Baker on Ricketts' statement: "We're not playing Todd"

All-Star balloting is set to end tonight one minute before midnight Eastern. The All-Star teams are set to be unveiled at 7 p.m. Eastern Sunday on ESPN.

The race for first base in the National League is coming down to the wire and today's opponent is making a late push. The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo trails Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman by only 75,000 votes: Rizzo at 1,915,790, Zimmerman has 1,989,104.

Major League Baseball sent out a visualization data map showing where the votes for Zimmerman and Rizzo are coming from across the United States. Virginia squarely for Zimmerman, Illinois for Rizzo, while the Big Island of Hawaii loves No. 11.

Ryan-Zimmerman-running-white-sidebar.jpgZimmerman has appeared in one All-Star Game back in 2009. This year's All-Star Game is July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Miami.

Can Nationals pitchers make an impression on Cubs manager Joe Maddon in this series to a point where he might select them for the All-Star Game?

"Probably not. Because he's probably got some pretty good ideas already," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "But it's not all Maddon's choice. Some of (it) is the player's choice. I've been in that situation. It's very tough decision and choice to make because you got fans voting, you got players voting, you have the need for one guy to be on the team.

"It might be a pitcher that's not as deserving as yours or somebody else's. I've been there as a player twice when Sparky Anderson's picked his guys. They had more autonomy to do that then than now. One time we had too many guys. In L.A., we had seven, and they didn't want to have eight. It's a very tough decision for Joe Maddon. There are a lot of factors that go into it. It's not all his decision, but he has to answer for it."

There has been some hope that Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez could make a favorable impression this last start to be invited to play in the All-Star Game in his hometown of Miami.

* High Single-A Potomac Nationals center fielder Victor Robles has been invited to play for the World team in the Futures Game on July 9 in Miami. He is the lone Nationals representative. Robles is hitting .296 in 61 games with 19 doubles, six triples, seven homers, 13 stolen bases, 43 runs and 28 RBIs.

* Baker was asked about the comments made by the Cubs' Todd Ricketts on their visit to the White House yesterday.

Todd Ricketts, who is on the Cubs board of directors and the brother of owner Tom Ricketts, predicted Wednesday afternoon the Cubs will make the playoffs and face the Nationals in the postseason and that the Nationals would then "crumble."

"What we going to crumble from? You know what I mean?" Baker asked.

When told it was the owner's brother who made the comment, Baker replied: "We're not playing Todd."

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