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Rizzo supports Strasburg's right to consider opt-out (though he probably won't)

Rizzo supports Strasburg's right to consider opt-out (though he probably won't)

At the end of the 2019 Nationals season, whenever that may be, Stephen Strasburg has the option to opt-out of his $175 million contract extension. 

“He negotiated that aspect of the contract into his contract and he has every right to contemplate opting out if he were to incline to do so," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday.

Rizzo knows that's an option, but feels confident Strasburg will elect to stay a National.

“I think he likes it here and I think he loves his teammates and the atmosphere we have here and I’m confident that he’ll be a National," Rizzo said.

Strasburg has had an outstanding season thus far boasting a 5.3 WAR, second to his 6.5 WAR 2017 season when he was a Cy Young finalist.

A report circulated earlier last week that Strasburg's inclination to opt-out of his contract was becoming more likely, however, NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas doesn't think that will happen, and Rizzo is convinced Strasburg has come to love his new home.

“He’s had a terrific season for us, he’s been a great National and we think, and I know, that he is comfortable here, he loves it here in Washington D.C," Rizzo said.

ESPN's Buster Olney joined the Nationals Talk Podcast where he gave two factors to consider: Strasburg's medical history with Tommy John surgery and his known affinity for comfortability.

"I don't know too many players in baseball who are probably more adverse to change than him," Olney said. "I think he likes having things settled. I think that's part of the reason why he basically encouraged Scott to work out a long-term deal with the Nationals when he initially signed that seven years for $175 [million]."

Time will tell what Strasburg decides to do with his four-years and $100 million remaining on his contract with the Nationals.

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Gerardo Parra visits Children's Hospital, signs 'Baby Shark' gear

Gerardo Parra visits Children's Hospital, signs 'Baby Shark' gear

With Game 1 of the World Series set for Houston on Tuesday, the Nationals had limited free time in the District.

But that didn't stop Gerardo Parra on using his last free day to visit pediatric cancer patients with his wife, Tania, and the Nats mascot, Screech, at Children's National Hospital.

Parra and company handed out, what else, plush Baby Sharks to the patients, a nod to Parra's new walk-up song and Nats fans new anthem that has provided plenty of shark-clapping in arenas across DC and has even made its way to a local orchestra

"Any time we have a chance to come here, I wanna come," Parra said of the visit. "I think the more important (thing) is the Baby Shark bring a lot of smile to the kids. So when I come here today, we see everybody when taking the Baby Shark happy, like smiling, dance to the Baby Shark, that's the point."

Parra also handed out "Stay in the Fight" t-shirts to parents and kids, an ode to the Nats' slogan throughout their playoff run.

Clearly, there will be some Baby Shark chomping action coming from Children's Hospital this World Series.

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St. Louis therapy dog makes good on NLCS wager, reps Nationals gear

St. Louis therapy dog makes good on NLCS wager, reps Nationals gear

Friendly wagers are one of the best parts of sports. They're even more fun when they involve two very good boys. 

Thor, a black lab therapy dog from Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, challenged Tabby, a German Shepherd therapy dog at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to a friendly bet on the Nats-Cardinals NLCS best of seven series. The bet was settled not too long after it began.

Since the Nationals swept the Cardinals, Thor had to wear a Nationals' bandana to work, courtesy of Tabby.

Thor does not look very amused, but at least he was a very good sport.

Hopefully, Thor will decide to cheer on the Nationals in their first-ever World Series against the Astros!

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