For the first time ever, the Nationals are sending three players to the Midsummer Classic as a part of the All-Star Game, with possibly a fourth with Harper a final vote candidate. Coincidentally their (sort of) interleague rivals, the Orioles are also sending three players to the All-Star Game and they have a final vote candidate of their own, pitcher Jason Hammel.
So therefore, this only naturally means the two teams would team up to push their candidates as a package. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, type deal, right? There’s numerous DMV residents who root for both teams, despite the fact that Baltimore’s owner Peter Angelos attempted to block baseball moving back to DC. (He eventually got even with the unbalanced MASN deal for the Nationals.)
This pairing is better than last year’s at least, in which the Nationals teamed up with the Texas Rangers who were the Washington Senators way back when. Connecting the history and nostalgia is understandable, but it was kind of an odd pairing considering the Rangers left DC and left many DC baseball fans embittered.
In the Final Vote Harper is up against Michael Bourn (ATL), David Freese (STL), Aaron Hill (ARI), and Chipper Jones (ATL). Given the chance to campaign for votes, Harper’s gone on record saying he would vote for Jones. “He should have already been in the all-star game no matter what,” he said. “He’s an all-star and has been an all-star for twenty years. I think Chip should be there.”
May the best man win.