Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Welcome New York Mets To NatsTown... People Still Talking Stephen Strasburg.

Apr 12, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; A general view of Nationals Park during the Washington Nationals home opener against the Cincinnati Reds. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

• The Stephen Strasburg shutdown story was on CBS's morning show, "CBS This Morning", uh, this morning. That's what it's come to. The Strasburg story is a national story worthy of morning talks shows. The only thing I really learned? CBSSports' James Brown is a partial owner of the Nats. Talking heads all over the television and radio are yelling at the cameras and mics. Everyone has an opinion. Luckily for all of us, Rob Dibble decided to share his. Former Braves and Orioles' pitching coach Leo Mazzone was back on the airwaves and on CBS's morning show, telling NatsTown that shutting Strasburg down, "... would be a slap in the face to the fans." D.C. GM Mike Rizzo knew he'd take a beating in the press, but he's been clear about his plans for well over a year now. On CBS this morning, Rizzo paraphrased Strasburg and said he knows he'll have to, "... rip the ball out of his hands," but he's not wavering from his plan. And his plan isn't just his plan no matter how many people insist it is. And amidst all of this yelling and carrying on, the Washington Nationals return to the nation's capital with a 4.0 game lead in the NL East for six games with their NL East rivals from New York and Atlanta. But talk of the upcoming series in NatsTown is of no concern to anyone that's not actually a Nationals fan... links and lots of them RIGHT NOW!!

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "Since wild cards arrived in 1995, the team with MLB’s best record on Aug. 15 went to the World Series in eight of 17 seasons — almost half." - "Washington Nationals: It’s time to get excited" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "One 'NL executive' even told the New York Post that Strasburg might not be the kind of pitcher who’s destined for a long career, given his track record." - "Nationals eschew win-now mentality, think long-term" - Dan Daly, Washington Times

• "The bullpen, on the other hand, has carried a larger relative load. Nationals relievers have thrown 366 2 / 3 innings — the 6th largest total in the majors." - "Nationals bullpen getting plenty of work" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Leo] Mazzone ripped the Nationals and called their plan 'pathetic,' siding with the argument that the team should hold nothing back in trying to win a World Series this season." - "Boras refutes Mazzone on Strasburg, Avery" - Chase Hughes, NatsInsider.com

• "It has been difficult to gauge local reaction to the Nationals' recent hot streak." - "Final quarter of seasons begins for Nationals in earnest" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Danny] Espinosa said he doesn't even think twice about [Steve] Lombardozzi at second base. That is the best compliment he could give to his gifted teammate." - "Lombardozzi and Espinosa hot as Desmond nears return" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

AUDIO: "Can the Nats make it to the playoffs without Strasburg? Buster Olney, ESPN" - WTOP.com

• "The Nationals have the best record in the MLB and little playoff experience, but the team's vets are keeping the young players from looking too far ahead." - "Veterans help young Nationals to keep focus on here and now" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• "In calling doctors and medical experts around the country to ask about the impending shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, I came across the case of Los Angeles Angels reliever Jason Isringhausen." - "Three-time Tommy John surgery survivor Jason Isringhausen on the recovery and Stephen Strasburg" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "It's no secret the Nationals' fan base is growing. MLB announced this week local television ratings are up 67 percent this season, the largest increase in the sport." - "Ready for some home cookin'" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Speaking of [Stephen] Strasburg being shut down, it seems like every 12 hours, there's a new headline popping up somewhere with a different take on the Nationals' controversial decision..." - "Nationals Pastime: An overlooked angle of the Strasburg shutdown discussion" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com


• "The Washington Nationals’ plan to shut down Strasburg has overtaken the conversation in baseball, even on the four days he does not pitch." - "Stephen Strasburg only one part of Nationals' feel-good story" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Washington general manager Mike Rizzo hasn't changed his stance since February, when local reporters first asked him about his plans for Strasburg entering his first full year after Tommy John surgery." - "Nationals' plan with Strasburg a debatable decision" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Chien-Ming] Wang was pulled off his previous rehab assignment on Aug. 8 because of hip soreness — a re-injury of the right hip he was rehabbing in the first place." - "Chien-Ming Wang back on rehab assignment" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Speaking of [Stephen] Strasburg being shut down, it seems like every 12 hours, there's a new headline popping up somewhere with a different take on the Nationals' controversial decision..." - "Nationals Pastime: An overlooked angle of the Strasburg shutdown discussion" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I think the Nats are really the hope of the city,' said baseball fan Krista Lundberg." - "Stephen Strasburg: Pressure builds over innings limit" - Chip Reid, CBS News

