WASHINGTON -- Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine announced on Wednesday the 30 winners of the "Tribute for Heroes" campaign, a national initiative that recognizes veterans and military service members and which builds upon both organizations' commitment to honoring our country's heroes. All of the winners, each representing one of the 30 MLB clubs, will be included in All-Star Week festivities and will attend and be honored during the pregame ceremony leading up to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field on Tuesday on FOX beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Fans nationwide cast their votes at TributeForHeroes.com to select 30 winners from a pool of 90 finalists. John Belcher from Tunkhannock, Pa., will represent the Nationals.
Along with MLB and PEOPLE, a guest panel including retired general Peter W. Chiarelli and retired general John M. "Jack" Keane, alongside MLB players Justin Verlander of the Tigers, Nick Swisher of the Indians, Barry Zito of the Giants, Jonny Gomes of the Red Sox, Brad Ziegler of the D-backs, Chase Headley of the Padres and Craig Stammen of the Nationals assisted in the selection process for the 90 finalists, who were then voted on by fans to select the 30 winners.
Nats could use boost, but Johnson has faith
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals improved their bench by acquiring outfielder Scott Hairston from the Cubs on Sunday night. Do the Nationals need to acquire more help before the Trade Deadline? It's not a secret that manager Davey Johnson would like another experienced player off the bench. But he also said the Nationals have the talent to do something special this year.
"It's about the guys doing the things they are capable of, "Johnson said. "One of the areas that we have very little depth in is starting pitching. But after this year, going into next year, some of our young starters will be knocking on the door. So as far as making a move -- picking up somebody at least for the short term -- I don't think that's in our plans, because I think we have enough talent here and enough coming that we wouldn't do that.
"But I'm sure [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] is looking into everything. I'm sure if anything becomes available that would help us, he will be on it."
If Rizzo does anything, he may focus on acquiring another pitcher, especially after left-hander Ross Detwiler suffered an injured back last week and because right-hander Dan Haren has been inconsistent for most of the season.
Nats' Garcia injures hamstring at Triple-A
WASHINGTON -- One wonders if the Nationals will see reliever Christian Garcia pitch in the big leagues this year. Manager Davey Johnson said he suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Triple-A Syracuse. There is no timetable as to when he will return to action or to the Major League team.
Garcia, ranked No. 14 among Nationals prospects by MLB.com, started the season on the disabled list because of forearm problems. Garcia also had shoulder and wrist problems this season.
Johnson was hoping that Garcia could be a starter this season, but that was squelched in Spring Training, because of Garcia's forearm injury. Garcia made a good impression with the Nationals after his callup late last season. He allowed three runs in 12 2/3 innings with 15 strikeouts. Garcia was also added to the postseason roster last October.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.