Rendon passes on All-Star Game

Ben Krimmel
July 05, 2019 - 8:11 pm

Making an All-Star team is about the journey, not the destination.

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At least that seems to be the case for Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, who after being named an all-star for the first time in 2019, decided being a reserve for the National League was good enough for him and he won't be traveling to Cleveland to play.

An hour before the Nationals took on the Royals Friday night in Washington, Major League Baseball announced the Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy will replace Rendon on the NL roster.

According to manager Davey Martinez, Rendon and Nats officials made an "organizational decision" that it would be better for the 29-year-old to remain in D.C. to rehab minor injuries to his left quad and hamstring. 

“We talked this out with him. He asked what we think and we told him ‘I think rest would be good for you,'" Martinez said after Friday's game. “He’s been playing with it for a couple weeks, and he agreed. It stinks, but he was very adamant about wanting to be ready to play after the all-star break for us. I think that’s a really great decision. I really do. I think he’s thinking about the team and the organization.”

Rendon said in recent days he was dealing with a few minor nagging injuries that he could use some time to recover from rather than travel and play in the Midsummer Classic. Of course, these niggling injuries haven't kept him from starting 53-straight games for the Nationals since he returned from a stint on the injury list in early May after the Nats' infielder missed nearly every game bar one over a fortnight in late April after suffering a left elbow contusion when he was hit by a pitch in Miami.

"We have bigger fish to fry here in D.C. So we’re trying to get everyone healthy and I’m a part of that as well, so I want to be a big threat for the second half,” Rendon said after the Nationals 7-4 loss to the Royals in extra-innings. 

In May, Rendon was already laying the groundwork to skipping the game when he told reporters, "Sure, I'd love to be an All-Star. But without going, if that's possible."

This week he made his allegiance clear: “Yeah, it’s a great honor, and I’m very appreciative. But at the same time, I play for the Nationals, and so I want to be able to be 100 percent or at least close to that and keep putting myself in position every day to actually help my team.”

"To be honest with you, the All-Star Game really doesn’t mean anything anymore, right? Do we get home field advantage? I mean, that should tell you all, in itself, right now," he said.

Barring any further changes, the Nationals will only have one representative at the All-Star Game Tuesday in starter Max Scherzer. However, Scherzer and his wife, Erica, welcomed a daughter on Thursday, July 4, and he may also pull out of the game. 

Perhaps with both Nationals representatives out the door will open for Juan Soto, who has a pretty strong case to make his first All-Star squad.

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