• "The Washington Nationals’ plan to shut down Strasburg has overtaken the conversation in baseball, even on the four days he does not pitch." - "Stephen Strasburg only one part of Nationals' feel-good story" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Election? What election? No, Stephen Strasburg’s pitching future is the subject that is pitting brother against sister, mother against son, talk show caller against talk show host." - "Stephen Strasburg innings debate: Mike Rizzo deserves benefit of the doubt" - Tracee Hamilton, The Washington Post

• "Chad Tracy spends most of his day taking swings in the batting cage and watching video of the opposing team's relief pitchers..." - "Nationals' Tracy perfect in a pinch" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Doubledays held a 7-5 lead heading into the ninth inning, and then the flood gates opened. Auburn sent 11 men to the plate in the ninth, and only two came away with hits, both of which were run-producing singles." - "Offensive outburst pushes Doubledays past Scrappers" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Shawn Pleffner went 4-for-6 with three RBI, leading the Auburn Doubledays past the Mahoning Valley Scrappers 12-5 at Eastwood Field..." - "Offensive outburst gives Doubledays win" - The Auburn Citizen

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 5, Shorebirds 3 - Khayyan Norfolk - 2 for 4, 1 HR; Blake Schwartz - 6.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Kevin Keyes blasted a three-run homer to bring the P-Nats within 8-4. It was the first homer since August 4th at Winston-Salem, a shot also hit by Keyes, for the Nationals." - "Potomac Falls 8-5 in Salem" - Potomac Nationals News

• "My sit down chat with Alex Meyer" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Double-A Harrisburg: Aeros 4, Senators 1 - Seth Bynum - 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 HR; Chien-Ming Wang - 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Toledo Mud Hens, 8-4, Thursday night in Syracuse." - "Duke pitches Chiefs to four-run win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Line of the Day: Chris Marrero, 1B – 3-for-4; A bunch to pick from today – Carlos Rivero 3-for-4, 2 R, HR RBI and Eury Perez 2-for-4, 2R, RBI" - "Duke twirls another gem, but loses 20 inning scoreless streak" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "And then you have a general manager who’s never won a championship. And he’s telling everybody, he knows more than orthopedic surgeons, pitching coaches, everybody." - "Rob Dibble slams Stephen Strasburg and Mike Rizzo" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "This time around, the Nats took care of business against a weaker team in Houston and won the first two against a previously surging Arizona team. But a loss on Sunday made them look potentially vulnerable heading into San Francisco." - "Road-warrior Nats overcome past failures" - Nationals Buzz: Marty Niland, MASNSports.com

• "On August 17, 2009 the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg agreed on a contract just before the August 17th midnight deadline." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Strasburg signs record breaking contract with Nats" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Video: Bryce Harper's advice to kids at his baseball camp: 'Be as sexy as you can!'" - Nats Enquirer

• "I have a simple goal for the Nats in this Mets series. Hold your ground. Do not lose a game in the standings to the Braves." - "Pobrecito Bravos" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Card Shark(adina)" - Sharkadina

• "Nats: Somebody check to see if Tom Boswell’s head is stuck in a Kool-Aid pitcher" - William Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "It was absolute excellence. Matt Harvey pitched a near masterpiece last night at Great American Ball Park, firing a gem in the Mets’ 8-4 win over the Reds." - "Matt Harvey dominates in the New York Mets’ 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night" - Mark Hale, NYPOST.com

Braves: "He needs two hits to reach 2,700, and Jones is 6-for-14 with three homers against tonight’s San Diego starter, ex-Braves righty Jason Marquis." - "On Chipper’s bobblehead, injuries, 3,000 hits and HOF" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Josh Lindblom stood helpless on the mound with his right arm resting on his side as fireworks exploded in Miller Park, and it was just the latest scene for this nightmare of a Phillies bullpen." - "Phillies blow late lead in 7-4 loss to Milwaukee Brewers" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "By not scoring in the first inning, the Marlins eclipsed the previous franchise mark of 27 scoreless innings, set in their inaugural 1993 season." - "Greg Dobbs hit a homer and drove in two runs to lead the Marlins to a 9-2 victory over the Phillie Wednesday afternoon" - Harvey Fialkov, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

MLB News: Yahoo!Sports' Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan): "Sources: MLB to test out new radar- and camera-based replay systems in Yankee Stadium and Citi Field starting next week."

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