Sure, baseball’s become a little more of a trending topic in the city these days. The Nationals have been right around .500 for weeks, showing some promise for the future. Jim Riggleman’s abrupt departure and Davey Johnson’s hiring have made news nationally. And Roger Clemens is right here in the city, facing perjury charges in U.S. District Court for testifying before Congress that he never used illegal performance-enhancing substances.
But the All-Star Game is less than a week away, and there’s almost as little buzz about that in the District as Clemens’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.
It’s not like the game’s going to be in the District for a fifth time any time soon. Major League Baseball won’t be bringing the festivities to Washington until the neighborhood around Nationals Park consists of more than empty lots and cement plants.
And as far as watching the All-Star Game, Nationals fans likely again will be limited to one Washington player — reliever Tyler Clippard.
Last year, Matt Capps was Washington’s lone All-Star participant. He gave Nationals fans their money’s worth for the brief time he was in the game. Capps threw five pitches, but they were key ones. He struck out David Ortiz in the sixth inning to wind up the winning pitcher in the National League’s 3-1 victory.
The 2005 season was the only year the Nationals had two players in the game — Livan Hernandez and Chad Cordero. Since then, the team has been represented by the required one star per team rule.
The organization is doing all it can to add another All-Star to this year’s squad with its push to have Michael Morse win the final vote spot on the NL team. He is competing against Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy and Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, who is the leading vote-getter but may be out with a thumb injury.
Morse told reporters he is “excited” about an opportunity to be on the All-Star team, but his chances are slim to none.
So it seems Washington again will have little to root for during this year’s Midsummer Classic.
Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of “The Sports Fix” from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at .