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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 07/03/2012

News conference for Nationals all-stars


(Manuel Balce Ceneta - AP)
2:28: “We’ve been playing great baseball. The feedback I get from the fans is that we’re an exciting ballclub and we’re never out of it,” said Desmond.

2:25: Strasburg said it doesn't matter if he’s starting in the game. Said he never had doubts that he would come back to injury. “I knew what it took, I had an idea of the direction I needed to go in to be successful.”

2:23: Desmond said Tony La Russa is someone he looks up to and is humbled by the selection.

2:22: At his first All Star Game, Gonzalez was told by Josh Beckett to take it one step at a time and enjoy the events. Beckett told him you never know when it’s going to happen again. Gonzalez passes that advice onto Desmond and Strasburg.

2:18: Desmond said its more than just Davey Johnson, but the whole organization. “I think Mike Rizzo goes without credit sometimes.” Gonzalez said Desmond picks up things that pitchers don’t and said Desmond takes credit away from himself.

2:17: Desmond said the main focus now is getting to the All Star break, not the individual accolades. Strasburg said the experience will be amazing, but he has to get ready for his next start first.

2:15: The three All-Stars enter. “Take it easy on us,” said Gonzalez.

2:02 pm - Still waiting for conference to start. The usual Nationals backdrop in the press conference room has been adorned with a pair of American flag buntings.

2:34: Press conference ends with a photo of the All Stars

2:32: Reporter asked how many times did you vote for Bryce Harper? ”The question is how many times did you vote for Bryce today,” said Desmond. Said the city needs to get out the vote and Harper deserves it.

2:31: “I’d talk to anyone if they talked back. I’d talk to to the wall if it talked back,” said Gonzalez.

2:30: Gonzalez said he’s “the lazy one,” while Strasburg is always pushing him to work out, go running, work harder.

2:29: Strasburg, again, says he has no clue how many innings he’ll throw this year.

Original post: For the first time since moving to Washington, the Nationals have a trio of all stars. The team is holding a 2 p.m. news conference today with pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg and shortstop Ian Desmond.

But, is there room for a fourth? Outfielder Bryce Harper is seeking to be the youngest positional player to ever make an All-Star game and the youngest since New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden in 1986.

The 19-year-old Harper needs to win the league’s Final Vote, his toughest completion being Atlanta’s Chipper Jones and St. Louis’ David Freese. The voting takes place on mlb.com and ends at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

The franchise last had three All Stars in 1996, while it was still in Montreal.

The All Star Game is scheduled for July 10 at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.

Desmond is hitting .276, with 43 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Strasburg is 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA. He hasn’t lost since May 15. Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. He was an All Star last season with Oakland.

By Matt Breen  |  02:00 PM ET, 07/03/2012

 
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