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Wilson Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats

Wilson Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats

Despite Hurricane Matthew wreaking his havoc far away from Washington, the super storm still affected the Nationals' series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers in that it prevented former Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez from flying in to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

The Nationals, with little time to spare, had to go a different route, they had to choose a new person to bestow the honor of kicking off the third playoff run in team history. They ended up settling on a guy who played a pretty large role in them getting to the postseason in the first place.

Despite tearing his ACL in the final week of the season, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos suited up in his full uniform on Friday and participated in pregame introductions, then tossed a pitch to fellow catcher and Venezuelan Jose Lobaton. While he limped on to the field to make the pitch, the crowd of 43,915 roared and chanted his name 'Wilson, Wilson' to the tune of his famous walk-up song.

"It was great. We had not seen him in a couple days and all of a sudden he showed up," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're all happy to see him and the fans are happy to see him."

[RELATED: Wilson Ramos to have surgery soon, hopes to be back with Nationals]

Ramos has a long recovery ahead of him and one that could lead to his departure from the Nationals. That could have been his final embrace with the fans in Washington as a member of the team. Free agency is looming and he himself has acknowledged his days as a primary catcher in the NL may be over.

Decisions of that sort are months away, though. For now, Baker wants Ramos around as much as possible.

"He brought a lot of life to the dugout and a lot of life to the stadium. There's a lot of love in the stadium going around for Wilson. So I'm hoping that he comes back tomorrow," he said.

Here is a video of the special moment with Ramos:

[RELATED: Nats blow big opportunity by letting Kershaw off the hook]

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

It's been a week since the air was sucked out of D.C. in the Nationals Game 5, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

And now that we've had a few days to decompress from another early D.C. playoff exit, Nats right fielder Bryce Harper decided to take some time to thank fans for their support this season.

Harper posted an Instagram video Wednesday afternoon, with a fresh cut, and thanked fans for continuing to pack Nats Park. In the video he says he looks forward to "chasing that championship" again next spring. 

The 2017 season could be described as a rough one for Harper after missing the last few weeks of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Harper had a .319 average during the 2017 season, along with 29 home runs, 97 RBI's, 95 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is entering the final year of his contract.

RELATED: 20 THINGS SAD D.C. SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT

National Fans. Thank you!💯 #RedLightRecording

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on