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Aaron Barrett and Brandon Barnes pay tribute to '13 NLCS with another epic pregame standoff

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During Game 6 of last year's NLCS, the Dodgers' Scott Van Slyke and the Cardinals' Joe Kelly engaged in a competition befitting the highest levels of postseason play: an impromptu standoff, in which both refused to budge from their national anthem positions on the field.

On Wednesday, the Nationals' Aaron Barrett and the Rockies' Brandon Barnes did the same thing in Denver. The competition was fierce, and each competitor was receiving all kinds of support from his teammates. Barnes was given sunscreen (important at high altitudes) and dried off with a towel. Barrett received swigs of energy drinks, a protective helmet and even an impassioned pep talk from Nats first-base coach Tony Tarasco.

standoff

standoff

standoff

Ultimately, Barnes succumbed to the same pitfall that Kelly did: stationed on the infield grass, he was simply much farther from the dugout than Barrett was. First-base umpire Jordan Baker ordered Barnes off his position with one of those super-loud finger-aided whistles (you don't want to mess with those) while Barrett remained at his post right by the dugout railing in order to claim victory.

"We all know where we're at, and how tough it's been," Walt Weiss said. "It's tough to have fun, but they're still trying to find a way to enjoy being out there and competing and not lose sight of that. I think that was part of it, the Barnes staredown before the game."

Long live this brilliant and bizarre new NL tradition.


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