The three Nationals at the All-Star Game will get two days of rest before leaping back into the regular season Friday in Miami. A lot of their whirlwind, two-day experience in Kansas City will fade. The connections they made will not.
Before batting practice Tuesday afternoon, behind the cage, Bryce Harper shook hands with Hall of Famer George Brett. Brett played before Harper’s time, but Harper has always identified Brett as his favorite player, the one whom he most models his game after. Harper does not often show his age, but he seemed like a 19-year-old kid when he talked about meeting Brett.
“To be able to talk to my favorite player in the game, it’s great,” Harper said. “It’s pretty unbelievable to me. He just told me how much he liked my game, the way I play. It was just an unbelievable experience. No words.”
Harper also lumped in meeting Mark McGwire, the NL’s hitting coach, and playing for Tony La Russa as favorite moments. During the National League team picture, he stood next to Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
“I was rubbing CarGo’s arm so I can get some hits,” Harper said, laughing.
Harper made an impression with his custom-made, gold Under Armour cleats. “I just told them, ‘I want as much gold on there as I can,’ ” Harper said. “They said, ‘Okay.’ They were pretty exciting. I liked them.”
And was that real gold? “I have no idea,” Harper said. “I don’t think they were Notre Dame helmets.”
Stephen Strasburg, too, made a connection he’ll remember. He chatted with Buster Posey on Monday because he would be pitching, and he quickly realized they had a lot in common. Both professional, all-business players who attended college, Strasburg and Posey became fast friends.
“I got a chance to talk to him the past couple days,” Strasburg said. “We’ve got similar backgrounds. He’s got a great head on his shoulders. He acts a lot older than he actually is. He made it easy for me.”
FROM TH E POST
FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL
NATS MINOR LEAGUES
Syracuse is on all-star break.
Harrisburg is on all-star break.
Potomac was off.
Hagerstown 9, Greensboro 7: Brian Goodwin went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a walk. Cutter Dykstra went 2 for 3 with a double and three walks. Justin Miller went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk.
Auburn was off.