Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nats: Desmond, Harper, Davey talk All-Star game

Since I don't post often about the Nats and since I happened to be covering the team's newsy 4-1 win over Colorado on Saturday, thought I'd at least share some postgame quotes. Ian Desmond compared the All-Star game to steak, the youngest All-Star ever Bryce Harper on seeing Davey Johnson talking to Mike Rizzo and the Nats manager compares his current 19-year-old to his previous fabled teenager...

Ian Desmond, selected as an All-Star, but now not going due to his ongoing oblique injury...

Disappointment at not playing in All-Star game...
It’s definitely a tough decision. It’s one that we spent quite a few days kind of mulling over. But in the end I think it’s best for the team and best for myself to take the rest. I would hate to be two, three weeks down the road and something happened and I didn’t take the four days to rest my body and put the team first.
How is the oblique…
It’s crazy the way that your body and your mind play a part in this game. There’s days where I come out and it feels terrible, but I get a couple knocks – like today. It felt pretty sore and I had a good offensive day. It’s just tough. It’s not something that you want to do, withdraw your name from the All-Star game. As tough as it sounds it’s harder to do, especially when you were selected by Tony LaRussa personally. It’s just a hard decision to make period.
Did you wrestle with the decision to step away…
Yeah, the doctors, the training staff, myself, Davey – I called Tony LaRussa personally not only to thank him, but to kind of run it by him and see what his opinion would be. And this is just the decision that we came up with. I don’t think that risking something for the All-Star game that could possibly down the road playing in the playoffs or in meaningful baseball towards the end of the season the cons just outweighed the pros.
Are you going to Kansas City anyway…
I’m just going to go back to Sarasota and rest my body. I think going to the All-Star game and hanging that piece of steak in front of your face and not being able to eat it just would add insult to injury.
Bryce Harper, after being named to his first All-Star game and at 19 becoming the youngest All-Star position player in history (more from @acomak)
What was your reaction…
I don’t get to go home. No, I’m just excited to get there and just have a good time, try to enjoy it, take it all in and really just try to enjoy myself. Definitely.
Roller coaster...
Yeah. I don’t know. Words can’t explain it right now. I think it’s exciting to go and I’m excited to get there and be around all the top guys in the country, of course, top guys in baseball. So I’m just going to take it all in, try to enjoy it with the family and try to just be as mellow and calm as I can.
You’ve been looking forward to that mental break. Can you still get that even going to KC…
I doubt it. Of course it’s all for the fans. It’s an exciting time for them. I’m just going to try to take it all in as much as I can, enjoy it as much as I can. It’s all for the fans. So you try to go in there and really try to enjoy yourself with them and really try to put on a show for them.
You aren’t going to take Stanton’s spot in the HR Derby are you…
I have no clue. I don’t see that happening. I don’t know if I can take his spot. I think him being able to hit home runs like that is pretty impressive. So if I get a call from Kemp – if it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
Initial reaction…
When Davey called me over there it was either I was thinking I was going down because Rizzo and everybody was over there or the All-Star game.  Good thing it was the All-Star game. I’m happy. I am.
Davey Johnson on Harper...
The big news is that Tony LaRussa picked Bryce Harper to replace Stanton. And I told him just a few minutes ago, and he was all excited. Told him the vacation’s over. So that’s a great honor for him.”
Mental break
“Yeah. Well the good news about that is a mental break from the pennant race. So you still get a mental break from that and you get to enjoy the fact that you’re representing the National League and it’s a great honor and you’re with a lot of talented players. So I’m happy for him and proud of him.”
Rest him after the All-Star break?
Probably not. He’s also strong as a bull.

Gooden vs Bryce
I mean I don't look at them as being young. I look at the talent and, you know, when Dwight was 17 he looked like a big leaguer except he just didn't have the innings to pitch in the big leagues. I mean Harp, he does everything a little bit better than average and I don't know which one is younger (Dwight barely) but that's what happens when you've been around a while, you get the youngest guys making the team.
Who's better?
Well I'll say this. Doc was the best pitcher I ever had at that age and Harper's the best position player I ever had at that age. But they're both very special. It's fun to watch them go out there and watch them express their talent. It's just really fun from my viewpoint. You never know quite what you're going to expect but you know it's going to be special. 

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