Wire Taps: Jayson Werth vs Jimmy Rollins; Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo "One More Time" On Stephen Strasburg

Mike Ehrmann

Washington Nationals' manager Mike Rizzo once again talked about the decision to shut Stephen Strasburg down last season as the Nats' 24-year-old right-hander threw his first live BP session of 2013. Jayson Werth talked smack about Jimmy Rollins' smack talk. Bryce Harper's workout commercial dropped. Links!!!

What happened in the last 24 hours in NatsTown? Things got real. Par exemple?: Washington Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth decided to respond to what former Philadelphia Phillies' teammate Jimmy Rollins had to say about the role injuries played in the way the NL East shook out in 2012. 120 Curly W's? Bryce Harper's new Under Armour commercial dropped. The internet was abuzz with talk about the 20-year-old slugger's glow-in-the-dark workout routine and the Nats held their first live BP sessions yesterday, with 24-year-old right-hander Stephen Strasburg facing hitters for the first time this Spring. The first ST game of the year takes place on Saturday in the NY Mets' ST home. A new season is almost upon us. On ESPN980's The Sports Fix on Wednesday, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was asked about the Strasburg shut down again...

The Nats' 52-year-old GM and Executive Vice President of Baseball Ops first told the show's hosts, Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro, that he thought the baseball world missed the big story out of the nation's capital last season. "The attention should have been on the pitcher Stephen Strasburg," Rizzo said, "And the 98-win Washington Nationals throughout the season and the steps we were taking to become a championship caliber ballclub."

"But, we did the same thing the year before with Jordan Zimmermann," Rizzo said of the Nats' rehab plan for pitchers who've undergone Tommy John surgery, "... we're going to do it with [Sammy] Solis and Lucas Giolito. I've been doing it my whole developmental career. And it was something that we were so matter-of-fact about it and so decisive about it, as you put it, because we believed in it. It was explained to my ownership early on in the process way back in January before the season. I gave them all of the facts that I had my disposal that helped me make my decision and my philosophy years ago and they were totally on board with it. So I had, really, the only people that had a problem with it was the media, and really, largely it was the national media, the local media were on board with it."

"Did you ever get any pushback?" ESPN980's Kevin Sheehan asked. "Was there ever any internal discussion about, 'You know what? Maybe we should look at this again?"

"Yes," Rizzo said, "We were discussing it quite a bit. But that was early on. When we made the decision and I put a finality to it, it was supported by everybody. And we don't have a lot of 'Yes men' in the our front office, especially in the manager's seat. And believe me, if they would have disagreed with it from the ownership down, you would have heard about it and it would have been much louder than the controversy itself."

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

"'I would never find Jimmy Rollins disrespectful,' [Jayson Werth] said. 'I respect him too much. But if we were healthy all year, we might have won 120 games. But we'll have a chance to find out this year.'" - "Inside the Phillies: Nationals don't need motivation from Jimmy Rollins to get ready for 2013" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

• NATS BEAT:

• "Beyond the dollars, though, [Jayson] Werth sensed a sincerity to the Nats' approach when he signed on the dotted line just before the Winter Meetings in 2010." - "Jayson Werth and the Nationals are hungry to make a title run in 2013" - Anthony Castrovince, nationals.com: News

• "VIDEO: Davey Johnson one-on-one" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "As Tyler Moore, Roger Bernadina, Chris Snyder and Chad Tracy cycled through the batting cage, [Stephen] Strasburg threw all of his pitches." - "Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler lead Nationals in first live batting practice" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren, 32, says he isn’t coming in with the intent of being anyone’s mentor. But that figures to happen anyway, even if he never says a word." - "Dan Haren brings reliability, control to young Nationals rotation" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "But even though it was just live BP and Stephen Strasburg wasn't throwing full force, the Nationals right-hander looked sharp during this morning's workout." - "Nationals Pastime: Strasburg discusses his first live batting practice session" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Even when he knew what was coming, [Tyler] Moore emerged impressed with [Stephen] Strasburg's overall arsenal, particularly his mid-90s sinker." - "Pitchers dominate live BP" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg threw mainly fastballs during his 37 pitch session but did manage to mix in a few off-speed pitches and he appeared to have a pretty sharp curve ball." - "Strasburg throws first live BP" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "Tyler Moore, Roger Bernadina, Chris Snyder and Chad Tracy faced [Stephen] Strasburg and were largely unsuccessful at the plate." - "Strasburg impresses in first spring batting practice" - Bill Ladson and Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

