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Nationals players share their thoughts on Jackie Robinson Day

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Nationals players share their thoughts on Jackie Robinson Day

Each year since 1997, Major League Baseball has honored Jackie Robinson on April 15 with each player wearing his famous No. 42 jersey to commemorate his life and legacy as the first black player to break the color barrier.

It's a special day in baseball and this week several Nationals players shared their thoughts on what Jackie Robinson Day means to them with the annual remembrance set for Friday.

"He of course broke the barrier, the color barrier for myself and all of the African-Americans, our race, to the Dominicans and Australians, to get the opportunity to play this wonderful game of baseball," center fielder Ben Revere said.

"We know the story about Jackie Robinson. If you play the game most of your life, you know who Jackie Robinson is and his story. Definitely to me, it's a privilege and an opportunity. He allowed us to play this game. Without him, I don't know what anything would be right now or what I would be if I wasn't playing. It's definitely a blessing for him to overcome all the circumstances he had to go through, with racial discrimination in this game and to go through that. The big man upstairs, he definitely had a plan. He chose his toughest soldier to do that. That was Jackie Robinson, to overcome that. His strong heart, he really prevailed. He really showed our race, no matter what, that we could play any type of sport."

"For me, obviously it's big. A lot of guys in here, without him there wouldn't be an opportunity to play. It might not be possible," starter Joe Ross - who faces the Phillies on Friday - said. "To even be here on that day and to actually start on that day, I think it's one of those things where you're not actually thinking about it, but in the back of your mind it's a little bit more motivation. Pitching on a day like that, I think there's a little bit more of an incentive to go out and do well."

"It's cool because it's showing respect for the game and showing respect for one of the most important players we've ever had in baseball history for what he was able to do, to cross the color barrier," starter Max Scherzer said. "I think it's a good thing for Major League Baseball to honor that and as players to show respect for all the greats before us. Obviously, he was one of the greatest."

"It's a part of our history," first baseman Clint Robinson said. "To honor someone so significant to our game like that is always something we enjoy getting to take part in. We wear those jerseys proudly. Everyone has the same number and it means something different to every other player."

"It's very special, what he did for this game and for ballplayers. It's something to be recognized," outfielder Michael Taylor said. "Just to remember him and what he did for the game, to be able to wear his number, it's really cool that the whole league does that for him."

With Mariano Rivera having retired from the game of baseball, no one wears No. 42 when it's not Jackie Robinson Day. And just putting that number on carries a lot of significance for the players. The league auctions off the jerseys after the game, though some players noted they would love to frame the jersey to put in their home.

"Just wearing that jersey, it gives me goosebumps," Revere said. "I feel like I am Jackie Robinson when I put the jersey on."

[RELATED: Nats' Joe Ross & Braves' Mallex Smith, best friends on rival teams]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

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Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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