. They will not be ok next year and beyond. Further, if the Nats do get to the playoffs, especially deep into them, such errors can be historic–more historic than stealing home on the Phillies–in a negative way.

  24. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    District Sports Nats@NationalsDSP 11h I'm already over the Trout/Harper comparisons. Can't we just let them play and be themselves? 7:15 PM – 10 Jul 12I saw this Tweeter last night from the folks at the District Sports Page Blog, and was in 100% agreement that the comparisons are way overdone at this point between Trout & Harper.The irony of their Tweet was that a few days ago, that same Blog wrote a critical piece titled "Bryce Harper’s All-Star selection more about t-shirts and ratings than performance" and they spoofed the reader thinking in the 1st paragraph they were reading the accomplishments of Bryce Harper while they were actually describing Mike Trout and they went on to make comparisons.Hypocrites!It’s a great story. A rookie — even young for a rookie — taking his league by storm. Already, at such a tender age, maybe the most complete offensive and defensive player on his team, which includes several All-Stars still in their primes. In the top five in his league in WAR, Batting Average, OBP and OPS. Now, in his first full season in the Major Leagues, he’s headed to the biggest in-season showcase the game has: The All-Star Game.Only, that story isn’t about Bryce Harper. At least not until the last sentence.No, everything else in that paragraph is about Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder. Trout is second in overall WAR for the A.L., first in offensive WAR, first in batting average, fourth in OBP, third in OPS, eighth in runs and first in stolen bases. That’s the resume of an All-Star.Harper has 13 fewer plate appearances this season than does Trout. Harper does not place in the top ten in the N.L. in any of the categories that Trout does, or any others for that matter.http://districtsportspage.com/bryce-harper-washington-nationals-all-star/8997

  25. Tedv15 2 - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Happy Birthday NatsJack and many happy returns. I enjoy your insight and comments into NatsNation! Here's to a successful 2nd half of baseball for the Nationals!

  26. ehay2k - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    natsfan1a – you'd have to be pretty Dark to say that to a kid!

  27. ehay2k - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    HBD to NJ! Have a PFB day!

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    (From last thread)Best news, afaik: Gio has his curveball back!So, folks, can you help me out? We want to go to a game in the next week, and would like to guesstimate who's pitching.So, do we have any idea what the rotation line up will be starting Friday?===========(Adding on: Happy BD, NJ!!)

  29. A DC Wonk - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    JamesFan said… Harper is a bit of a puzzle to me.Not much of a puzzle to me, the way I see it.Two things to remember:1. He's 192. He's been a catcher his whole life, until just two years ago.So, does he have stuff to learn playing OF — of course! We expect that he still has some techniques to learn about not losing balls in the lights, or throwing to the right base.As far as the baserunning thing goes — I don't see that as necessarily a rookie mistake. It was a chopper and had a good chance of getting by the pitcher. When a baserunner has a chance of getting to third (and he's not at risk of making the first or last out) he can take it. It may have been a bit overagressive, but it wasn't "thoughtless".

  30. ehay2k - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Friday is supposed to be Zimnn, according to Rizzon before the ASG. Then I believe it's Gio, Stras, Ejax, Det.

  31. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Wonk, I believe Znn-Gio-Strasburg-Jackson-Detwiler was discussed.

  32. ehay2k - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Coke please Sofa! ;-)

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    ehay2k said… Friday is supposed to be Zimnn, according to Rizzon before the ASG. Then I believe it's Gio, Stras, Ejax, Det. July 11, 2012 10:00 AM That is the plan!

  34. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    You got it, ehay. :-)That's what I recall reading about the rotation as well, although Davey also said that it would depend on how his pitchers were used in the ASG.

  35. mick - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    how many players are allowed to be added from Syracuse/Potomac to Nats roster Sept 1?

  36. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    I think I'll have one myself…

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Big week with the Giolito deadline and NatsJack's birthday and Rizzo's search for 2 impact players to help make Post-Season more of a certainty.Did I mention NatsJack's birthday?

  38. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Mick, the entire 40-man roster is eligible.

  39. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Eh, I got the words wrong, it was "son" not "kid." Anyhoo, ehay wins a nice, shiny pair of gold cleats. Or maybe just a beverage. :-)

  40. Water23 - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    So, with the deadline looming, let's discuss the Giolito signing. I think he does not sign with the team. I hope he does and historically it would seem to be his best move from a money standpoint but I think he has just enough other options to make him not sign.If that happens what is next? The Nats lose out on their first this year but get another 1st pick next year. Having a second pick next year would make things very interesting. If the Nats decide to sign a top FA having a second 1st rounder would certainly cushion the blow of losing a pick.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    mick said… how many players are allowed to be added from Syracuse/Potomac to Nats roster Sept 1?The most you can ever add is 15 additional players with the caveat that each player is on the 40 man roster.If Davey follows what he did last year, the locker room will be filled up!

  42. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I think "over-aggressive" is a bit generous on that play, but that's part of his appeal. He'll run into outs sometimes, but not as often than he runs into extra bases.

  43. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    and I get the coke back! Thanks, Ghost!

  44. MicheleS - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    So what do we do for the next 2 days?

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Sofa, you got quick fingers and a quicker mind!

  46. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I think he does not sign with the team.OK, I'll bite: Why do you think so?

