Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Lunchtime Links - Bryce Harper Homers, Michael Morse vs The World.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals hits a double in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Bryce Harper did it again, homering for the fourth time in five games and the fifth time in his last ten. Harper's 2 for 4 night and two RBI's for Scottsdale in what ended up a 6-4 Scorpions' win over the Peoria Javelinas, has the 19-year-old outfielder at .290/.357/.613 after 16 games and 62 at bats. Derek Norris was 1 for 3 with an RBI and a walk. Zach Walters was 1 for 3. They were the only Nats' prospects in action in the AFL. Harper and Norris were both named to the Arizona Fall League's East division's Rising Stars' roster. The People's Champion Michael Morse was back in action in Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in the Xinzhuang District of New Taipei City, Taiwan, where a team of MLB players took on the Chinese Taipei national team in the first game of a five-game Taiwan All-Star Series...

• THE BIG STORY: 

• Taiwan Series: MORSE CRUSH!!: Morse rips a double for a run in the fifth inning - Video | nationals.com: Multimedia

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Morse doubled home the Yankees' Curtis Granderson - who had hit a grand slam in the third inning - in the fifth." - "Morse gets RBI double in opener of Taiwan series" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "'I feel like Brad Pitt or something,' Morse said." - "Nats teammates glad to take in Taiwan" - Doug Miller, nationals.com: News

• "[Harper] slammed another home run for the Scottsdale Scorpions last night, giving him five homers and 17 RBIs over his last eight games. (Per ESPN’s Jason Grey, General Manager Mike Rizzo was there watching in person.)" - "How Bryce Harper’s Arizona Fall League performance can affect the Nationals’ offseason plans" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals’ recent history, going back to their $180 million bid for Mark Teixeira in 2008, suggests they should not be counted out of anything." - "Washington Nationals might make less of a splash this offseason" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The on-the-rise Nationals could use a shortstop and top-of-the-order spark plug to go along with future stars Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg." - "Ranking the top free agents in baseball - Ben Reiter, SI.com

•"Based on the seemingly endless string of flashy plays Danny Espinosa made at second base in 2011, Nationals fans were hoping - expecting?..." - "Was Danny Espinosa snubbed in Gold Glove consideration?" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have not indicated if they will pursue Sizemore in free agency, but they have identified filling their need in center fielder as a top priority." - "Grady Sizemore ‘not limiting his choices’ in free agency" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "This much we can say with a fair amount of certainty: The Nationals' payroll should increase next season, perhaps by a significant amount, depending on what moves Rizzo makes this winter." - "'12 payroll should increase" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "For a 68-year-old who hadn’t managed in the majors for 11 years, Johnson showed a remarkable knack for relating to a new generation of players..." - "Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen on the Nationals bringing back Davey Johnson" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "But what if the Mariners hadn't swept the Athletics that weekend? Had they lost all three games, they would have finished 58-104, 1 1/2 games worse than the Nationals." - "What if ... the Nationals hadn't landed the No. 1 pick in 2009?" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "We should not only cease our negative activities, but also the motivation that gives rise to them."

• AFL Updates: 

• "Two of the top Nationals prospects, Bryce Harper and catcher Derek Norris, have been named to the East squad for the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game..." - "Bryce Harper and Derek Norris named to AFL Rising Stars Game" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'I'm pretty excited,' Harper said. 'It's going to be fun, entertaining for the fans, to be around the top guys from around the world, basically.'" - "AFL unveils rosters for Rising Stars Game" - Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: News

• "Harper, MLB.com's No. 2 prospect, smacked a two-run homer in the eighth inning of the Scottsdale Scorpions' 9-5 Arizona Fall League victory over the Salt River Rafters on Friday." - "Harper stays scorching hot in desert heat" - Ashley Marshall, nationals.com: News

• Arizona Fall League: Bryce Harper - 2 for 4, HR (5), 2 RBIs; Derek Norris - 1 for 1 RBI, 1 BB; Zach Walters - 1 for 3, 1 K - AFL Box Score.

• "Scottsdale Scorpions right-hander Patrick Lehman believes the mechanical adjustment recently implemented by pitching coach Paul Menhart is having a positive effect on his delivery." - "Lehman believes adjustment is helping delivery; also working on slider" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• WINTER LEAGUE NATS:

 Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Naranjeros de Hermosillo -Zech Zinicola - 1.0 IP, 0 H - Box Score.

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Navegantes del Magallanes 5, Cardenales de Lara 3; Jesus Flores - 1 for 4, 2 K's - Box Score.

 Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Tiburones de La Guaira 14, Leones del Caracas 4; Henry Blanco 2 for 5, 2 2B, 1 K -Box Score.

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Caribes de Anzoategui 1, Bravos de Margarita 0 - Ryan Tatusko 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K's, 10/2 GO/FO - Box Score.

 Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Tigres del Licey 3, Toros del Este 5; (LIC) Chris Marrero -1 for 4, 1 R, 2 K's - Box Score.

 Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Leones del Escogido 3, Gigantes del Cibao 2, (ESC) Eury Perez - 1 for 3, 1 BB - Box Score.

• NATSTOWN: 

• "... and good to see Morse is still keeping with his yoga poses before each at bat." - "Here's Michael Morse doing his pre-AB yoga thing in Taiwan" - Nats Enquirer

• "In 2011, Alex Cora was brought onto the Nationals to give them more depth." - "Nats 2011 Grades: Alex Cora" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• "Season Review: 2011 Harrisburg Senators" - NationalsProspects.com

• "As the World Series ends, and as clubs start exercising (or more importantly, declining) player options, the FA market for starting pitching is starting to really take shape this off season." - "2011 FA Market Analysis and Predictions for Starting Pitching" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Arizona Fall League numbers certainly don't translate to what his MLB numbers will be right off the bat, but pure domination of an entire level of Major League-caliber players is certainly worth noting." - "Bryce Harper's Bat Explodes In Arizona Fall League" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "Dwight Gooden has remained a Mets fan ever since his playing days ended, but his gut instinct tells him that Jose Reyes will be playing for another team next season." - "Gooden on Reyes: 'I think he's gone'" - Mike Mazzeo, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Phillies: "Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco won his third career Rawlings Gold Glove Award on Tuesday night." - "Placido Polanco's third Gold Glove puts him in elite company" - Bill Ladson, phillies.com: News

Braves: "'If I was at third and they hit a ball to left field, I’d just run out to get the ball,' [Chrisitan] Bethancourt said, smiling. "My mom told me, ‘You’ve got to stay at your position.’" - "Bethancourt: strong-armed catching prospect on rise" - David O'Brien, ajc.com

Marlins: "The free agent signing period — baseball’s hunting season — opens at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, and the historically tight-fisted Marlins won’t be lying low like they have in the past." - "An active offseason looms for Florida Marlins" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

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