Just a few weeks ago the Nationals vaulted to the top of Sports Illustrated's power rankings and on Thursday they reached the top of another major media outlet's list.
Yahoo! Sports now ranks the Nats as the best team in all of baseball, ahead of the Texas Rangers who slot second and the New York Yankees in third. The writer for some reason includes jokes instead of real explanation, so we'll have to speculate as to why the team jumped from third to first this week.
The Nationals do have the best record in the majors at this point at 68-43, an amazing 25 games above .500. They have two more wins than the next-best team, the Cincinnati Reds who have lost four straight games.
The Nats have been near the top of many MLB power rankings this season, but just recently have won the respect of being considered number one. As we get closer to the middle of August, it has become clear the Nats are a legitimate contender, at least for the division this season.
The Nats seem to get better by the month and the national media is taking notice. There may have been a reluctance to call them the best team in baseball, but that sentiment is fading with each and every win. The Nats are in the middle of a five game winning streak and don't appear close to slowing down.
On Tuesday morning, shortly after 10:00 a.m., a man was shot across the street from Nationals Park, local authorities reported.
After the shooting, the victim then ran toward the stadium where a crowd of people were waiting to enter a job fair at the park.
The victim was shot in the face and was transported to a local hospital. According to police, the victim was conscious when transported to a local hospital by authorities.
Authorities say they do not believe that the shooting was at all related to the job fair, which was for concession workers at the stadium.
The Nationals organization has since issued the following statement:
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This morning a shooting occurred within a few blocks of Nationals Park. The injured victim fled the scene and was located and treated by emergency personnel outsider the center field gates, where jobs seekers were gathered in advance of a concessions staff job fair. The victim was transported by D.C. Fire and EMS to a local hospital. The Nationals are cooperating with the MPD investigation. Due to the incident, the concessions staff job far has been rescheduled for January 31.
The incident occurred at Half and N Street SE, which is near the center-field entrance of Nats Park. After initially believing the shooting took place outside the center field gate, police now believe he was shot behind a nearby liquor store.
Investigators believe the suspect fled the area in a car and have no details on a physical description.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history.
Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him.
During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.
In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons.
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