Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper Keeps Hitting, Davey Johnson's Return Returns.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 01: Manager Davey Johnson #5 and hitting coach Rick Eckstein #4 of the Washington Nationals talk before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on July 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• AFL UPDATE: Bryce Harper didn't homer for the fourth straight game on Monday, but he did extend his hit streak to ten straight games by going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI's in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 8-5 loss to the Surprise Saguaros. Over the course of the hit streak, the 19-year-old Washington Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick has 15 hits (three doubles, a triple and four home runs) in 39 at bats (.385/.444/.821) to lift his AFL slash to .276/.348/.569 in 15 games and 58 at bats. Harper was the only Nats' prospect in action in Arizona. There was no Winter League action anywhere on Monday. The big news in NatsTown was the official announcement that Davey Johnson will return to the bench in the nation's capital in 2012. Here's what folks had to say about the Nats' Skipper coming back...

• THE BIG STORY: 

• "'(Johnson) gave us every opportunity to win,' Lannan said. 'He let our talents show on the field. I liked the way he allowed the starters to go out a little deeper in games.'" - "Lannan: Johnson is 'best out there to lead us'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• NATS BEAT: 

• "In the 11 years Johnson wasn’t managing in the majors, we kept running into each other. Each time, I was certain he’d never manage again." - "With Davey Johnson back, Nationals will be fun and fascinating" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals finished 80-81 last season, including 14-4 over their final 18 games, best in the major leagues over that span." - "Davey Johnson says the Nationals can win the pennant" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

 • "Now [Davey] Johnson can set about putting his stamp on a team he spent much of the 2011 season trying to shape the best way he saw fit." - "Johnson to stay on with Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Ankiel, Nix and Gomes all contributed in various ways this season. All three were well-liked in the clubhouse." - "Which free agents should the Nats re-sign?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Davey Johnson loves everything about Stephen Strasburg: the right-hander's effective arsenal of pitches, the way he goes into attack mode, his focus and determination." - "Johnson: Strasburg will follow doctor's orders, club's innings edict" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

•"[Pat] Corrales had three tenures as Washington’s bench coach. Besides Johnson, Corrales worked in a similar role for Manny Acta and Jim Riggleman." - "Nats looking for bench coach; Corrales re-assigned" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• "At 68, Johnson is a year older than Tony La Russa, who announced his retirement Monday, three days after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series title." - "Nationals keep Davey Johnson as manager for 2012" - Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press/Washington Examiner

• "[Davey] Johnson's goal for 2012 is simple: He wants to win the National League pennant." - "Davey Johnson returns for 2012" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama): "It is necessary to help others in our daily lives, merely praying for them isn't enough."

• "Still, not a single National found his name on the list ESPN released Monday." - "No Nationals on list of finalists for 2011 Gold Glove Award" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Pat Corrales, 70, is stepping away from the bench coach’s job, which will be filled by a younger coach who could potentially replace Davey Johnson as the Nationals’ long-term manager after the 2012 or 2013 season." - "Pat Corrales to be replaced as Nationals bench coach" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Davey Johnson knew for sure he wanted to return to manage the Nationals during the final weeks of September, as his club surged toward its best record in six years." - "Johnson back as Nats manager" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "Right-hander Livan Hernandez has said he wants to come back, and would do so as a reliever. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez has said he would prefer to stay in Washington, as well..." - "Sizing up the Nationals' free agents (updated with Elias rankings)" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "In 2011, for the second time in his career, Johnson took a big league manager's job in the middle of a season. He did the same with Cincinnati in 1993, and one season later, his Reds finished atop the NL Central..." - "Davey Johnson to manage Nationals next season" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals, for the first time in their seven-year history, do not have a protected first round draft pick -- the breaks for finishing the season 80-81." - "None of Nationals' eight free agents qualify as Type A or Type B" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "... there is 'nothing substantial' brewing between the Nationals and Nix at this time, Nix’s agent Don Mitchell said." - "Nationals’ Laynce Nix drawing interest" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The announcement was one of baseball's worst-kept secrets, shrouded only by an arcane Major League Baseball rule that prohibits clubs from breaking major news during marquee events like the World Series." - "Johnson knew he'd return as Nats' skipper - with high expectations" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "It helped that during spring training Rizzo saw Johnson coaching with a renewed vigor, rarely without a bat in his hand to work out young infielders." - "Johnson returns to Nationals for 2012" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "Relief pitchers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, second baseman Danny Espinosa and first baseman Michael Morse are all nominated for this year's GIBBY Awards." - "Quartet of Nationals nominated for GIBBY Awards" - Nate Mink, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals face a stretch in June 2012 when they take on the Red Sox (June 8-10 at Boston), go to Toronto (June 11-13) and then host the Yankees (June 15-17) and Tampa Bay (June 19-21)." - "Nationals' 2012 interleague schedule no easy task" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Technically, the plans to finalize the roster to reach those goals will start immediately. The Nationals must deal with their eight free agents and prepare their wish list for when the market opens Thursday." - "Johnson wants a pennant for Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NATSTOWN: 

