Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Home Opener Revisited, Bruce Springsteen In Nationals Park?!?!?!!?!?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: The Cincinnati Reds bat against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning of opening day at Nationals Park on April 12, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

• Huge American flags. HUGE Strasburgers. F16s or was it F18s? [That was my favorite thread discussion of all time.] Gio Gonzalez's curve. Gio's smile. Ryan Zimmerman's issues at third. Brad Lidge's blown save. A walk-off wild pitch. The Shark saying, "Don't go!" with his hand. The Washington Nationals' home opener had it all. And just when you thought things couldn't get any more exciting in NatsTown, the Nationals announce that the Boss is coming to the nation's capital. Yesterday it was John Popper from Blues Traveler on the mouth harp. Today? According to a Tweet this morning, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be in Nationals Park later this year. Even the Boss knows what's up. NatsTown is the place to be. There are stacked empty shipping containers and everything. I'm tired. Here are the LINKS!! RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Gio Gonzalez hit town Thursday for what may be the first brilliant performance of a seven-year gig at Nationals Park." - "Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has everyone smiling" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Optimism covered the Nationals' home opener against the Cincinnati Reds like with the heavy smell of fries and eye-watering smoke from the Jammin’ Island Outpost’s grill beyond center field." - "Festivities, food ... and one big curly 'W' for Nationals in home opener" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Ryan Zimmerman has been at the center of a game-winning, celebratory mob more times than he can count during his six-plus years with the Nationals..." - "Zim's unconventional walk-off" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Roger] Bernadina could be seen telling [Ryan] Zimmerman not to score, believing the ball wasn't far enough away from Mesoraco, but Zimmerman had a clear view of the play." - "Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals - April 12, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'What's the poor guy got to do to get a win?' right fielder Jayson Werth joked following the game. 'Great American president. Just a great American, period. The poor guy can't win, I guess.'" - "For starters, Nats' rotation dominating" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "I was wandering around Nats Park looking for Natitude Thursday afternoon when I saw these two standing in line for some hot dogs." - "Opening day Natitude at Nats Park" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "The sellout crowd that poured through the Nationals Park gates for the home opener may have expected any number of heroes to emerge, but they probably did not guess Craig Stammen." - "Craig Stammen cleans house in a key spot" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Drew] Storen was in the Nationals' clubhouse on Thursday in good spirits. His right arm in a sling, his chances of pitching for the team remain anywhere from two to four months away." - "Drew Storen in good spirits after surgery, looking at uncertain timetable" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Nationals starters Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler and Edwin Jackson have now combined to toss 19 consecutive scoreless innings." - "Instant analysis: Nats 3, Reds 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Mike] Rizzo said [Anthony] Rendon, 21, is immobilized and will see a foot and ankle specialist on Friday." - "Nationals prospect Rendon suffers partial ankle fracture, Goodwin pulls hamstring" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "This past offseason, [Gio] Gonzalez spent a lot of time working in the batting cage with his father, Max, who told his son to put the ball in play; don't try to be like a power hitter." - "Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez happy to check off first big league hit" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "I was a little skeptical about [Mike] Rizzo's claim about not floating the number, but a little research reveals him to be an honest man." - "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says Stephen Strasburg’s 160 innings limit is a media creation" - Kevin Kaduk, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• "The Nationals left-hander should have been celebrating his first win as a Washington National but instead he watched from the dugout as Brad Lidge blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning..." - "For Nationals, it all went wrong but turned out right" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "'I expect us to get some hits, but with runners in scoring position, we haven't done that as well as we're capable of doing,' [Davey] Johnson said." - "Late-inning roller coaster ends with Nats on top" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "With one week in the books, Nationals starters have already established themselves as one of the sport's best." - "For starters, rotation has been great" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "For the home opener against Cincinnati, Davey Johnson trotted out Gio Gonzalez, the club’s prize offseason acquisition and the winner of 31 games the past two years." - "DALY: Nationals have feel of a winner from the start" - Dan Daly, Washington Times

• "By the nature of his personality, [Drew] Storen eschews patience, which is what he will need in order to return without setbacks. He vowed he will, using the surgery as a way to change his outlook." - "Drew Storen relieved, in good spirits after surgery" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Take a look at our amazing collection of Washington DC photos and world photography. Open your eyes to the world around you." - "Washington Nationals opener ends in win" - Photos - Washington Times

• "There isn't any surgical option to fix the lat, and there isn't a timetable on when [Michael] Morse will return to game action." - "Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Morse to be shut down for six weeks" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I expect us to get some hits, but with runners in scoring position, we haven't done that as well as we're capable of doing,' [Davey] Johnson said." - "Late-inning roller coaster ends with Nats on top" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "With Roger Bernadina at the plate, Simon threw an 0-1 pitch in the dirt, and [Ryan] Zimmerman slid under the tag after catcher Devin Mesoraco collected the ball and threw to [Alfredo] Simon." - "Wild pitch helps Nats beat Reds 3-2 in 10 innings" - Howard Fendrich, AP/WTOP.com

• "'I think Davey does a good job of handling the bullpen,' Stammen said. 'I think me and Tom (Gorzelanny) have a pretty good idea of when we are going to be put in the games.'" - "Long and short of it, Nationals' Stammen relishes his role" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

[AUDIO] 'Gritty' Nats, park ready for opening day - Andy Feffer, Nationals club COO - WTOP.com

