Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Weekend In Review - Rick Ankiel Is Back And The Return Of The Link Post.

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 6: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies tags out Rick Ankiel #24 of the Washington Nationals as he slides into second base during the game at Coors Field on August 6, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

• While the rest of the world was worried about the outcome of a pigskin challenge in Indianapolis, we were wondering about how year two of Adam LaRoche's $16M dollar deal with the Washington Nationals will work out? We also took a look at the HR celebrations around the NL East's parks. On Sunday there were more rumors about what the future holds for Nats' lefty John Lannan. Just before the football season officially ended the Nats announced that they'd signed Rick Ankiel to a minor league deal. The Arm is going to be back in the nation's capital if he can earn a spot on the roster this Spring...Ah, Spring. It's coming. If you haven't been paying attention this winter, time to start catching up. The following links should help get you up to speed... Links and lots of 'em...RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Terms of the deal weren’t available, but Ankiel’s comfort in Washington likely played into his decision to accept a minor league contract." - "Nationals sign Rick Ankiel to minor league contract" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NATS BEAT:

• "The signing of Ankiel also suggests the Nationals feel comfortable with their current lot in center field." - "Rick Ankiel signs minor league contract with Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The veteran was holding out hope for a big-league deal and the possibility of an everyday job with another club..." - "Ankiel returns on minor-league deal" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "News that Ankiel could return in 2012 might indicate that the Nationals aren't sold on the notion of Bryce Harper starting the season on the 25-man roster." - "Nats bring back Ankiel on minor league deal" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "The Washington Times first reported Sunday that Ankiel, 32, reached a deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training. The financial terms of the deal are currently unknown." - "Nats, Ankiel agree to Minor League deal" - Adam Berry and Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals outfield competition will likely be the second-most intriguing battle in camp, behind the rotation..." - "Nationals sign OF Rick Ankiel to minor league deal" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

Cheech Marin talks to Halos Heaven's Rev Halofan about visiting Nats Park and getting, " A-List star treatment" from the Nationals:


• "[Rick] Ankiel had other options, including the New York Mets, where he likely would've received greater playing time." - "Nats bring back a familiar face" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• "Bernadina, meanwhile, started 50 games in center in 2011 -- though his .664 OPS at the plate inspires a little more confidence there than Ankiel." - "Ankiel, Nationals agree to terms" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "Here's some of what Lannan had to say about his arbitration hearing, which he lost but will earn $5 million in 2012, and the Nationals' offseason moves..." - "John Lannan's thoughts on arbitration and the Nationals moves this offseason" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The right-hander will earn $1 million this year, with a club option for 2013 worth $2.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times." - "Coffey signs with Dodgers" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Setup man Todd Coffey is taking his quality stuff and energizing entrance to the west coast..." - "Coffey might shelve sprint from bullpen with Dodgers" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The first time Zimmerman met Larkin was in 2005. Zimmerman was playing for Double-A Harrisburg, and Larkin's job was to teach Zimmerman the fundamentals of playing shortstop..." - "Barry Larkin has an impact on Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Obviously, Ankiel doesn't represent any kind of long-term solution. If he did, he wouldn't be signing a minor league contract." - "Rick Ankiel Back With Nationals On Minor League Deal" - Jeff Sullivan, Baseball Nation

• "The Washington Nationals are looking for would-be 'presidents' to don the 45-pound costumes and run from center field to home plate during home games." - "The Nats are looking for a few good presidents" - Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP.com

• Random Twitter Thought: • Twitter - @hankschulman: "Giants not going after Cespedes. 'The price tag is probably beyond what his talent is,' Sabean said. Too hard to predict transition to bigs."

• "The market for Oswalt is further complicated by the possibility that the Nationals (John Lannan) or Rays (Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis) will trade a starter in the coming weeks or during spring training." - "Could Red Sox, Reds or Phillies land Oswalt?" - Jon Morosi, Yardbarker

• "First baseman Tyler Moore has been the best longball hitter in the Nationals' system the last two seasons, cranking 62 homers since 2010." - "Tyler Moore shows versatility as he prepares for first base and outfield" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "In today's deeply interdependent world, war is outdated and illogical."

