Nationals players cautious with the heat


Wilson Ramos (Alex Brandon/AP)

Wilson Ramos doesn’t normally drink the electrolyte-laden drinks available in the Nationals‘ clubhouse. He stays away from Pedialyte, which many players down, and drinks only the water available in the dugout. But on Friday, while the region was under an excessive heat advisory with the temperature hovering at 95 degrees and the heat index making it feel more like 110, Ramos turned to Pedialyte.

Even after a few minutes of team stretching, some players already had sweat dripping from their brows because of the oppressive humidity. Ramos, after some rounds of batting practice, was headed into the air-conditioned tunnel and clubhouse to cool down. He plays the most demanding position on the field, crouching, running and squatting under protective gear for hours.

“I don’t get tired,” he said. “I just sweat and have to change my shirt.”

Ramos, the other position players and the day’s starting pitcher have it the worst. The relievers, however, can sit in the dugout or tunnel or hide in the shade of the bullpen until it is their time to warm up and come into the game. But even then, Craig Stammen fills his body with water and Pedialyte.

“You just have to watch yourself,” he said.

By game time on Saturday, the temperatures are expected to be around 90 degrees but the humidity will make it feel more like 99. When players are working out and taking batting practice, it will feel like 103 degrees.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.

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Adam Kilgore · July 20, 2013

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