Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann and Davey Johnson aren’t the only ones representing the Nationals in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Citi Field. League-wide events such as these draw from multiple teams, and the Nationals provided three clubhouse workers, among them assistant clubhouse manager Dan Wallin and visiting clubhouse manager Matt Rosenthal.
Head trainer Lee Kuntz was also selected to join the National League training staff. Only trainers with at least 10 years of major league experience are eligible, and Kuntz was picked randomly from three names. Kuntz, who has been with the Nationals for seven years after a stint with the Cleveland Indians, has spent the past few days working under New York Mets head trainer Ray Ramirez.
“It’s an honor,” Kuntz said. “To come here and do this with all this stuff with all the people you get to meet. To see people like [Troy] Tulowitzki and [Buster] Posey and whoever. [Craig] Kimbrel. You get to see them across the field and now getting a little interaction with them and get to figure them out a little bit better. And see people who I knew for a long time like Brandon Phillips.”
Kuntz remembers Phillips from his time with the Indians, as well as Cliff Lee, a Phillies all-star. Kuntz’s wife and kids flew in from Ohio to spend the all-star break with him in New York.
“I think this is a great thing, too, because if we ever get a game in D.C. now I will have seen some of the things he has had to go through,” Kuntz said. “It benefits us if we get a game in the future. I think they’re trying to get the game. And our clubhouse guys.”