KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As expected, once the door opened inside the club level at Arrowhead Stadium this afternoon for the media's 45-minute session with members of the NL All-Star team, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg immediately found themselves engulfed by reporters, microphones, cameras and other assorted oddities all looking to grab a minute with the Nationals' two young stars.
Sitting just to the right of his big-name teammates, Gio Gonzalez wasn't quite as big a draw, though the left-hander enjoyed the spotlight just as much.
"This is exciting," Gonzalez said. "You get an opportunity like this to have some fun, see some superstars out here, talk to them and pick their brains ... everyone's here enjoying this and embracing it."
There were, of course, plenty of attempts from media members to get Harper to chastise them for asking clown questions. Despite a whole lot of bizarre queries that qualified, Harper refrained from using the phrase that became a worldwide sensation last month.
Here are some highlights from the Nats' trio of All-Stars...
On his first impressions: "Being able to be around the guys that are the best players in baseball, it's pretty impressive coming in here. It's just a lot of fun being here, and it's only just getting started. Just being around these guys, I'm speechless. It's pretty unbelievable."
On what should be expected of him in tomorrow night's game: "I'm pretty terrible in All-Star Games. I don't know what they're going to see from me. Aflac All-American, I was 0-for-5 with four Ks. Under Armor All-American, I was like 0-for-5, 5 Ks. Last year in the Futures Game, I was like 0-for-5, 5 Ks. I'm just going to try to enjoy myself as much as I can and have as much fun as I can. Really just take it all in."
On having multiple teammates alongside for the All-Star Game: "It's great being on a first-place team that can have more than one guy here. To be in this situation, where you have four guys, it's awesome."
On Gonzalez: "I've learned so much from him already, and I think he's learned a thing or two from me. We're a great combination. I'm excited we're going to be here for a while."
On his teammates: "If it was up to me, I'd bring the whole team with us. Every single one of those guys deserves to be here."