Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Beat Poor Injured Phillies; Teddy Wins; Davey Johnson On Bryce Harper As ROY

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The Washington Nationals will have to wait until Friday night to find out who they're going to be playing on Sunday in the first game of the NLDS. Until then there's lots of links for you to read...

Bryce Harper's rookie campaign started on April 28th in Los Angeles and ended in the nation's capital with a pinch running appearance late in yesterday's win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In 139 games in his first season in the majors, the 2010 no.1 overall pick posted a .270/.340/.477 line with 26 doubles, nine triples, 22 HRs, 98 runs scored, 56 walks and 120 Ks in 597 PAs over which he was worth +4.8 fWAR. Harper's 22 HRs were the second most among rookies behind only the Rockies' Wilin Rosario (28 HRs). His 98 runs scored were the NL's best, his 18 SBs were second only to the Brewers' Norichika Aoki. The +4.8 fWAR lead all NL Rookies with Aoki (+3.1) and the Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier (+2.9) and teammate Zack Cozart (+2.9) tied for third. More Bryce Hype?

During his weekly appearance on 106.7 the FAN In D.C.'s The Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning, Davey Johnson was asked where 19-year-old outfielder Bryce Harper ranked amongst the talented young players he's encountered during his second career as a manager. "I tell you," Johnson said, "He's been the most fun to coach and watch play. Makeup off the chart. Effort off the chart. Skill off the chart. So, [it] would be hard for me to say anybody could beat him out for the best rookie I've ever managed."

Later Wednesday morning in his pregame meeting with reporters, the 69-year-old Nats' manager was asked how Harper stacked up against players like the Reds' Frazier, the D-Backs' Wade Miley (16-11; 3.33 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 1.71 BB/9, 6.66 K/9, +4.8 fWAR) and the rest of his competition for the NL Rookie of the Year Award. "He'd get my vote," Johnson responded, "I wouldn't trade him for any of the other two. The year he's had? Same thing. I think he's been energy, scored a lot of runs for us, got on base a lot, played great defense. He's been great. I guess the guy in Cincy [Frazier], because we have similar records... but different opponents, so... [Harper] gets my vote."

Does Harper get your vote? He'll get to play his first postseason game on Sunday. The Nationals won't know where they'll be going to start the NLDS until Friday night. It's going to be a long wait... Until then there are links and lots of them for you to read. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!: (Today in Two Parts):

• "Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will throw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, according to a baseball source." - "Robinson's first pitch to be prior to NLDS Game 3" - Bill Ladson, Joey Nowak and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "Frank Robinson, one of baseball’s all-time greatest players and the first manager in Washington Nationals history, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the first ever playoff game at Nationals Park." - "Frank Robinson accepts invitation to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Jayson Werth didn’t see this success as a leadoff hitter coming." - "Jayson Werth finding new niche as Nationals' leadoff hitter" - Stephen Whyno, Washington Times

• "[Davey] Johnson was upbeat with reporters, even though he said his leg still felt numb. He said he doesn't expect this in any way to impact his ability to manage the Nationals in the postseason." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson OK after health scare" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Before a roaring crowd, the Nationals’ 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies enabled the Nationals to finish with the best record in the majors and gave them the top seed in the National League playoffs." - "Nationals end historic season with 5-1 victory over Phillies; clinch top seed" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Who knew all it would take to bring the Nationals' bats alive was a giant-headed Teddy winning the Presidents Race?" - "Instant analysis: Nats 5, Phillies 1" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "WTOP's Nationals beat reporter Craig Heist and MLB.com Nats beat reporter Bill Ladson give us a look into the Nats and their playoff chances in this edition of their Nats Podcast." - "What are the Nationals playoff chances?" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "Often cast as a villain, baseball’s most powerful players’ agent is alternately called the worst and best thing to happen outside the lines in the past quarter-century." - "Agent Scott Boras, Washington Nationals thrive together" - Rick Maese, The Washington Post

• "There have been many moves and moments that led to the Washington Nationals' 2012 National League East title." - "With division in hand, time to look at how the Nationals did it" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[John] Lannan has pitched well when called upon -- particularly against the Braves -- which is why Johnson is leaving the door open in case the Nats open the Division Series with Atlanta." - "Davey: Lannan in mix for postseason rotation" - Bill Ladson, Joey Nowak and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

•"'I was so glad Teddy won,' upbeat third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said, 'so we can stop talking about it.'" - "Teddy Roosevelt finally wins Nationals Presidents Race, ending 538-race drought" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Nationals Manager Davey Johnson left in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies when his left leg went numb..." - "Davey Johnson leaves Nationals-Phillies game with numbness in leg" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Davey] Johnson's absence from the dugout was first noticed when bench coach Randy Knorr walked out to the mound in the seventh inning to make a pitching change." - "Johnson leaves game with numb leg" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "With the postseason here and the combatants in the pitching-heavy National League set, how do the staffs rate? We rank them from bottom to top." - "Top Five: NL rotations in the postseason" - Kevin Dunleavy, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Six players on the Nats' active roster have seen playoff action, though only two -- Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth -- are everyday players." - "Johnson says Nats have all the experience they need" - Bill Ladson, Joey Nowak and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "The Nats will take the day off today (with the exception of pitchers like Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann, who need to get some in-between starts throwing in)..." - "Nationals Pastime: Now we wait" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

Twitter:

• "Let’s face it, this town hasn’t exactly been synonymous with sports success in recent decades." - "DALY: Champs immortal in annals of sports" - Dan Daly, Washington Times

• "As he rounded first base following his eighth inning home run, left fielder Michael Morse felt something in his left hamstring..." - "Michael Morse feels leg spasm during home run trot" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "As he was rounding first base Wednesday afternoon, his fifth home run in the last 13 games sailing over the right field wall, Morse felt his left hamstring tighten slightly." - "Michael Morse feels hamstring tighten on home run, says it's 'nothing serious'" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Davey Johnson said he left Wednesday's game against the Phillies early because he felt numbness in his left leg..." - "Nats' Johnson expects to be OK after nerve issue" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "He is a part of a Nationals team that has the most wins in major league baseball and has won its division. He said that is all nice, but the ultimate goal is a world championship." - "Zimmerman on postseason: 'This is where the good teams are'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "No matter how much optimism surrounded the organization when it gathered in Viera, Fla., in late February for spring training, few could have dreamed this big." - "Nationals beat Phillies for MLB's best record" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "Now the season built on the arms of five pitchers who reached double digits in victories and a steadily-improving offense starts over." - "Nationals lock up home-field advantage throughout playoffs" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "For more than a week, manager Davey Johnson kept saying he wanted right-hander Edwin Jackson to get his 10th victory of the season..." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals - October 3, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "There have been many moves and moments that led to the Washington Nationals' 2012 National League East title." - "Thom Loverro: With division in hand, time to look at how the Nationals did it" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The Nationals had similar experiences this season with the Braves and Cardinals — they asserted dominance in early meetings and then got beat up in their most recent matchup." - "Are the Nationals better off playing the Cardinals or Braves?" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'Nothing wrong with me,' [Davey] Johnson said, though he admitted the numbness was worrisome at first.'" - "Nationals manager Davey Johnson leaves game in 7th with leg numbness" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'That's great for them,' Rollins told Philadelphia reporters. 'But with us being healthy, you know, they're still second place. But we weren't.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Rollins takes parting shot, plus Jackson, Morse notes" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Edwin] Jackson is one of three pitchers on the current roster with playoff experience, but the lone one in the starting rotation to have pitched in the postseason." - "Edwin Jackson bounces back, enters playoffs with a feel-good finish" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Manager Davey Johnson is not thrilled about the playoff setup in 2012 and that is why he was adamant all year long about winning the division..." - "Johnson believes Nats' inexperience won't hamper them in postseason" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Bench coach Randy Knorr took over his managerial duties for the rest of the game. He made the decision to pull starter Edwin Jackson from the game with two outs in the seventh inning..." - "An early exit for Johnson" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• TEDDYNATSTOWN:

