SCOTTSDALE AZ - OCTOBER 23: Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper #34 playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions walks back to the dugout after striking out during the AZ Fall League game against the Phoenix Desert Dogs at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23 2010 in Scottsdale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper made his second start over the weekend going 2-4 and refusing to be humbled. So far Harper has impressed in the AFL and is living up to the insane level of hype that has been piled on him. --Byron Kerr from masnsports.com
Forgotten in all the Bryce Harper hype is the fact that Derek Norris is tearing up the AFL. He hit his second homer over the weekend, and is looking like something special in MLB's finishing school. --John Parker from mlb.com
A list of former Expos and one former Nat that are in the World Series. Try to name the four before clicking on the link. The tricky one isn't who you think. --Ted Youngling at thenatsblog.com
As the Phillies get older and the contracts start catching up to them the division could be ripe for the taking in 2012, and the Nationals off-season moves should keep that in mind. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
There were times last season that Bernadina looked impressive and the flashes of talent shown through. My personaly theory is he started and finished slow all due to the leg injury, but either way he looks to have earned a spot on the 2011 Nationals whether as a starter or bench player will be determined by off-season moves. --natstown.mlblogs.com
The model for success in building a baseball team is no secret. Build from within and add key free agents and trade pieces along the way. It is the model the Phillies used to get good and it is a path that the Nationals look to be on. --David Aldridge at tbd.com
Lots of interesting news over the weekend and sadly none of it had to do with the Nats and the resigning of Adam Dunn who is looking like a Cub or Tiger at this point. World Series news and other interesting tidbits after the jump.
Around the NL East
F. Scott Fitzgerald was famous for noting that rich people are different. That their problems are not our problems, and so it is that Logan Morrison to prove he is a hard working man like any other blue collar chap tweets a picture of his jacked up Lexus. --Barry Petchesky from deadspin.com
Just like rich people's problems are different so are good baseball teams. I seriously can't believe the line exists that the Phillies rotation has a problem after its three aces. Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick are just like any other back of the rotation starters. The main point is the Phillies are getting older and will soon all be in their 30's, and then will start going downhill five years from now when they are 35. The window might be closing, but I don't exactly think it is slamming shut. --Joe Lemire at si.com
The last time this happenned to me was Spurs vs. Pistons, but once again I got the finals match-up that my heart desired and the networks feared, and it is all thanks to a bunch of rejects, knuckleheads, and misfits by the bay, and of course this can only mean more Jon Miller. --Henry Schulman from sfgate.com
The big talk about Cliff Lee is the debate if it is all about the money or if he would prefer to go to a winner. Well, he might not have to go anywhere to be on a winning team. --Tim Cowlishaw dallasnews.com
I decided to save the restaurant review for the end today. I will keep it brief and just say on your next trip to the Verizon Center allow some time and stop by the new Cuba Libre at the corner of 9th and H N.W. for what might be the best Cuban I have ever had. I really haven't made up my mind yet. I might need to head back to Padrino's in Orlando to really figure this out. The service at Cuba Libre was out of this world. Traffic on 66 was much worse than expected and I didn't get my car parked until 6:30. I was out of the restaurant by 6:50 and actually made it to my seat in time for the drop of the puck. Simply amazing. I didn't get to sample any of the rum or the mojitos, but I will be going back.