Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' 2012 Season Gets Underway.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals makes a catch during a game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on September 27, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

• Back To Business: Okay, I took 24 hours after yesterday's link post to not think about baseball, but now it's back to business. There will, of course, be far fewer stories to link to now that the season's over, but the Arizona Fall League starts next week and the Hot Stove warms up shortly thereafter. We'll be back this afternoon with predictions for the Top 5 offseason storylines and there will be a thread tonight for anyone who plans on continuing to watch the postseason and wants to talk baseball even though the Nats are no longer involved. I had a great 2011 season, even with all the behind-the-scenes drama that took place here and never made it onto the front page. Thanks to everyone who's read/commented/posted their thoughts and contributed to the discussion in any way. D.C. GM MIke Rizzo was quoted saying that the 2012 season started on the plane ride home from Florida after game 181. Can't wait for Opening Day...

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

• "'I felt in spring that this club was not ready to win,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'I think coming into 2012, there’ll be very few questions.'" - "Nationals seek contender status in 2012" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Bryce Harper, Sammy Solis, Derek Norris, Pat Lehman, Rafael Martin and Anthony Rendon head the list of Nationals prospects playing this year for the Scottsdale Scorpions." - "Harper, Rendon, Solis and others arrive at Arizona fall league" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Obviously, there were some fantastic individual seasons (Michael Morse, Tyler Clippard). And obviously, there were some not-so-fantastic individual seasons (ahem, Jayson Werth and Doug Slaten)." - "End-of-season report card" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'It’s cool to have expectations,' closer Drew Storen said. 'We’ve taken a step in the right direction, and we expect to take another step next year.'" - "Washington Nationals: Strong finish leads to high expectations" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'I love Davey,' Rizzo said. 'He is going to be back next year in some capacity. He is either going to be the manager of the ballclub or have a say on who is the manager of the ballclub." - "Nationals in 2011 showed promise of things to come" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "So without further ado, here's a look back at what we all guessed back on Opening Day, and what actually happened..." - "Revisiting those predictions" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Thanks to everyone who's weighed in on our season-ending Nationals poll - we've had a tremendous response so far..." - "Nationals poll: Your votes and my picks" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "On-base percentage is an area he wants improved, and Rizzo is also seeking a top-of-the-order bat to fill the outfield position in center field, or right field if Jayson Werth moves over to center." - "Improved Nats look to reach next level in '12" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "When he injured his shoulder in 2009, Flores was 24, the unquestioned future catcher for the Nationals. When this year ended, Flores was 27 and a clear second choice behind Wilson Ramos." - "Jesus Flores’s healthy return and uncertain future" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I love Davey,' Rizzo said. 'He is going to be back next year in some capacity. He is either going to be the manager of the ballclub or have a say on who is the manager of the ballclub." - "Nationals in 2011 showed promise of things to come" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Love gives rise to peace and happiness within us, which we then bring to the world in which we live." 

• NATSTOWN: 

• "Washington, D.C. Chapter: DC-Internet Baseball Writers Association Announce 2011 Player Achievement Awards" - INTERNET BASEBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION

• "Nationals News Network blogger Dave Nichols runs a few polls beginning and end of season, hitting up all the Nats bloggers out there for opinions.  Here’s the 2011 post-season results." - "My DC-IBWA Ballot…" - Nationals Arm Race

• "Jordan Zimmermann was absolutely fantastic in his first full year back after Tommy John surgery. He showed that he could easily slide into the 'Ace' label if the club needs it..." - "IBWA - 2011 Awards..." - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "With the dearth of offense this season, Michael Morse was a savior in spikes.  He emerged as a legitimate clean-up hitter this season and was one of the most valuable hitters in the National League." - "DC-IBWA Announces 2011 Player Achievement Awards: How I Voted" - Dave Nichols, NatsNewsNetwork

• "September 30. 1971: In front of 14,460 fans the Washington Senators outscored the New York Yankees 7-5 and lose the final game the team will play at RFK stadium." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History - SHORT STILL STINKS" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• "Morning Reading" - NationalsProspects.com

• "We've talked about how the Nats need one more arm in the rotation, but do they really?  If they just keep everyone they have now wouldn't that work?" - "Final Standings" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

 Your Daily Message From Joe Posnanski On Twitter (@JPosnanski): "Not sure there is any lesson in Tito-Red Sox split other than: Baseball manager is not a long-term job." - 

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Braves: "If the Braves brass think for one minute about trading Jason Heyward, then they need to fire themselves." - "Say-Hey What? Are Braves Souring On Heyward" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Marlins: "But Vazquez, without actually saying so, has given every indication that this is his final season. He longs to spend time with his wife and children in Puerto Rico." - "Should Marlins beg Javier Vazquez not to retire?" - Manny Navarro, Fish Bytes

Marlins: From Press Release: "In five September starts, Vázquez was a perfect 5-0, leading the National League in wins while compiling the lowest ERA (0.71) among qualifying starters." - "Javier Vazquez NL pitcher of the month for September" - Craig, Fish Stripes

Phillies"[Hunter Pence] was the Phillies' prize at the trade deadline, an annual gift unwrapping for the franchise that has made summer blockbusters an expectation." - "Pence has been a perfect fit in Phillies clubhouse" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Mets: "[Mets' GM Sandy] Alderson does not know if he will re-sign Reyes. But he does not anticipate that question will be answered in the near future." - "For Mets, the Jose Reyes waiting game begins now" - Andy McCullough, NJ.com

• BIG STORY: via The Twitter: @SI_JonHeyman: "Red Sox and [Manager Terry] Francona are parting ways."

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