The way Ian Desmond’s been playing, no one would have guessed he has a left oblique strain. The shortstop had home runs today and yesterday with other hits scattered in between, but still made the tough decision to withdraw from the All-Star Game.
Desmond’s been nursing the injury for a month now, and with his everyday playing (he’s played every single game but one this season), he saw the All-Star Game as an opportunity to rest for the second half of the season and prevent a more severe injury.
“It was definitely a tough decision, one that we spent quite a few days mulling over. In the end, I think it’s best for the team and best for myself to take a 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.”
Desmond is still officially considered an All-Star but won’t make the trip to Kansas City for the All-Star Game festivities. By going to Kansas City and not being able to play would just add insult to injury, he said. Instead of Desmond, Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves was selected to fill Desmond’s spot.
While Desmond won’t be making the trip to Kansas City for the All-Star Game, the Nationals still have three representatives in Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Bryce Harper. That’s right, Harper, who finished third in the Final Vote was selected yesterday by Tony LaRussa to fill injured Giancarlo Stanton’s spot the same day Ian Desmond withdrew.
Harper is the youngest position player to ever make the Midsummer Classic in the game’s 79-year history. Harper’s initial reaction was that he wouldn’t be able to go home and have some down time with his family, but the 19-year old is still excited to have the experience and honor of the All-Star Game.
“As long as I’m there in the dugout with all those guys, enjoying my time there, that’s going to be fun. I’ll be on the top step trying to get in, just watching and hanging out and enjoying it…It’s just a blessing to go there and just take it all in and just enjoy myself.”
The All-Star Game is this upcoming Tuesday in Kansas City. The Nationals will be back in action of Friday the 13th in Florida against the Miami Marlins.