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NATIONALS NOTEBOOK

Young Says His Return Looks Doubtful

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By Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dmitri Young acted yesterday afternoon like a man whose season might be over, even if he hesitated to concede as much. A week after he was hit with a bad-hop ground ball, Young walked through the Washington Nationals locker room and groaned. He swung his shoulders when he turned to talk with teammates, careful not to twist his neck.

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Even though medical tests have revealed no serious damage, Young said his neck and shoulders still ache. The headaches he suffered for a few days have dissipated, he said, but every other tweak persists. He has no plans to return immediately, if at all.

"There's definitely some doubt about" returning this season, Young said. "When someone is still feeling hurt, you can't just rush it."

Young said he feels especially unhurried because his replacement at first base has played so well. Robert Fick has hit safely in seven consecutive games, with a .429 average over that span heading into last night's game.

Young, meanwhile, has started to reflect on his 2007 season in the past tense. He's given up hopes of competing for the National League batting title, which he chased into early September. Instead, Young said he will focus this winter on losing weight, spending time with his kids and preparing to play outfield. He hopes to leave 2007 with only one souvenir: some sort of comeback player of the year award, he said.

"It'd be nice to have a plaque in the house, a symbol of everything I've been through and turning it around," he said.

Carpenter Hopes to Find New Home

Team president Stan Kasten told television play-by-play veteran Bob Carpenter last week that he will be replaced next season, which means Carpenter will try to find work somewhere else -- again. Carpenter, who declined to discuss details of his dismissal, already has worked for five major league teams.

"I've been down this road before, looking for work," Carpenter said. "I never wanted it, but I've become a journeyman announcer. Baseball jobs are hard to get, and I just have to hope somebody out there is looking for me."


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