• "For Nationals fans - and fans of great starting pitching - the past three games may seem like days in heaven." - "The Nationals' two-hit starters" - Nationals Buzz: Marty Niland, MASNSports.com

• "So instead of finishing the script Gio Gonzalez penned to perfection for seven innings in what eventually ended as a 3-2 victory, the Nationals left their fate up to a pitcher they knew had a penchant for wildness." - "Nats blow late lead before pulling out wild win vs. Reds" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "After he played what he considered one of the worst games of his life, Ryan Zimmerman decided for himself that he would try to end it." - "Nationals vs. Reds: Washington hangs on to win home opener" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "[Bronson] Arroyo and the Nats' Jordan Zimmermann are the scheduled starters in the second game of four at Nationals Park." - "Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals - April 13, 2012" - Evan Dreilich, MLB.com Preview

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "If we are optimistic, take a longer view, and we employ realistic methods, we can contribute to making the world a better place."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "The Blue Claws used a six run first inning to jump ahead of Suns and starting pitcher Alex Meyer (1-1), who suffered the loss allowing five runs while recording just two outs on three hits, two walks and two strike outs." - "Suns Pinched by Blue Claws 8-1" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Potomac's hurler RHP Kyle Winters was outstanding tossing six scoreless innings striking out seven batters including all three in the sixth. He didn't walk anyone and scattered three hits." - "MYRTLE BEATS P-NATS IN 1-0 PITCHERS DUEL ON WALK-OFF" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Reading 4, Harrisburg 1 - Destin Hood - 1 for 4, 1 R; Jeff Mandel - 6.0 IP, 3 R, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "First baseman Tyler Moore clubbed two home runs to put the Chiefs up 3-0 through the middle of the fourth, but IronPigs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch hit a fourth-inning grand slam to give Lehigh Valley a lead it would not relinquish." - "Chiefs edged again in 5-4 loss to IronPigs" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Friday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Want to know what it was like to get your hands on the second Red Porch StrasBurger of all time? Some readers are here to help." - "Two men, one StrasBurger" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Here is a small sampling of our photos from Opening Day 2012. Enjoy." - "PHOTOS: Washington Nationals Home Opener" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Despite whispers that Teddy might finally win one at the 2012 home opener: just another day at Nationals Park, and another loss by Teddy Roosevelt in the Presidents race." - "Teddy lost again. Jayson Werth wasn't happy about it." - Nats Enquirer

• "April 13, 1921 The Washington Senators lose their home opener, 6 – 3, to the Boston Red Sox. Senators pitcher Walter Johnson leaves after four innings, the first time he has failed to finish an Opening Game." -"This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Teddy has the lead in the Washington Nationals presidents race." - "Teddy has the lead in the Washington Nationals presidents race" - Flickr - Let Teddy Win

• "No one was happier than starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, the first player out of the dugout after [Ryan] Zimmerman scored. Gonzalez was superb in his seven shutout innings." - "Washington Nationals Game 7 Review: Walk-off wild pitch sends home opener crowd happy" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "The hometown Nationals are off to their best start since baseball arrived in DC at 5-2. There are a ton of reasons why the Nationals are getting the job done..." - "Offensive Offense and Prodigious Pitching" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "Opening day is always so much fun. Except when you are running late, try driving to the stadium, and literally drive around for an hour trying to find a place to park." - "Questionable defense bailed out in the 10th" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Yesterday it took the Nats extra innings to get to 3 runs, and they didn't even drive in the final run." - "Maybe the pitching won't have to carry this team..." - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "When the pitcher got his first career hit yesterday, there was no wiping the smile off of his face. He was giddy like 5 year old who ACTUALLY got that pony they always wanted. Just look at that smile!" - "Nats’ Werth Should Be More Like Gonzalez" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "Via Chad Moriyama: Stephen Strasburg is Pretty Good at Baseball" - Natstradamus

• "In the top of the 10th, Craig Stammen struck out 3 Cincinnati Reds with 10 pitches. Damn!" - "Craig Stammen, 3 batters, 10 pitches" - Nats Fangirl

• "With a few more fans rooting for the Shark, those hard hit outs will be dropping for doubles." - "Home Shark Home" - Sharkadina

• "It is hard not to argue that the biggest surprise of the young season has been [Adam] LaRoche." - "Adam LaRoche Is Carrying The Heart Of The Nationals' Order" - Andrew Kinback, SB Nation DC

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "The first six games of the season presented Mets brass with both sides of the argument about whether to offer David Wright a contract extension: He has already been dominant, and he has already been injured." - "David Wright's future with NY Mets hinges on third basemen's health, as current deal expires after club option for 2013" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Marlins: "The Marlins have an off day Monday and outfielder Logan Morrison will spend part of it at a Victoria’s Secret store with a Victoria’s Secret model." - "Marlins LF Logan Morrison will spend Monday’s off-day with Victoria’s Secret model | Fish Tank blog: Miami Marlins" - Joe Capozzi, The Palm Beach Post

Phillies: "Former Philadelphia outfielder Pat Burrell, who spent a little more than one disappointing season with the Tampa Bay Rays, will sign a one-day minor league contract and retire with the Phillies." - "Ex-Ray Pat Burrell to retire with Phillies" - AP/TBO.com

Braves: "[Tim] Hudson is at least two weeks away — he’s scheduled to make at least two more minor league rehabilitation outings for Triple-A Gwinnett — but after two Single-A appearances, he’s starting to taste it." - "Tim Hudson progressing in minor league rehab" - Carroll Rogers, ajc.com

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