WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 3½
01-29-2019, 08:20 AM,
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WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 3½
hours before the start of what many expect to be his last game at Nationals Park as a member of the Washington Nationals Adrian Peterson Jersey Elite , Bryce Harper stood at his locker and let his eyes linger on that familiar white jersey with the curly red “W” on the front and his last name on the back.Then Harper, who can become a free agent at season’s end, put on his full uniform, right down to the stirrups — the only player ready that far ahead of Washington’s 9-3 victory in its home finale against the Miami Marlins, which was stopped Wednesday after seven innings because of rain.“I knew I wanted to get here and put the ‘uni’ on right away, and just cherish that moment, if it’s going to be the last time or not,” the outfielder said beforehand. “I can’t really stand here and say it’s going to be ‘farewell’ or anything like that, because nobody knows. Nobody knows what this offseason holds.”The storm arrived, naturally, as Harper stood in the on-deck circle while the last out of the seventh was recorded. That scrapped manager Dave Martinez’s plan to remove Harper from his spot in right field during the top of the ninth, to allow spectators a chance to salute him.Still, fans did get to greet him with signs, standing ovations and chants of “Let’s go, Harper!” for each at-bat. He went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.“Just running out there, I wasn’t really thinking about it being my last game or anything like that,” he said afterward. “My heart lies here.”If this was, indeed, a “goodbye” to Harper, consider it also a “welcome” to someone the Nationals could count on to replace his outfield production http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/adrian-peterson-jersey , 21-year-old rookie Victor Robles. He delivered the first four-hit game of his nascent career, including a three-run homer and a two-run double, and stole a base, to boot.“Harp has been a great help to me,” Robles said through a translator. “So I wish him all the best. Hopefully he’s back. And if he’s not, I wish him all the best. He’s going to be missed if he’s not.”Harper’s take on his fellow outfielder?“Watching Robles, what he did today, that was a lot of fun,” Harper said. “Tried to enjoy that the best I could.”The Nationals — 81-78 and, like the Marlins, missing the playoffs — close the season with a three-game series at Colorado.“This is my home,” said Harper, the only NL player with 100 RBIs, 100 runs and 100 walks in 2018. “This is my city.”The Nationals drafted him No. 1 overall at age 17 in 2010, then called him up to the majors at 19. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012, then a unanimous MVP selection in 2015.A team that lost 100 games in a season twice before Harper came aboard won four NL East titles with the slugger (although never won a playoff series).He sparked raucous celebrations at his home stadium when he won the Home Run Derby during All-Star weekend this July.“It’s like I’m standing here like a 35-year old, but I’m only 25. So it’s the first time going through something like this, of course,” Harper said.Asked what it would take for him to return to Washington, he replied: “I’ve got to know if I’m in” the team’s plans.“Everybody knows what could possibly happen Authentic D.J. Swearinger SR Jersey ,” he added. “I could be out of here or I could be back.”Needless to say, folks such as Martinez and Harper’s teammates would prefer the latter.“He wants to be back here. I know that,” the rookie skipper said. “We’ve got three games left. He’s going to wear a Nationals uniform for three more games and hopefully for many, many years after that. So we’ll see.”Until it’s been determined, Harper’s 2019 destination will be the talk of baseball.STAT LINESIn his first start in the majors, Washington RHP Kyle McGowin left because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand after walking the first two batters in the fifth inning. He gave up no runs and just one hit. Wander Suero (4-1) got the win with one inning of scoreless relief. Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen (6-12) went four innings, allowing four earned runs and seven hits.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman left after the second inning because his back tightened up.UP NEXTMarlins: RHP Corey Oswalt (3-3, 6.08) starts Friday’s series opener at the Mets.Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (0-1, 4.09 ERA) pitches Friday at the Rockies. ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chris Woodward grew up wanting to be an architect or an engineer. He also had what he thought was a far-fetched dream of playing professional baseball.The kid from California who was a 54th-round draft pick and went on to play 12 major league seasons as a utility infielder for five teams is now the manager of one of the youngest teams in the majors. The Texas Rangers formally introduced Woodward as their new manager Monday, two days after hiring the Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach.“I share a common bond with most Rangers fans right now. This has actually taken away the sting of losing two World Series in a row,” Woodward said. “A lot of Rangers fans, obviously I feel your pain, it’s real, I get it. … I know how to get to the World Series. I’m going to instill a philosophy and a belief and a process in place to get us to that point.”Woodward’s introduction as a first-time big league manager came just more than a week after the Dodgers lost in the World Series for the second year in a row. Texas had been the last team to do that, in 2010 and 2011.The Rangers are coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2005-08. They lost 95 games this year when the focus turned the development of younger players — seven position players 25 or younger played at least 106 games.“Ideally what we’re putting in place here is the beginning of the foundation of a championship belief and culture,” Woodward said. “I don’t know how many wins we’re going to have next year but that championship belief, I believe, is powerful and it’s important to instill in these younger players now.”General manager Jon Daniels described the 42-year-old Woodward as an “energetic, winning manager to help us drive the culture here at the major league level. We’re all going to grow together D.J. Swearinger SR Jersey Elite , we’re all going to win together.”Daniels said the Rangers met with or spoke by phone with about 15 candidates after Jeff Banister was fired Sept. 21. Texas won AL West titles in Banister’s first two seasons (2014 and 2015).As a player, Woodward spent parts of 12 seasons (1999-2011) with Toronto, the New York Mets, Seattle, Atlanta and Boston. He hit .239 with 33 home runs and 191 RBIs while playing every position except pitcher and catcher. Woodward said he played for 11 different managers during his career, several of them first-year managers. He also played for Bobby Cox one season in Atlanta.His coaching career began as a minor league infield coordinator for the Mariners in 2013 and he joined their big league staff later that year. He spent the past three seasons on Dave Roberts’ staff in Los Angeles.Woodward said he wants to create a culture where players can learn and grow every single day. He said that is what he will place the most value on moving forward.“Process is a big one for me, I don’t like to think of results,” he said. “I think young kids, young players nowadays, they get caught up in results. … I want to drive home the process that’s going to get them the results.”Woodward said he had to fight every day as a “very average, probably below average” player and has always had that same kind of energy as a coach. He said it important to relate that to players.The new manager will wear No. 8, and donned that jersey Monday for the first time in the big leagues. Yes, he was a fan of Cal Ripken Jr. growing up. But that was also the number of Woodward’s high school coach Tom Quinley, a Yankees fan who revered Yogi Berra (who also wore No. 8).“He passed away this past season, and it was very emotional for me,” Woodward said. “He took the role of many things for me, obviously as a mentor, as a father figure. He did everything for me. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. … It’s pretty special to me, and obviously in honor of him.”
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