Doug Harris, 51, who pitched for James Madison, has left the front office of the Washington Nationals to focus on his fight with leukemia, the Washington Post reported this week.
Harris pitched in the minors for the Royals, Marlins and Orioles after he was drafted by Kansas City in the fourth round in 1990 out of JMU. He worked in scouting with Texas and Cleveland before joining Washington.
Harris was the former farm director for the Nationals and has been Assistant General Manager & Vice President, Player Personnel. The Carlisle, Pennsylvania resident was teammates at JMU with Jeff Garber, who works with infielders in the Washington system.
Both won rings as part of the Washington World Series win in 2019.
"Watching it from a different lens is not very easy, because I’ve been invested,” Harris told the paper of taking a break. “So it’s hard to kind of go halfway. I’m so thankful that the staff and everybody who has tried to — they haven’t forgotten me. That camaraderie is probably the thing that I miss the most, not just with the staff but with the players. Those interactions, I really cherish them.”
Harris first felt ill in 2015 while mowing his yard after a return from the Arizona Fall League. "My lawnmower felt like it weighed 1,000 pounds," he told this reporter in 2019 while with the Nationals in Pittsburgh. He played for the Turks while at JMU.
Scherzer Exits Early
Max Scherzer, the current ace of the Nationals, had to leave his start on Friday night at home against the Giants after 12 pitches in a 1-0 loss.
The right-hander left in the top of the first and was replaced by Paolo Espino. There was no immediate word on his health - replays showed his trying to stretch out his right leg.
"All of a sudden I felt my groin tweak on me. The good news is that it is not a muscle strain. I am really day-to-day. Fortunately, it is not as worse than it is. I was very confident this was very mild. We will see tomorrow," Scherzer told reporters late Friday night.
The St. Louis native in the last year of his seven-year contract and turns 37 next month. Pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals is already on the Injured List. The last-place Nats are 25-34.
"I love having fans at the game," Nats' Espino said after the game. Friday was the first time Nationals Park was allowed to be at full capacity since the 2019 World Series, though the weather kept down the attendance.
Tommy La Stella of the Giants played in the Valley League (Haymarket, 2009) while in college at Coastal Carolina. He is on the 60-day Injured List with a .235 average.
The Orioles played Friday at Tampa Bay and former Valley League player Mike Brosseau (Waynesboro) started at third for the Rays. Trey Mancini hit his 12th homer in the third for the Orioles in the 4-2 loss.
Pagan With Padres
Emilio Pagan, who also pitched for the Harrisonburg Turks while in college, has been a workhorse in the San Diego bullpen this year.
In games through Thursday, the right-hander had appeared in 27 games and was 3-0 with an ERA of 2.88. The San Diego bullpen includes a pair of former Nationals - Craig Stammen and Mark Melancon.
Pagan was drafted out of Belmont Abbey of North Carolina by Seattle in the 10th round in 2013.
Former Turks' pitcher Brandon Gold is at Triple-A in the Colorado system. He had a 6.31 ERA this year after pitching Sunday.
First Tee of the Shenandoah Valley has awarded its Michael L. Carrier Scholarship of $1,000 to Jaiden Brooks, the sixth recipient of the honor.
A senior this year at Harrisonburg, Brooks plans to play soccer at Frostburg State - a school in western Maryland (that recently made the move from Division III to Division II), Tom Tatersall, the executive director of First Tee-Shenandoah Valley, told the News-Record on Friday.
Irvine: Hot Start
Spotswood graduate Cam Irvine, who played this spring for High Point in baseball, scored four runs with just one hit for Strasburg on Wednesday in a Valley League Baseball game.
Irvine was 1-for-3 and drew three walks in the game. The Penn Laird product was 6-for-14 in his first four games with a double in each contest.
New Coach At BC
Ashley Hughes is the new women's lacrosse coach at Bridgewater College. She comes from Allegheny College, her alma mater in Meadville, Penn., where she posted a mark of 61-52.
"I am thrilled to join the Bridgewater lacrosse community," said Hughes on the school athletic website. "Thank you to [athletic director] Curt Kendall and the search committee for offering me the opportunity. The program has a high ceiling and I cannot wait to get to work in building a strong team culture and a program that can be a top competitor in the ODAC."
She replaces Rachel Bragg, who was named the BC coach in 2017.
In BC soccer, Sydney Davis, Hanna Randolph and Emily York have received the United Soccer Coaches 2020-21 College Player Award of Distinction this week. The Eagles won the ODAC title this season.
In golf, BC senior Ronald Uszenski has been named to the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State second team. He is the first BC mens' golfer to gain all-state honors since 2013.
The University of Virginia baseball team will begin a Super Regional on Saturday against Dallas Baptist. The game will on ESPNU at noon.
Major League players this year from Dallas Baptist include Seth Elledge, a pitcher with the Cardinals; and Drew Smith, a pitcher with the Mets.
Virginia has several alums in the majors, including Ryan Zimmerman of Washington. Among former Cavs who have made their debut this year is Alexandria native Alec Bettinger, a pitcher with the Brewers; and Richmond native Daniel Lynch, a pitcher with the Royals.
The Virginia Sports Information Directors University volleyball all-state honors included JMU's Miëtte Veldman was named Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year was Lauren Steinbrecher of JMU.
Sophia Davis and Savannah Marshall of JMU gained all-state second-team honors.
The Major League player's strike 40 years ago began on June 12, 1981 - hours after the Orioles' game in Seattle ended. The strike lasted 50 days and more than 700 games.
Due to rain, Elkton at Montezuma and Grottoes at Clover Hill were postponed on Friday. Bridgewater at Stuarts Draft was also called off, with makeup slated for Sunday at 6:30 p.m.