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Cooperstown on a Sunday morning

What a place. What an amazing place. I'll get back to that in a minute.

Obviously this crew knows the Dmitri deal finally was announced. I'm interested in exploring this more after we get past the trade deadline and we know what moves they have made and what their team looks like headed into the final two months of the season. And obviously, the more you look at Nick Johnson's situation, the more it seems he simply won't play this year, particularly because the minor league seasons end around Sept. 1, and he'd need some rehab games first. Amazing, thinking back to that day last September, when Ben Shaffer, the team's head orthopedist, said Johnson would be ready for Opening Day.

Tim Redding and Joel Hanrahan: Authors of the latest surprising pitching performances by Nats' starters this year. Get another one from Billy Traber today, and they could take three of four from the Mets at Shea? Unbelievable.

So I leave y'all the keys and tell you to hold down the fort, and everybody piles in, taps the keg and starts ripping the decorating job. I mean, could we have more discussion about how the Post handles the Nationals on a Post blog? My goodness.

Not my place to get involved, I suppose.

On to this wondrous place, briefly. Went to the Hall yesterday, which is always great. I had the opportunity to read from my book here last year, which was an incredible honor, and I was pleased to see they still have it in the bookstore. Our amazing photographer, Jonathan Newton, has not one but two photos in the gallery back near the writers' and broadcasters' wing, a portrait of Hank Aaron and a shot of a roiling sky over Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Quite a thrill for him to see them in the Hall, and I took his picture in front of one of them.

First Hall of Famer I saw in town: Frank Robinson. We chatted briefly, but he sped off in a golf cart, screaming behind him, "I need to talk to you." (Well, then, why are you driving away?)

Last night, there was a reception in the actual Hall where all the plaques hang on the wall. I'm not one to get all starry-eyed at all, but when that collection of people is just wandering around -- Reggie Jackson and Jim Palmer and Mike Schmidt and Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley and Yogi Berra and Bobby Doerr and Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver and Don Sutton and Earl Weaver and Frank Robinson and Lou Brock and Dave Winfield and Tony Gwynn and Bud Selig and Joe Morgan and on and on and on -- it's pretty remarkable. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and columnist George Will also on hand.

Talked to Sutton for a while. He told a story that when he was in Cooperstown in the spring before his induction, he was standing near the place where his plaque was going to be. He felt someone brush up against him. But when he turned around, his family was clear across the room. There was no one around. "I don't believe in ghosts," Sutton said, "but I do here."

So talked to Frank again at the reception, but briefly. Kept getting interrupted. Bud. Richard Gere. (Seriously. I mean, who's he to shove me out of the way?) Anyway, planning on catching up more today. He appears in good health just more than a month from his 72nd birthday.

OK, time to get ready for the ceremony. Looking forward to it. And thanks to O's beat writer Adam Kilgore for filling in at Shea yesterday.

By Barry Svrluga  |  July 29, 2007; 10:34 AM ET
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