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Dunn enjoying baseball again

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Dunn enjoying baseball again

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For all his accomplishments in the big leagues -- all the towering home runs and all the walks -- Adam Dunn's resume over the last decade had two disturbing entries: zero All-Star Games, zero postseason appearances.

And after suffering through the worst season of his life in 2011, there was legitimate reason to wonder whether the former Nationals slugger would ever get back to the Midsummer Classic, or whether he'd ever get to experience the postseason with a White Sox franchise that seemed to be falling apart.

Well, Dunn managed to cross that first item off his list, earning a spot on the AL's All-Star roster 10 years after he made his one and only appearance in the game with the Reds. And with the White Sox currently holding a three-game lead in the AL Central, he might just get to cross off that second item as well in a couple of months.

"Obviously I feel a little better this year than I did last year," he said. "The good news is, last year is still over, and this year we've still got a whole half to go."

As consistent an offensive player as there was in baseball -- he averaged 40 homers, 101 RBI and 107 walks from 2004-10 -- Dunn wound up in Chicago last season after the Nationals decided not to match the White Sox's four-year, 56 million contract offer. The move was criticized in Washington at the time, though that criticism dwindled after the Nationals signed Jayson Werth to an eight-year, 126 million deal and especially after Dunn slogged his way through a disastrous debut season in the AL.

In 122 games last year, the DHfirst baseman hit a paltry .159 with 11 homers, 42 RBI and 177 strikeouts. The crowds at U.S. Cellular Field routinely showered him with boos when he stepped to the plate.

"I don't blame them," he said. "I would've booed me, too. Seriously."

Few knew what to expect out of Dunn (or the White Sox, who went 79-83) this season, but each has enjoyed a renaissance. Dunn already has 25 homers and 64 RBI in 84 games, though his .208 batting average barely sits above the Mendoza Line. And, of course, he leads the league both in walks (68) and strikeouts (134).

Those power numbers were enough to earn Dunn a ticket to Kansas City for tonight's All-Star Game, where he'll look across the field and find three guys wearing the uniform of the first-place Nationals.

Will that be a bittersweet moment for Dunn, who lost 196 in two seasons in Washington but always insisted he wanted to be part of the franchise's eventual turnaround?

"No," he said. "I really enjoyed my time there. I really enjoyed the people. There's no hard feelings. Some of my good buddies still play on the team. I love Mike Rizzo. I love the Lerners. Everybody's great over there, and I wish them nothing but the best. And you saw it coming. You just didn't know how early it was going to be. I'm happy for them."

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Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL, will miss Nationals' postseason

Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL, will miss Nationals' postseason

Wilson Ramos' season — and postseason — is officially over.

Manager Dusty Baker announced on Tuesday afternoon that the team's starting catcher suffered a torn ACL in their 14-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Monday night and will undergo surgery to fix the tear.

Ramos underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning to assess the damage and the news was not good. 

The injury occurred following a rain delay in the sixth inning when Ramos attempted to catch an errant throw home from Ryan Zimmerman. Ramos landed awkwardly and crumpled to the dirt in pain.

RELATED: WITH SEASON COMING TO A CLOSE, NATS DESPERATE TO STAY HEALTHY

To make matters worse, the injury occurred on the same knee that Ramos injured in 2012, when he needed surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL.

"I think it's time for us as a whole to take care of him," Baker told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. "Because he's taken pretty good care of us."

It's a heartbreaking injury considering Ramos was having a stellar season, highlighted by his first All-Star Game appearance and that the postseason is just a week away.

"He is upbeat," Baker said. "He knows other guys have come back from this. Told him about Adrian Peterson, but he didn't know who that was."

The team called up 2012 fifth-round pick Spencer Kieboom to take Ramos' spot on the roster.

The Nationals will open postseason play against the N.L. West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers

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Nats call up catcher Spencer Kieboom after Wilson Ramos' injury

Nats call up catcher Spencer Kieboom after Wilson Ramos' injury

The day after Wilson Ramos suffered a right knee injury in their 14-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Monday night, the Nationals called up catcher Spencer Kieboom from the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

Ramos, 29, was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning.

This would certainly point towards the All-Star backstop at least missing some time.

The Nationals now have four catchers on their roster with Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino also in store.

Ramos hurt himself landing on his right leg after jumping for a ball thrown home in the top of the sixth inning. Ramos previously tore his ACL and MCL in the same knee back in 2012.

Kieboom, 25, was a fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2012.

He holds a .264 average in 297 career minor league games. He hit .230 through 94 games at Harrisburg this season.

RELATED: NATS DESPERATE TO STAY HEALTHY AS PLAYOFFS APPROACH

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