- The Washington Times
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Nationals manager Dusty Baker fielded early phone calls from his California friends Wednesday morning. They had heard about a gunman opening fire on a group of congressional Republicans practicing baseball in Alexandria and wondered if Baker, who lives in Alexandria, was all right.

He confirmed he was. Baker also expressed concern Wednesday during his pregame meeting with the media.

“You have to be — I always told my family, be aware of your surroundings because you never know,” Baker said. “Especially in crowds, when there are important people around. We always see things happening afar, but there are problems here domestically, too. I don’t know what the answer is. It’s just sad when innocent people get hurt.”

Baker had recently had lunch with Rep. Mike Doyle (D) of Pennsylvania and Rep. Joe Barton (R) of Texas, this year’s managers for the 108th Congressional Baseball Game, which will take place as planned Thursday at Nationals Park.

Before the Nationals started their game against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon, the public address announcer expressed the organization’s sympathies about the event.

“It has been our honor to host the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park the last nine years,” the organization said in a statement. “This bipartisan event shows baseball’s power to bring people together. Our thoughts and prayers are with those wounded today and their families. We look forward to hosting the 108th Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park tomorrow evening.”

• Todd Dybas can be reached at tdybas@washingtontimes.com.

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