July 3, 2017
Sports Insider Weekly
The Washington Nationals are sending five players to Miami for the 2017 All-Star Game, tying the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and New York Yankees with most selections this year.
Veteran infielder Ryan Zimmerman will make his second career All-Star Game appearance; his first eight years. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy will join Zimmerman in the starting lineup, with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg also heading to Miami for the yearly mid-summer exhibition game.
“We’re here every single day with each other. We go through good things and bad things and we see each other more than out families sometimes,” Zimmerman said. “We give up a lot, honestly, to do what we do, without complaining about playing professional baseball…To be able to share the all star honor with the guys that you do what with, I think it makes it pretty special.”
One National who didn’t make the cut was Miami-native Gio Gonzalez, who had been vocal about his desire to pitch as an All-Star in his hometown this summer. The southpaw, who is 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA, could potentially appear in the July 11th game as an injury replacement, but didn’t get enough votes to secure a spot with his teammates.
Third-basemen Anthony Rendon could nab a spot through the “Final Vote”, where fans get a chance to vote a final player onto each league’s team. Rendon, who lost the final vote in 2014, is up against Miami’s Justin Bour, Chicago’s Kris Bryant, Mark Reynolds of the Colorado Rockies, and Justin Turner of the L.A. Dodgers.
The number of Nationals named to the All-Star Game is a testament to the team’s strength and dedication. Even after losing three of their last four, Washington still leads their division by seven and a half games. They are poised to head into the All-Star Break with a comfortable first-place cushion and a team committed to going the distance.
“Having Zim start for the first time, Murph, I’m very excited for those two guys to get into it,” five-time All-Star Harper said. “It just goes to show how good their years have been, and how good our fans are and what our organization does for voting. I’m very happy for those two guys to get in for starts for the first time.”
The Washington Wizards made waves over the weekend when they offered star player John Wall a four-year contract extension worth a staggering $170 million.
The All-Star point guard will take some time to mull over the offer, considering how it could impact his value down the road, as well as whether or not he wants to remain in Washington. Wall has two years and $37 million left on his current deal; an extension would keep him with the Wizards until the 2022-23 season.
Quicken Loans National
Kyle Stanley holed a 5-foot par putt to win the Quicken Loans National in a playoff over Charles Howell III on Sunday. DC Spotlight was there to cover Tiger Woods’ tournament. (See more here.)