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12/30/07 'Aught-Seven...Washington Nationals: Season Three...

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A Month-by-Month Look At The Nationals' Third Season In DC...

July and August '07...

     As the month of June in the '07 season came to close, the Washington Nationals found themselves 32-48, fifteen games under .500, 13.5 games behind the NL East leading New York Mets, and 4.5 games behind the fourth place Florida Marlins...

      July 1st, however, brought good news to the Nationals...Dmitri Young had been named to the NL All-Star team, selected, not by the fans, but based upon the decision of the NL Manager Tony LaRussa of the '06 World Series winners, the St. Louis Cardinals, recognizing DY's .339 first half average, 23 doubles, 8 HR's and 43 RBI's with the second All-Star selection of his twelve year MLB career...

     ...The Chicago Cubs came to visit DC for the first time since Alfonso Soriano left the Nationals for Chicago as a free agent, signing a ludicrous deal to patrol Wrigley Field's outfield for years to come. The Cubs took the first two of the four game series from the Nationals, leading into the July 4th holiday matchup...

           "...2-0 Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman gets the intentionals
           to load'em up for DY-All-Star...GRAND SLAM!! Alfonso
           Soriano tracks it to the wall in left, and climbs the fence,
           but DY-All-Star has blown it open. 6-0 Nationals. Give
           me a D, "DDDD" Give me a Y, "YYYYY" DY-All-Star!!"

     ...On June 7th, the Washington Nationals selected left-handed hurler Ross Detwiler with the 6th pick of the 1st Round. After that, it was left-hander Josh Smoker, outfielder Michael Burgess, righty Jordan Zimmerman, and later pitcher Jack McGeary, all names that are going to become familiar to Nationals fans sooner rather than later...

      ...and then later...an official team press release on 10/26/07, "Nationals' 2007 Draft rated by Baseball America as Best in Industry"...

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071026&content_i d=2283215&vkey=pr_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

     ...on July 13, 2007, the New York Mets gave fans everywhere another reason to hate on them, placing ageless veteran Julio Franco on waivers to make room for Future-National Lastings Milledge's call-up to New York...

     ...the big story at the trade deadline was what the Washington Nationals didn't do...they didn't trade DY or Ronnie Belliard, instead surprising many by locking up the two veterans with multi-year deals as reward for their efforts...

      ...And August...Well, let's just say the end of DC Daily, and my own move to federalbaseball was a big story, but it finished a close second to the events of August 8th 2007, with an international television audience tuned in to the Nationals like never before...

           "...The Giants Left Fielder's due up second in the fifth.
           Randy Winn lines out to left. The Giants Left Fielder steps
           to the plate. Nationals' left-hander Mike Bacsik delivers a
           fastball high. 1-0. Breaker in the dirt. 2-0.
           Outside corner, strike one. 2-1. Fastball...fouled off. 2-2
           count. Curve outside. Full count. Curve, grounded foul,
           still a 3-2 count. Uh-OH!!!! DEEEP TO CENTER AND
           GONNNEEE!!!! Barry Bonds is Major League Baseball's All-
           Time Home Run leader. How does that sound? 5-4 Giants
           in the fifth...Somebody caught it too...#756..."

      ...Funny, somehow Barry Bonds doesn't seem so bad after the revelations of Mitchell papers..., or at least not any worse than any other alleged-cheater...

      ...The Nationals finished the month of August with a 58-76 record, far removed from any hope of appearing in the 2007 Post season, but that didn't mean the Nationals couldn't determine who would ultimately make it out of the NL East...

*Washington Nationals July/August '07 Links*

Dmitri Young's career stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/y/youngdm01.shtml

mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Young's comeback an All-Star story" at washington.nationals.mlb.com:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070701&content_id=2059652&vkey=ne ws_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was