WASHINGTON, D.C.: Washington, D.C., the host city for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, will have at least three hometown players in the game. Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer, Nats’ slugger Bryce Harper, and the team’s closer Sean Doolittle were all named to the National League’s All-Star roster tonight. Trea Turner is part of the Final Vote, so the Nationals could add another player that way, or if any replacements are selected.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, which will take place at 7:30 PM on July 17th in Nationals Park, is a big deal for Washington as a baseball city, which will be hosting the All-Star Game again for the first time since 1969.
“I think we’re excited to do it here in D.C.,” Harper said today after learning he’d was elected to his sixth All-Star Game in his seven major league seasons.
“I’m very excited to be able to represent the Nationals in D.C.,” Harper told reporters, “and I’m looking forward to this week to hopefully get one of our other teammates in there as well.”
“It means a lot,” Doolittle said of his second All-Star selection, and his first since 2014 with the Oakland A’s.
“Getting selected to the All-Star Game is a really special honor. It is really difficult to do. For me, I think of where I was a year ago. At this time I wasn’t even traded over here yet, I wasn’t even the closer on that team, and now I get to represent this team and this city, in front of these fans in the All-Star Game, it’s incredible, it still hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be honest.”
Scherzer, the back-to-back, defending NL Cy Young award winner, who was selected for the sixth straight season, would seem a likely pick for the National League’s starter, but he said he’ll be happy to pitch whenever he gets in the game.
“Whenever I get to pitch is going to be awesome,” Scherzer said.
“I’ve gotten to be a part of these for a handful of times now and it’s always been really cool to see the hometown fans get behind the hometown All-Stars. Some of the cool memories as I’ve seen over the years is the fan support, and for us representing ourselves as the Nationals here in our home park, I think this will be an experience unlike any other that we will go and be a part of.”
“That just has you itching to get out there and pitch and play and go out there and compete and compete for our fans.”
Harper will also be participating in the Home Run Derby for the second time in his career, and he’ll have his father throwing to him again.
“If we weren’t in D.C., I probably wouldn’t have done it,” Harper said. “But looking forward to going out there and representing the Nationals and hopefully bring home a trophy.”
He’s also looking forward to having the baseball world come to Washington, D.C.
“As a fan of baseball and our fans as well, I think D.C. is a great town to have it in,” Harper said.
“You’ve got a lot of great areas around here, if that’s right next to the stadium, or down by The Wharf, or right over the bridge as well, a lot of good places to eat, a lot of places to relax, and a lot of good places to go and see really cool things.
“We’re right down the street from the monuments, right down the street from the White House, I mean just an amazing place to have a game.”
“Obviously it’s going to be crazy,” Scherzer added. “That’s the first and foremost thing. Just the number of different events that MLB puts together to engage the fans, and things we’re able to participate in and connect with the fans. Really this is our opportunity to get in front of all the baseball fans in general. Every team is represented in this game, and every player is here, so the entire game is represented as well as possible and what more do you want as a baseball fan.
“D.C. has great baseball fans, and this will be an event that they can come and see the best of the best compete on a baseball field.”