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.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
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