Nationals

Quick Links

Six months later, the Nationals’ World Series parade stands as fans’ only official day of celebration

Six months later, the Nationals’ World Series parade stands as fans’ only official day of celebration

Saturday marked six months since the Nationals’ parade down Constitution Avenue to celebrate the District’s first World Series title since 1924. It was the first opportunity fans had to rejoice with their team after the Nationals beat the Astros in Houston to win Game 7.

So far, it’s also been the only opportunity.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced MLB to suspend spring training and subsequently delay Opening Day, the Nationals were also unable to host their banner-raising ceremony and present their championship rings. It’s an event meant to close the book on the story of the team’s title run, but no fans in seats has put the celebration on hold.

General manager Mike Rizzo told MLB Network Radio that the team won’t raise its banner or hand out rings until fans are allowed to be there for the ceremony.

“I think as far as raising the banner and the distribution of rings, we’re going to wait for our fanbase to be involved to do those types of things,” Rizzo said. “Those are once-in-a-lifetime things to do and our fanbase is such a big factor in helping us win that thing. They earned it, they deserve to be involved in it and we’re going to wait for them to do it.”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

With scenarios that include games being played without fans reportedly on the table, the Nationals may have to start their new season without finishing celebrating their previous one.

So until that happens, fans only have the championship parade to look back on. That’s not to slight the celebrations that ensued the night Washington won Game 7 itself, but the team was halfway across the country. For now, the only chance fans have had to celebrate with the players and coaches has been the parade.

Why not look back on some of the best moments?

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Juan Soto activated, but not in the Nationals' lineup vs. Mets

Juan Soto activated, but not in the Nationals' lineup vs. Mets

Juan Soto is not in the lineup. Yet.

He was reinstated from the COVID injured list to the active roster Tuesday. That’s a step. But, Soto is not in the Tuesday night lineup against the New York Mets and left-hander Steven Matz.

“He’s getting there,” Davey Martinez said. “I just want to make sure that we keep him healthy. We got him back and want to keep him healthy. He’s going to hit [Tuesday], he’s going to take some more ground balls in the field. Run a little bit more today. We’ll see where he’s at.

“I talked to him [Monday] night and he really felt like he could probably use another day or two. Said his legs felt a little heavy. His arm was a little sore. He tried to ramp it up -- we gave him the last four days, he’s probably got about 20 at-bats. In that respect he doesn’t feel that bad. But I want to make sure, like I said, we keep him healthy. We just got him back. He missed a lot of time. So we just want to make sure when he’s here now, he’s here to help us every day.”

RELATED: STEPHEN STRASBURG THROWS BULLPEN SESSION, NEARS RETURN

Martinez had to remind Soto the designated hitter is now an option in the National League. Which means the Nationals could start him in that spot or use it to give him a break.

Andrew Stevenson was optioned to the alternate training site to make room for Soto on the roster. Josh Harrison is playing left field in Soto’s place Tuesday.

Reliever Wander Suero was also activated Tuesday and is available if need be.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Davey Martinez wishes Nationals just kept playing after Marlins outbreak

Davey Martinez wishes Nationals just kept playing after Marlins outbreak

WASHINGTON -- They played five innings -- sort of -- Saturday. Then six more -- sort of -- Sunday.

What the Nationals didn’t do was play the Miami Marlins for three games after appearing to wake up in back-to-back wins against Toronto last week. The weekend series against Miami was postponed while Major League Baseball’s scheduling complications persisted amid playing baseball in a pandemic.

The Nationals took Friday off, played two simulated games over the weekend, then took Monday off (though coming to the park was a voluntary option). Just seven games into the season, they were again stalled out, dealing with the replication of an All-Star break seven days after getting started. The short ramp up to the season stole chances to improve timing and get up to game speed. The break pushed both back, too.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, we much rather would have been playing,” Davey Martinez said Sunday. “The bats started coming around. The last two games [we] started playing fairly well. We got this little lull, but we’ve done everything we possibly can to get ready.

“Trying to keep these guys going. Keep their at-bats going. It’s tough not having that game speed, that actual adrenaline playing other teams. But, the boys are doing good.”

RELATED: MCCUTCHEN RIPS MARLINS FOR NOT FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS

Reliever Tanner Rainey needed the break after five appearances in seven games. And, Juan Soto, expected back Tuesday night, needed the time to do every baseball activity possible. Saturday, he hit all day, then ran the bases. Sunday, he stayed in left field for all six simulated innings. He was twice restricted to his apartment for quarantine in July. He’s behind. His absence was glaring. So now Soto is trying to hustle back.

When everyone returns to rain-soaked Nationals Park on Tuesday, they will see a longtime division rival, the New York Mets, in what has become a typical state. The Mets were the story across baseball Monday when outfielder and designated hitter Yoenis Céspedes decided to stop participating in the season because of COVID-19 concerns, but did not initially tell the Mets. He just decided not to show up. Or so the Mets said.

The Mets don’t even have this straight.

“There’s two sides of the story,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo told reporters. “We have the side where [the Mets] were let known before the game [Sunday] and we’ve also heard the side where they weren’t let known until the eighth inning, so I honestly don’t know which one to believe and I’m not going to try to figure that one out, but as far as us, we knew that people could walk whenever they wanted.”

Recall the Mets’ situation in late-May of 2019: The Nationals arrived at Citi Field for a four-game series. The Mets held a press conference before the series began to explain that Céspedes had suffered a “violent” fall from a horse on his ranch (the story evolved into an exchange with a wild boar which led to  Céspedes’ ankle fracture). General manager Brodie Van Wagenan also used the press conference to give then-manager Mickey Callaway a vote of confidence. The Mets were a mess -- until they swept the four games from the Nationals in a new stunning way, day after day. Then, it was Martinez who needed the public reassurance from his general manager.

The eventual ending was better for the Nationals.

Tuesday night starts just a two-game series. Patrick Corbin pitches for the Nationals. Steven Matz pitches for the Mets. Washington is trying to get its act together. The Mets are...well, the Mets. Sounds familiar.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: