Everyone expects a power display from Harper, but he showed he can use his intelligence as well. He reached base three times yesterday once by bunt and twice by walk. With his power the third baseman has to play back and a bunt hit could be just like a crane kick, if done right no can defense. --Robert Emrich from mlb.com
For some unknown reason one of my friend's really liked Cristian Guzman, but even he was frustrated after a Friday night loss to the Orioles because of Guzman's attempt at a 6-4-10 double play. It is just funny that that play is mentioned to discredit Dunn's defense, which isn't good, but Guzman is no prized defender either. Anyway, we all know why Dunn should be brought back, but here are some reasons the Nationals might want to head in a different direction. --Bill Ladson from nationals.com
Back to Dunn for a minute, or the hole he will leave. If Aubrey Huff is the replacement it could bring an entire new meaning to get your red on. --Twitpic of Huff and the rally thong
Just for fun a look back at when Mr. National was 21, a Marlin, and threw 96. It is interesting to note the description of Livo pitching with a calm cool demeanor even as a young fireballer. --S.L. Price from the si.com vault
The Nationals said Strasburg going down didn't alter any of their plans for the off-season, but did it, or more aptly, should it have as the Nationals don't look likely to bring back Adam Dunn or to add any other big pieces. Also the Giants might not be the model to emulate that people think they are. --Dave Nichols at natsnewsnetwork.com
As far as position players went the Giants caught lightining in a bottle, but it is enough to make people hopeful. --nationalsreview.com
More news and notes after the jump.
Rumors, rumors everywhere and not a one to be believed. Or could it be that the Nationals really are ready to make Cliff Lee an offer he can't refuse and pray he doesn't turn into a Mike Hampton or Barry Zito? --Jon Heyman from si.com
Zack Greinke doesn't like pressure and would much rather not pitch in New York, but would he be willing to pitch in Washington, and do the Nationals even have the prospects to entertain this idea? --Craig Calcaterra at nbcsports.com
Around the NL East
Everyone is talking about the great drafts of the Giants and how they have really built through the farm system. This thinking might be misguided as they really had no interest in draft picks at certain points in the building process. --Jeff Passan from yahoosports.com
Ever wonder what it takes to get into the Winter Meetings. The answer looks to be quite simple. About $1,000.00 and approval from MLB and MiLB. --Maury Brown at fangraphs.com
There was once a real life girl that struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and then was promptly banned from baseball. The story of Jackie Mitchell inspired Joseph Wallace to create the character of Ruby and his novel Diamond Ruby. --James Baily from baseballamerica.com
Saw something interesting last night on Twitter and was wondering if anyone else has heard anything more concrete. A fan asked a baseball writer if the Braves should acquire Markakis. Now I could find anything on the Orioles even being interested in shopping him and I don't see why they would. He is one of the best Right Fielders in baseball, and part of their young core. I am just wondering if this was wishful thinking on the part of a Braves fan, and he also wanted the Braves to move Markakis to left or if their is a real rumor out there, because I can't think of another rightfielder I would rather have.