• TBTP?:

Nats' COO Andrew Feffer talks to Channel 9 WUSA About The TBTP Movement:


• "I hated it. You hated it. Boswell hated it. Jayson Werth hated it. And now, the people who run the Nationals are trying to make a change." - "Nationals launch ‘Take Back the Park’ campaign" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "When it comes to the Phillies, chief operating officer Andy Feffer wants Nationals fans to fill up Nationals Park -- and for a good reason." - "Washington Nationals ask fans to 'Take Back the Park' vs. Philadelphia Phillies" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Responding to complaints about the busloads of folks who have made the trek down from Philadelphia the last few seasons, the Nationals have initiated a "Take Back the Park" program for the May 4-6 series between the two NL rivals." - "Phillies fans, no tickets for you!" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Of course, the Phillies and the fans know the best way to take back a ballpark is by winning. That's why you don't see nearly as many Mets fans as you used to at Citizens Bank Park. And you have to search really hard to find even a single Nats fan." - "Nationals fight invasion of Phillies fans with ticket-sale restrictions" - Bob Brookover, Philly.com

• "Nothing is going to change; Phillies fans are still taking over this park." - "'Take Back the Park from Phillies Fans? Better Idea, Nationals: Get Some Fans'" - Steve Trapani, Philliedelphia

BONES?!?!?! Twitter - @David_Boreanaz: "I say stand up Philly Fans!"

• "This all comes up now because the Washington Nationals are trying to Take Back the Park. Normally, I'd capitalize those last words just to be a smart-ass, but it's really called the 'Take Back the Park' campaign." - "Nationals Try To Take Back Their Park" - Grant Brisbee, Baseball Nation

• NATSTOWN:

• "As a hitter, Ankiel provides some amount of pop from the left side, and the Nats could do worse if Ankiel is the left-handed bat off the bench and late-inning defensive replacement." - "Nationals sign Rick Ankiel to minor league deal" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "u mad bro? They are now. More on this later." - Washington NationLOLs

• "Did she turn into a princess? Does Werth have to go back to the zoo in Philly to claim his prize of eternal happiness?" - "The One Where Jayson Werth Kisses A Frog" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "John Lannan would add to the back end of an incredibly strong starting rotation featuring Jared Weaver, CJ Wilson, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana." - "Report: Nationals May Trade John Lannan for Peter Bourjos" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "In other words...see you on Opening Day at Wrigley, kid?" - "Mike Rizzo on Bryce Harper: 'If Davey's picking the club, he's on the club.'" - Nats Enquirer

• "This move by Rizzo indicates to me that he wants to launch the Nats not only into relevancy, but into a deep playoff run this season..." - "You Can Never Have Enough Starting Pitching" - Sean, Capitol Baseball

• "[Edwin] Jackson is 28 years old and has been in the majors for parts of 9 seasons. In his last 4 seasons, he’s averaged 202 IP and 32 starts..." - "The Good, The Bad, and The Maybe of Edwin Jackson" - The Nationals Review

• "Catching Up On Transactions" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets/Marlins: "But I'll say what I've (probably) said before: This thing is just too big, too garish. It'll be a lot of fun -- for both the ironists and the regular people..." - "Amazin' Avenue: Defending The Marlins' Home-Run Feature" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

Phillies: "You've recently been fired as general manager of the Houston Astros and your cellphone rings. It's Ruben Amaro Jr. calling. He wants to know if you'd be interested in rejoining the Phillies as a special consultant." - "Inside the Phillies: Wade returns to Phillies eager for a World Series ring" - Bob Brookover, Philly.com

Mets: "SportsNet New York, the regional sports network in which the Mets own a majority stake, will buy four $20 million minority ownership shares of the ballclub, the Times reports." - "Report: SNY bailing out Mets" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Marlins: "MLB 12 The Show Video - Marlins Park - Operation Sports" - Virtual Tour Of New Marlins Park.

Braves: "The Braves will unveil a new crème-colored home uniform on Monday that will probably seem familiar to fans of a certain age." - "Braves to unveil new weekend home uniforms" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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