Wire Taps: Wilson Ramos Returns To Washington, Nationals Name Randy Knorr Bench Coach.

• Washington Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos will be in the nation's capital this afternoon where he'll meet with the press at noon for a brief conversation. The 24-year-old backstop is back in Washington to see team doctors and talk to the Nats after his recent well-publicized kidnapping ordeal. Ramos plans to return to action in Venezuela next week, but Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said that the team wanted to meet with their young catcher before he returns to action in his home country. More on what Ramos had to say later afternoon. Last night the big story was the announcement that Randy Knorr was named Davey Johnson's bench coach...

• THE BIG STORKNORR-Y: 

• "[Randy] Knorr’s experience in the minor leagues with the Nationals young core makes him a compelling possible heir to Johnson..." - "Randy Knorr hired as Nationals bench coach" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The former big-league catcher, who spent 19 seasons with five organizations, knows the Nationals' system well..." - "Nats name Knorr bench coach" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'I’m excited,' Knorr said in a phone interview. 'Getting the chance to work with Davey and [Nationals general manager] Mike Rizzo and the rest of the coaching staff in September was great....'" - "Washington Nationals promote Randy Knorr to bench coach" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals had a promising 2011 season, and most of the coaching staff that helped make it happen will return in 2012." - "Nationals bring back most of coaching staff" - Doug Miller, nationals.com: News

• "As a manager for parts of six seasons in Washington's minor league system, Knorr has previously worked with 24 of the 32 players on the Nats' 40-man roster." - "Nationals name Knorr bench coach" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "[Randy Knorr] previously served as the bullpen coach under Frank Robinson for the final three months of the 2006 season, and for the entire 2009 campaign under Manny Acta." - "Knorr joins Johnson's staff as bench coach" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "'I just think it's gives them a comfort level and a chance to see what I can do with (the players) at that level,'" Knorr said." - "Nationals name Randy Knorr as Davey Johnson's bench coach" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Since he was rescued by Venezuelan authorities in an action movie-like scene late last Friday night, Ramos has maintained his desire to keep his commitment to the Tigres de Aragua..." - Wilson Ramos back in D.C., will be examined by Nationals team doctors - Washington Times

• ""'I will remember all the ties I have to Washington, all my ties with the people in the organization I was blessed to meet,' Kimball said. 'It will be sad to leave them.'" - "Kimball said it's 'tough' to leave Nationals" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Venezuelan authorities formally charged eight suspects Wednesday in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos." - "Venezuela authorities charge 8 in Ramos kidnapping" - Jorge Rueda, AP/Washington Times

• "Wilson Ramos is scheduled to be at Nationals Park today, his first appearance in Washington since last week's harrowing abduction in his native Venezuela." - "Ramos back at Nationals Park today" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "I think they've got what a lot of teams strive for," said Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, formerly the Diamondbacks' scouting director. "They've got waves of their own coming..." - "Diamondbacks' Kevin Towers leaves GM, owners meetings optimistic" - Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news." 

• BRYCE HARPER/AFL/WINTER LEAGUES: 

• "[Alex] Meyer, at 6-foot-9 and 220 lbs., could be an imposing force in the Nationals' rotation once he gains experience and consistency." - "Baseball America's top Nats prospects - No. 6: Alex Meyer" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "As of this afternoon, Bryce Harper can close the book on his first full professional season." - "Bryce Harper finishes his Arizona Fall League season" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "In short, the Nationals' opinion of Harper hasn't changed one bit based on his play this fall. He remains the crown jewel of their farm system..." - "AFL season wraps up today" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Arizona Fall League has long had a reputation as a hitter-friendly circuit, and the 2011 season confirmed that, almost to an extreme." - "Nationals' Bryce Harper heads list of Arizona Fall League prospects" - Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: News

 Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Obregon 2, Hermosillo 7 - Zech Zinicola (HER) - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 K - Box Score.

 Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Magallanes 7, Caracas 2 - Jesus Flores (MAG)- 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI's; Henry Rodriguez - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB; Josh Wilkie - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 HR - Box Score.

• NATSTOWN: 

• "is Part II of my Q&A with Michael Jong from Fish Stripes as part of our Around The League series. In case you missed it, here is Part I of the interview." - "Around The League: Fish Stripes Q&A Part II" - Ted Youngling, The Nats Blog

• "The Nationals have been talking about using Mark Buehrle to fill the 'innings eating old guy' need that Rizzo has proclaimed." - "4 Years Later, I Still Say Sign Him" - The Nationals Review

• "The Washington Nationals named Randy Knorr as the Bench Coach for the 2012 season." - "Randy Knorr Named Nats’ Bench Coach" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Todd Coffey - Age 31 - 6 Years MLB Service. How He Became A Nat: Signed a 1-year deal January 24th." - "A Few Good Men: 28 - Coffey" - Sean, Capitol Baseball

• "Ladies and gentlemen, we're calling it early: your starting right fielder for the 2012 Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper." - "Bryce Harper seemed pretty happy to be done with the Arizona Fall League" - Nats Enquirer

• "Minor-League Signings" - NationalsProspects.com

• "AFL Finale: November 18, 2011" - NationalsProspects.com

• MLB NEWS: 

• "If you root for, say, the Colorado Rockies, what is the difference between playing the Washington Nationals or the Minnesota Twins? Fans will quickly get used to daily interleague play." - "Sale of Astros Gets Baseball’s Ducks in a Row" - Tyler Kepner, NYTimes.com

• "I had a vote for this year's Cy Young so, for transparency sake, here's the way I voted with a brief bit of my reasoning..." - "Breaking down one writer's ballot for the NL Cy Young" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "So the Astros, as part of their sale to businessman Jim Crane, have agreed to relocate to the AL West beginning in 2013." - "Thoughts on realignment, more wild-cards" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig made two announcements today at the close of the owners meetings that will significantly alter the competitive shape of the sport." - "Houston Astros shifting to AL; wild-card teams added" - Adam Kilgore, Baseball Insider - The Washington Post

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Phillies: "The Philadelphia Phillies have re-signed backup catcher Brian Schneider to a one-year contract, worth $800,000." - "Philadelphia Phillies re-sign veteran catcher Brian Schneider" - AP/SI.com

Marlins/Mets: "Sandy Alderson began chatting with the agents for relievers (Frank Francisco and Matt Capps among them), the second-most important process of his offseason." - "Miami Marlins entertain Jose Reyes while NY Mets look for relief in bullpen" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves"In 2011, no one was used more in a pinch than Eric Hinske and Brooks Conrad. Both were brought back following the 2010 season to provide reliable off-the-bench offense once again." - "2011 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Eric Hinske and Brooks Conrad" - TonyAlmeyda, Talking Chop

• Marlins: "The Marlins have a definite need in center field and could gamble on a Sizemore revival by offering a one-year deal on the cheap." - "Marlins Offseason Success Plan: Cespedes or Sizemore?" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

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