Washington Nationals News: What Ian Desmond has meant to Bryce Harper


Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses the relationship between Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond and outfielder Bryce Harper. As Wagner notes in his article, the two players are close both on and off the field, and Desmond has had a big influence on Harper during the outfielder’s breakout 2015 campaign.

Needless to say, Desmond and Harper are having very different years. For Desmond, it’s been a forgettable 2015 season. The shortstop has looked nothing like the offensive force he’s been in past years and he has struggled mightily with his defense as well.

Harper, on the other hand, is having an MVP-caliber season. The 22-year-old outfielder made the All-Star team for the third time this season and has undoubtedly been the anchor of the Nationals’ otherwise inconsistent offense.

But, as Wagner notes, Harper owes a lot of his success to Desmond. Despite his struggles on the field, it’s well known that Desmond is a key presence in the clubhouse. Desmond, who prior to this season was one of the best shortstops in baseball, is not only a leader on the field and in the dugout, but he’s also a mentor to other young players on the Nationals, including Harper.

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If Desmond leaves the team via free agency this Winter (which seems inevitable at this point), the Nationals will be losing a key character both on and off the field. But the impact that Desmond has had on the Nationals will not be soon forgotten, and his influence on Harper this season has been a big part of the young outfielder’s success.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Andrew Simon discusses how Nationals reliever Craig Stammen is one of 15 nominees for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. The annual award—which honors the legacy of Hall of Fame pitcher and World War Two veteran Bob Feller—is given to an active player, a Hall of Famer and a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer. As Simon writes, the three winners are recognized each Veterans Day at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

What Ian Desmond has meant to Bryce Harper

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

When Bryce Harper was selected to his third all-star game earlier this month, one of the people he thanked without prompting was Ian Desmond. “He’s one of the guys who keeps me even keel every single day and really helps me out on a daily basis,” Harper said then.

Desmond is known as the heart and soul of the Nationals, a caring leader who does a lot behind the scenes for teammates. And this season has been a trying one for Desmond, who, in his free agent season, is hitting .222/.270/.368 with 11 home runs, 31 RBI, 110 strikeouts and 21 errors. Read full article here.

Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominees announced

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

The active Major League players and Hall of Famers nominated for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award were revealed Tuesday.

The award, now in its third year, honors the legacy of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who became the first professional athlete to enlist in the U.S. military after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. A current MLB player, a Hall of Famer and a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer are recognized each Veterans Day in a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This year’s 15 player nominees are Brad Ziegler of the D-backs, Darren O’Day of the Orioles, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Adam LaRoche of the White Sox, Jay Bruce of the Reds, Trevor Bauer of the Indians, Wade Davis of the Royals, Steve Cishek of the Cardinals, Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers, Brian Dozier of the Twins, Curtis Granderson of the Mets, Sean Doolittle of the A’s, Charlie Morton of the Pirates, Ian Kennedy of the Padres and Craig Stammen of the Nationals. Read full article here.

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