  47. Firm Possession, My Gorsehacken Sofa - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    I dunno, Michele. What do *you* wanna do?

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    MicheleS said… So what do we do for the next 2 days? July 11, 2012 10:15 AM We discuss for 2 days Giolito, proposed trades, and improving the Nats.With the Braves in the hunt, I don't see Bourn being available for a while which would then be a waiver wire deal and if Werth could step in as the leadoff and continue his great OBP he had before he was hurt, problem solved.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Re: Harper/Trout comparisons. Everyone does realize that Trout will turn 21 in less than a month and Bryce still has a little more than 3 months till he is no longer 19, right?I've said it before and I'll say it again. Giolito is in no hurry to report to Viera. Signing at the very last second delays that by probably a week to 10 days as he'll go to DC for the introduction process and physical exams and then to Viera for rehab/conditioning efforts. I firmly believe he'll sign.

  50. JD - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Happy Bday NJ, Why does everyone stress over the Giolito signing? He's gonna sign at the last minute just like SS, Harper and Rendon. I know most of the 1st round is signed but Giolito is different as he was picked lower than his talent level should have placed due to injury and he has a solid college option therefore his agent is squeezing as hard as he can but at the end of the day there is too much risk in going to college and there is 0 guarantee he will go higher next year.

  51. alm - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Happy BDay to NJ!I am jealous of my son who will be in Miami for a visit this weekend. He bought tickets to the "Cleavlander" section – the one with the pool/bar/DJ. Should be fun as long as the Nats win.First All Star game I have watched on TV in a long time. Great seeing Nats on the field the whole game except the first inning.Been to 2 all star games – 96 at the Vet in Phily and the 7-7 tie in Miller Park in 2002. I hope the rumors of us getting the game in 15 are right, can't wait.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    If 160 innings is Strasburg's limit, his season will end probably by the 1st or 2nd start of September. If his limit is 170 innings like I outlined this week, Strasburg only misses 1 or 2 starts.In either scenario, the Nats won't have Strasburg for the post-season.The post-season is typically all about pitching, pitching and more pitching. In the NLDS 1st round, you can get by with 3 pitchers generally. In the NLCS, you generally want 4 pitchers unless you go on short rest and the same for the World Series.I'm wondering if the Nats go with JZim, Gio, and EJax, will that be enough or does Rizzo need to find another pitcher now that is better than EJax to push him to the #4 in a post-season scenario.While I think Wandy is a slight upgrade over EJax given EJax's 1st inning yips, I know that EJax is an Ace if he can fix his 1st inning woes. It has to be fixable in a longer warm-up.Again, I'm thinking the Nats may not have to add another pitcher. The answer may to add to the offensive side and look to adding a stud catcher, 2nd baseman, or Michael Bourn if he ever becomes available.

  53. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    MicheleS, well, MLB Network has Triple A All-Star game on tonight. I also have a bit of a recording backlog of MLB All-Star footage (red carpet show, MLB Tonight, etc.) Will probably watch those. I like seeing the players with their kids and goofing around with each other. Yeah, I'm a dork. (Nice Marty ref, sec3.)

  54. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    MLB Network also has a Costas/Seinfeld special at 7 Thursday night. Might have to watch that one.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Here's something different to do tonight. The Collegiate Cal Ripken All-Star game is tonight at Big Train Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda.Several draft picks are on the list including Ryan Ripken.http://www.calripkenleague.org/view/calripkenleague/news/news_51575

  56. natsfan1a - Jul 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Some mutual admiration comments from Harper and Chipper (from a piece on the Braves site)."Seeing Chipper and his last All-Star Game is going to be a thing for the ages," Nationals 19-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper said. "I can tell my kids I saw Chipper Jones' last All-Star Game. It's kind of sad, but he has had a great career and been the face of that Braves' franchise for so long. He's an All-Star and a Hall of Famer."When told of Harper's comment, Jones smiled and opined that the historical significance of this All-Star Game might have more to do with the fact that it will be the first of what could be countless selections for Harper."I get to be a part of his first one, the first of many," Jones said. "He's a classy kid. I got a chance to meet his dad earlier today. Bryce has made a huge impact on a very good ballclub. I'm glad he made it."

  57. mick - Jul 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    thanks Ghost, so… this means a trade is very unlikely, I would think

  58. Jenn Jenson - Jul 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Adding my best wishes for NatsJack on his birthday!

  59. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    I have seen plenty of seasoned outfielders lose balls in the sky. I seem to recall it happening twice to Willie Mays in the 1973 World Series and people reacted the same way. You couldn't be much more seasoned than Mays was at that point in his career and yet, he lost track of balls in bright sun conditions.You can't catch the ball if you can't see it. And where was the help from either the centerfielder or shortstop?With respect to baserunning, Harper's aggressiveness far outweighs the times he has been caught off base. Particularly, with the Nats being offensively challenged in the first half, I often have trouble wondering why we hold up at third base with two outs as often as we do.

  60. SonnyG10 - Jul 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Happy Birthday, NatsJack! I'm wishing you many more good ones. Thanks for all the wonderful posts you have added, especially those from your conversations with the Nats brass and others in the know. Furthermore, I sure hope you're right about Giolito signing.

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WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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