Even before he learned he was selected to be part of the National League’s roster for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, Washington Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon was not sure he’d go if he got picked.
“Sure, I’d love to be an All-Star, but without going, if that’s possible,” Rendon sort-of joked when he was asked about potentially going to his first Midsummer Classic earlier this year.
“I’m just trying to go out here and play baseball,” he said. “I’m not worried about — whatever happens, happens. I just take it one day at a time.”
He was not voted into the starting lineup, but Rendon was selected by the Commissioner’s Office and his fellow players.
Almost immediately, however, he started to lay the groundwork for the possibility that he might not go to Cleveland, where the 90th All-Star Game will be held. He has, of course, been dealing with some nagging injuries, which has been evident when he’s taken it easy running out some ground balls in the last few weeks (though he did manage to go 8 for 25 (.320/.333/.600) with a double and two home runs on the recently-completed trip to Miami and Detroit.
“We talked about it yesterday,” Rendon told reporters in Comerica Park after learning he’d been selected, “... so it’s funny how we bring up the nagging injuries. So it’ll be funny how it’s going to play out if I decide to go or decide to see the training staff and try to get right for the second half.”
After Sunday’s win, in which he hit a go-ahead home run late, Rendon was ranked fifth in the National League in OPS (1.028), and SLG (.630), ranked sixth in OBP (.398), seventh in runs scored (63), eight in AVG (.311), and in doubles (21), and was tied for 11th in RBIs (58), among all players, not just third basemen.
So he clearly deserves to go, but he’s not sure he’s going to go to the All-Star Game?
“I talked to people in the past [who] have gone and kind of have an idea of how it’s going to go or how it may go - if I decide to go - so we’ll see,” Rendon said.
What was he told about the experience?
“I hear it’s no rest, so that’s not a good thing,” he said.
“They said your schedule is jam-packed and you’re going to events or whatever or you’re doing interviews or whatever it might be. So it seems like it’s right up my alley.”
That last line was delivered in classic deadpan Rendon style.
Before the first of three with Miami in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night, Rendon talked more about how meaningful it was that he was selected... and the fact that he might not actually go.
“It’s still not set in stone if I’m going yet,” he told a gaggle of reporters in the Nationals Park clubhouse. “I’ve got a lot of injuries, or little ailments that I’m dealing with right now, so it’s kind of a decision where I’m thinking about I may want to get my body back to 100% over those four days instead of actually dealing with all this and actually not getting time to rest, so I’m still thinking about it.”
Rendon’s manager, Davey Martinez, said he was amazed that this was Rendon’s first All-Star nod, and he said in the end he thinks the Nationals’ infielder will go to Ohio.
“I have a funny feeling - this is just me speaking, I don’t speak for Anthony - but I think he’ll show up in Cleveland,” Martinez said.