• "He spoke glowingly about the overall talent level, but stressed that the Nats still needed work in several areas, including getting better reaching base and cutting down on the record number of strikeouts the team had last season." - "Winning the National League' is Davey Johnson’s goal in 2012" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Key Stat: 17. This is the number of stolen bases that Bernadina had this year, in part time action. He was tied with Espinosa for 3rd on the club." - "A Few Good Men: 15 - Bernadina" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "2012 should be a big year for the Nationals. Many believe that it will be their first winning season in Washington. And if it is, that would be quite a coincidence, as it would be exactly 100 years after Washington baseball’s FIRST first winning season." - "In 2012, Nationals Should Honor 1912" - The Nationals Review

• "Winter League Roundup" - NationalsProspects.com

• "Apart from being 100% expected, this is fine. Any manager who isn't purely a placeholder deserves at least one full season." - "Meet the New Boss, Etc." - Nate, Nats Triple Play

• "Color me surprised -_-: the Nationals have extended Davey Johnson’s option and he will return to manage the team in 2012." - "Nats Extend Johnson As Manager" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "In perhaps the least surprising news of the organization's offseason, Davey Johsonson will return to manage the Washington Nationals in 2012." - "Davey Johnson Predicts Pennant for Nationals in 2012" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Davey immediately set the bar pretty low for what he expects out of the Nats in 2012..." - "Another year of Daveyball" - Nats Enquirer

• "TOTALLY READY FOR NEXT SEASON, YOU GUYS!" - Washington NationLOLs

• "People Do Nats For Halloween Or Just In Their Spare Time – UPDATED" - DangerNat, Nationals Inquisition

• "One thing is clear.  The Nationals have substantial young arms ready to go and some decisions will have to be made on which ones arrive in Washington at the beginning of April." - "Davey Johnson to return to Nats" - Mark Buterbaugh, DC Pro Sports Report

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

• Marlins: "No National Leaguer missed on more swings than Stanton last season. Strangely enough, he’s not a line drive guy either (16.4% career, average is about 19%)." - "Stanton, Pence, Bruce & Bourn: Tier 3 NL OF Keepers" - Eno Sarris, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• Mets: "After hitting the fourth-fewest home runs in the National League this past season, the New York Mets will be moving the outfield walls at Citi Field closer to home plate." - "Punchless Mets to move Citi Field walls in" - Baseball Wires - MiamiHerald.com

Phillies"Over the last few days, I’ve listened to and heard the off-season blueprints of many a fan and pundit. Surprisingly (at least to me), Heath Bell‘s name was brought up in quite a few of them." - "Just Say No to Heath Bell" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Braves: "The Braves have acquired left-handed pitcher Chris Jones from the Indians in exchange for right-handed pitcher Derek Lowe and cash considerations." - "Braves and Indians Announce Two-Player Trade" - braves.com: Official Info

• Your Daily Message From SI.com's Joe Posnanski: "I suspect that sports, like life, have always been filled with glory seekers, shortcut takers and coaches who coach not to lose." - "Play. Win. Game." - Joe Posnanski, SI.com

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