The Starting Nine: Nationals Links; Rumors; Info

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

So you're not sitting around monitoring Twitter, searching #Nats, sifting through aggregators and sorting through hundreds of random blog posts and stories about the Washington Nationals? We try to make it easy for you with "The Starting Nine," a collection of the stories you need to read...

We understand, sort of, not really, that not everyone can spend their offseason waiting around for some news on the Washington Nationals to break. So if you find yourself wondering what you missed in the last week, catch up every Monday morning with The Starting Nine. Nine topics/stories that will keep you in the know as far as what's going on with the nation's capital's Nats. We're also including "The Rotation" below, the Top 5 Stories from the last week on Federal Baseball...

1. Nationals Set To Hire Matt Williams:

• "Rizzo knew Williams would get a job as a major league skipper, and he wanted to make sure that job was with the Nationals." - "Nationals Pastime: Looking deeper into the Matt Williams hire" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have not confirmed Williams as the replacement for the retired Davey Johnson because Major League Baseball prohibits teams from making major announcements during the World Series." - "Baseball Notes: Sources: Nationals to hire Matt Williams" - Philadelphia Inquirer

• "The Nationals are clearly looking to establish a long-term presence, and it's just as clear that Rizzo got the man he's been envisioning for the role." - "Will first-time manager Matt Williams be a good fit with Nationals?" - Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

2. Nationals Pick Williams: Reactions:

• "Williams was a hard-nosed, fiery player, but since becoming a coach, he has impressed those in the Arizona organization with his ability to stay calm and focused regardless of the situation." - "Arizona Diamondbacks happy to see Matt Williams get opportunity" - Steve Gilbert, nationals.com: News

• "He was a big idol to me. He was one of the best managers I have ever played for. Goes about his business professionally and has a fiery attitude." - Aaron Barrett on Matt Williams - "Barrett on Williams: 'He was one of the best managers I have ever played for'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "It’s mildly surprising, with the Nationals considered a contending club, that GM Mike Rizzo didn’t even interview an experienced manager." - "REPORT: Nats to hire Matt Williams as next manager" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Knorr said Friday that he wants to remain in Washington. The presence of both men, one as the other’s superior, may create an unusual dynamic, especially among players who backed Knorr." - "Washington Nationals react to news of Matt Williams’ pending hire" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

3. The Williams Conversation:

• "Williams, 47, became embroiled in the performance-enhancing drug scandal because of drug purchases he admittedly made from a Florida clinic at the end of his career." - "Matt Williams will become first major league manager with ties to game’s steroids years" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

4. Or Elbow:

• "When does player health come before the team? And we watched [quarterback Robert Griffin III] in Washington; we watched [Washington Nationals pitcher] Stephen Strasburg when they shut him down with the shoulder..." - "NBA great Isiah Thomas has his critics, but has much to offer" - Gary Washburn, The Boston Globe

5. Stan Kasten Compared To George Steinbrenner:

• "In his previous baseball incarnations as chief executive of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, Stan Kasten took a special pride at being the anti-Steinbrenner, champion of the small-market, judicious-spending clubs that did things right and sought to be models of stability." - "Dodgers' handling of Don Mattingly recalls memories of George Steinbrenner" - Bill Madden, NY Daily News

6. P-Nats Season In Review:

• "Season Review: 2013 Potomac Nationals" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

7. Bryce Harper's Knee:

• "Just a photo of Bryce Harper recovering from knee surgery" - Nats Enquirer

8. Not A Bad Year; But A Bad Enough End To Wonder:

• "The Nationals have made it clear they intend to try to acquire a more reliable left-handed reliever this winter..." - "Washington Nationals roster review: Fernando Abad" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

9. Cole's The New Meyer:

• "'To his credit, he really made quick adjustments. His secondary stuff, his changeup and breaking ball, they both came along.'" - Spin Williams on A.J. Cole"Spin Williams: A.J. Cole has grown by 'leaps and bounds'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Federal Baseball - The Rotation:

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