Wire Taps: Washington Nationals - America's Team, Media Darlings, On MLB Network Tonight.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Outfielder Roger Bernadina #2 of the Washington Nationals attempts to pull in a diving catch, but missed, against the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning at Nationals Park on June 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

• The Washington Nationals are going to be featured on the MLB Network's 30 Clubs in 30 Days tonight at 10:00 pm EDT (we'll post a quick reminder later today). There will be interviews with skipper Davey Johnson, Gio Gonzalez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth. Mitch Williams and Larry Bowa are apparently impressed. The Nationals, as mentioned several times during MLB Network Radio's 30 Teams in 30 Days interviews yesterday, have noticed the increased media interest this Spring. Everyone wants to talk to the Nationals. Everyone wants to see what they'll do this year. The baseball world is watching. But you won't be able to watch or listen to this afternoon's Grapefruit League game against the Miami Marlins. [sigh]. No radio or tv or MLB.tv coverage on the Nats/Fish game today? You can follow the game through MLB.com's Gameday box score. But that's it. What is this 2009? A Spring Training game's being played and there's no way to watch or listen (without flying to Florida)? Absurd. - signed, Spoiled Baseball Fan. HERE ARE THE LINKS...


• "After a mid-spring lull, [Roger] Bernadina has caught fire. In his past two games, Bernadina has gone 5 for 6 with two homers and a walk..." - "Roger Bernadina catches fire, but can he make it last?" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post


• "Center fielder Marlon Byrd’s name is making the rounds in the final-week-of-spring hot stove as the Cubs try to bolster a thin bullpen and teams such as the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves try to shore up outfield needs." - "Cubs’ trade rumors focus on Marlon Byrd" - Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times

• "One reason for [Roger] Bernadina's recent surge in power: He's worked with hitting coach Rick Eckstein on staying 'inside' the ball and not flying open on his swing." - "Bernadina steps up his game" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "It was the second homer in as many games for Bernadina, whose spring average is now up to .279 after his two-hit performance today." - "Bernadina breaks out, Rodriguez finishes it off" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Asked if he was worried about making the team, [Roger] Bernadina said, 'Nah, I don't worry about that. I want to get in a groove to help the ballclub somehow -- get on base.'" - "Back on track: Bernadina bashing at plate" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "For [John] Lannan to be successful it all comes down to him being able to get groundball outs and he knows he has to trust his stuff and today was a carbon copy of that game plan." - "Lannan strong, Bernadina homers and Nats beat Astros" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "[Adam] LaRoche certainly looks like he'll be playing by Opening Day. So, it's 'just' [Michael Morse. [Mark] DeRosa is going to be a surprise. He's about as good as bench players get..." - "Ask Boswell about the Washington Nationals, spring training, the Capitals, the Redskins and all Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Entering Spring Training, the Nationals appeared loaded with starting pitching, and it looked as if [John] Lannan was the odd man out." - "Nationals' John Lannan focused on pitching, not trade rumors" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "A few players, and Manager Davey Johnson, have foreseen a late fall that includes baseball in Washington." - "Experts are starting to pick the Nationals to make the playoffs" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "General manager Mike Rizzo has maintained that he is not shopping [John] Lannan and doesn’t view the Nationals’ plethora of pitchers as a surplus." - "Lannan locked in Nationals' fifth starter" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Even if it doesn't happen according to that timetable, [Adam] LaRoche has no doubts he'll be at Wrigley Field on April 5." - "LaRoche inching closer to return" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'It's not something I can't play with,' [Adam] LaRoche said before he went out to get his first running activity in a week that would involve any turning." - "LaRoche does light running as Nationals aim for clearance by Thursday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals are hoping [Adam] LaRoche can play in a Grapefruit League game on Thursday, when they play split-squad games against the Tigers and Braves." - "Nats hope LaRoche can see game action soon" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Pitching coach Steve McCatty had a conversation with the Nats' hurlers recently, telling them he was tired of seeing their pitch counts so high early in games." - "Unaffected by outside 'noise,' Lannan looks sharp" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

RANDOM: "Bert Sugar passed away over the weekend. He would have been 75 in June." - "So long, Bert" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• "[Davey] Johnson indicated yesterday that while reliever Chad Durbin has thrown well this spring, Ryan Mattheus has the inside track for the roster spot freed up if Storen is placed on the DL..." - "A camp filled with minimal roster drama" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Suffice it to say, the Nationals have plenty of pitching depth, particularly in the bullpen." - "Bullpen quietly dominating" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The parking lot attendant again confirmed the ball had struck Werth’s bumper. The bartender added a new clue..." - "How far did Jayson Werth’s truck-hitting home run travel? Boz investigates" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "In order to use human intelligence properly our mind should be calm."


• "Washington Nationals Spring Training Postcards: N.Y. transplant – now Florida local – loves the Nats, too" - District Sports Page

• "Off-topic: Epic Pitching Coach Locker-Room Meltdown" - ouij, Natstradamus

• "Albert Karl 'Kip' Selbach is one of the early stars for Washington. He is one of a few who played for the District’s National and American League franchises." - "Selbach’s Secret Weapon" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Wondering what Wilson Ramos's walk-up music will be during the 2012 season?" - "Wilson Ramos's new walkup song was composed by his uncle." - Nats Enquirer

• "It’s time for the annual rankings of the NL East, position by position!" - "2012 NL East Rankings Part 1: Position Players" - The Nationals Review

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 13" - Capitol Baseball/The Nats Blog


Marlins: "The Marlins didn’t have a designated setup man last season but came into this season after signing All-Star closer Heath Bell hoping to make Juan Carlos Oviedo their setup guy." - "Miami Marlins’ Edward Mujica likely top choice for set-up role" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "In case you missed it amidst all the Chase Utley injury news, the Phillies optioned Domonic Brown." - "Minor League News & Notes: Brown Sent Down" - Ethan Seidel, That Balls Outta Here

Mets/Braves: "The news that Chipper Jones will retire at the end of the 2012 season brought me many emotions, and only a few of them were relief and rage." - "Chipper Jones and the Negative Spotlight" - Matthew Callan, Amazin' Avenue

• Braves: "If you’re a Braves fan and haven’t been to the little village that is baseball heaven in the Catskill mountain foothills of central New York, start thinking about making a trip or two..." - "On Braves-flavored HOF stretch, bullpen options, 3rd in NL East?" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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