• "The National’s plan to let Teddy Roosevelt win the presidents race Wednesday was one of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington history." - "Are the Nationals planning to retire Teddy Roosevelt?" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Bringing up the rear was Teddy Roosevelt, the lovable loser, Charlie Brown heading toward the football one last time." - "Teddy Roosevelt finally wins Washington Nationals’ presidents’ race" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post

• "PHOTOS: TEDDY WINS!" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "But in a not-so-rare moment of Presidents Race ridiculousness, a slimmed down version of Philadelphia's mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, leapt from the stands and bowled the three leading presidents over." - "Teddy in 2012: Long drought is over in DC" - Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "Teddy claimed the Presidents Race on Wednesday after 538 losses. A Philly Phanatic wannabe knocked down the other three presidents before escorting Teddy to the finish line." - "Rough Ride finally over for Teddy, Nationals" - Rick Snider, WashingtonExaminer.com

""By winning their regular-season finale, the Nationals clinched top seeding for the NL playoffs and will open on the road Sunday at the winner of Friday's wild-card game..." - "Teddy wins 1st, Nationals win majors-high 98th" - Howard Fendrich, AP/WTOP.com

• "Congratulations Teddy!" - Jenn Jenson, Nationals Fangirl

• "Trailing the three at the quarter, someone dressed as a miniature Phillie Phanatic came out of the right-field bullpen and knocked down Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson." - "Incredibly, Teddy finally wins, shattering longest losing streak in majors" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Military Sports Report - After Action – Nationals finally ‘Let Teddy Win’ — and Army’s Old Guard helped" - Phil Creed, Military Times

• "'It looks like they might like the Presidents Race more than us,' joked Ryan Mattheus, when I asked him about the fan reaction to Teddy’s win." - "Morning Pixels: Teddy won; let’s get back to baseball" - Sarah Kogod, D.C. Sports Bog, Washington Post

• "Teddy Roosevelt winning the Presidents' Race was the highlight of the afternoon for many Nationals fans. Ryan Zimmerman does not fit into that group of people." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats react to Teddy winning" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Wilbon reverses himself, says Washington is a ‘pretty good’ sports town" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog, Washington Post

• "Sellouts are expected nightly, and third-party sales will no doubt be a popular go-to for fans. But what is the law about selling tickets on the streets?" - "Scalper crackdowns rare, but here's what you need to know" - Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP.com

• "Hey, isn’t that . . . ?": "Washington Nationals post-game party; Henry Winkler - The Reliable Source - The Washington Post

• "This Date in Washington Senators History – Griffith announces that Walter Johnson will not return as manager" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Enjoy the video above (via CSN Philly), in which Jimmy Rollins takes a cheap parting shot at the Nats on his way to watching the MLB postseason from his couch..." - "[Video] Jimmy Rollins on Nats: "With us healthy, they’re a second-place team" - Nats Enquirer

• "Three Suns Named To BA’s Sally League Top 20" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "September Shark Fan of the Month" - Sharkadina

• "Yesterday morning, I wondered if Teddy would finally win the President’s Race..." - "Nats: Teddy finally wins Presidents Race" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "The Braves’ chances of reeling in the Nationals and winning an NL East title were reduced after they lost three in a row to the Padres and Phillies back on Aug. 29-Sept. 1..." - "Braves shift focus to Friday’s Wild Card game" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

• Phillies:


Marlins: "Ozzie Guillen gathered his players inside the Marlins clubhouse on Wednesday, and in his final speech to them — perhaps his final speech as Marlins manager — he told them how much he appreciated their hard work." - "Miami Marlins’ season of promise ends meekly" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "[Sandy] Alderson said Wright and Dickey represent the Mets' 'core' players and need to be retained." - "Mets GM optimistic about Wright, Dickey deals with Madoff mess in past" - Mike Puma, New York Post

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