Ian Desmond is hoping to get a boost from a chance meeting with Cal Ripken Jr. amid a disappointing season.
"The other day, I was walking to the park, and Cal Ripken was out there signing autographs in the parking lot," Desmond said. "He kind of grabbed me, and he said, 'Hey, back in '93, through the first 80 games, I was hitting .199.' He said, 'I finished with a pretty good year. You're going to be all right.' And that kind of gave me a little bit of hope. If he did it and grinded through it, I can too."
Desmond is hitting .208 this season after going 2-for-4 against the New York Mets on Monday night.
The Washington Nationals gave Desmond a couple days off the past month as a mental break. The shortstop also made six errors in eight games early in the season.