MIAMI - Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has decided not to play in the 2013 All-Star Game because of tightness in his neck. The Auburndale native and former UW-Stevens Point pitcher will, however, take his family to the event at Citi Field in New York and suit up for the National League in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.
Zimmermann had an MRI exam taken on Friday, and it revealed that he had an issue with some soft tissues in the neck, according to manager Davey Johnson. Zimmermann last pitched on Thursday, throwing 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs in a 3-1 loss to the Phillies.
"I rather be healthy than go out there and just pitch one inning and then have the whole second half shot," Zimmermann said. "I think taking a few days off, no throwing and rest, we'll be good to go."
Zimmermann has had problems with the neck since the middle of May. He woke up one day and the neck started to hurt.
"I don't know if I strained a muscle or what the deal is," Zimmermann said. "I would wake up in the morning and it would be pretty stiff. As the day goes on, it gets better. Obviously, looking towards home, looking to first, I can feel the tightness in [the neck]. I don't think it affects anything, but it's a nuisance."
The injury hasn't hurt the pitcher's stats. Zimmermann has pitched in 19 games and is 12-4 with a 2.58 ERA.
Johnson spoke to Giants and NL manager Bruce Bochy on Friday afternoon and recommended that Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg or Rafael Soriano be considered for the All-Star team.
EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River's annual Paul Bunyan Fest brings out thousands of people. This year was no exception. Organizers say about 3,000 people filled the streets of downtown Eagle River on Wednesday.
The 37th annual Paul Bunyan Fest featured chainsaw carving demonstrations, more than 80 arts and craft booths, and music.
RHINELANDER - You probably wouldn't consider a dark, smelly alley an ideal place to sit and relax. Maggie Steffen agrees, which is why she's planning to transform an alley on Brown Street in Rhinelander.
Steffen plans to tackle the project in three phases. Phase one is lighting the alley, which sits between The Brick restaurant and Bath and Body Creations. Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. agreed to pay about $2,800 for five LED lights if the city would pay for the electricity.
RHINELANDER - DNR Furbearer Research Scientist Dr. Nathan Roberts calls bobcats "a conservation success story." Their population numbers are up across the United States.
The DNR doubled the harvest quota this year at 750 bobcats because of that healthy population size.
"While the population's grown, we've also increased our understanding of bobcats considerably. Working together with hunters and trappers across the state we've increased our understanding of bobcats and our ability to monitor bobcats," said Roberts.
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