Twitter: via CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman:

• "In the batting cage in [Denard] Span’s backyard, [Rick] Eckstein and Span set about rediscovering his 2009 swing." - "Denard Span going back to his 2009 swing" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "As [Roger] Bernadina warmed up just before stepping into the cage, he turned around and started chatting with a couple of reporters." - "Nationals Pastime: Quick-hit notes from Wednesday's workout" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez says he and the Nationals are still waiting to hear from Major League Baseball..." - "Gio Gonzalez, Nationals still awaiting MLB word on PED probe" - AP/Washington Times

• "ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' reported Tuesday night that while Gonzalez did receive $1,000 worth of substances from embattled Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch, none were considered PEDs." - "Gonzalez 'confident this is going to come out good'" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "'I’m going to be honest with you guys, I haven’t heard anything yet officially from MLB,' [Gio] Gonzalez said to a group of reporters." - "Gio Gonzalez responds to report he did not purchase PEDs" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "It's not a major development in spring, but live batting practice offers hitters a chance to track pitches and put a real swing on balls thrown by major leaguers..." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from the catchers (plus Gonzalez statement)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Christian] Garcia's history of serious arm trouble actually makes him less worried about a minor issue like this." - "Garcia sits with stomach, forearm issues" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Christian] Garcia said he was also feeling some discomfort in his right wrist, but said that's not something he or the club is concerned about." - "Stomach pain postpones Garcia's throwing session" - Bill Ladson, Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Nationals right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia left practice early today with both lingering pain in his stomach and minor tightness between his right wrist and forearm." - "Christian Garcia dealing with stomach pain, forearm tightness" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• AUDIO: Mike Rizzo on ESPN980's The Sports Fix Pt. 1:

• AUDIO: Mike Rizzo On ESPN980's The Sports Fix Pt. 2:

• "To get warmed up before lifting, [Bryce] Harper did eight to 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercises, usually running or on stationary bikes. The lifting portion of the workouts is non-stop and intense." - "More on Bryce Harper’s offseason workouts" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "As [Roger] Bernadina warmed up just before stepping into the cage, he turned around and started chatting with a couple of reporters." - "Nationals Pastime: Quick-hit notes from Wednesday's workout" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals manager says he likes where [Danny] Espinosa is at." - "Nationals 2B Espinosa's new approach could pay off" - AP/WTOP.com

• "[Steve] Lombardozzi is not the kind of player to complain about his role. But he also made his intentions clear: He wants to wrest the regular second base job from Danny Espinosa..." - "Could Steve Lombardozzi challenge Danny Espinosa?" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Ryan Zimmerman has been here for all of it. He appreciates every day of the excellence he sees now on the fields in Viera because he had a front row seat to the dysfunction." - "For the Nationals, it's a different sort of spring" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Most impressive was that [Wilson] Ramos was able to block a couple of balls in the dirt thrown by right-hander Stephen Strasburg." - "Ramos motivated after catching Strasburg's BP" - Bill Ladson and Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "During an eight-game stretch from July 17-Aug. 22 last season, a whopping 89 percent of [Ross] Detwiler's pitches were fastballs, according to Fangraphs." - "Nationals Pastime: One area of focus that could put Detwiler 'over the top'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals’ bench consists of one archetype reserve and four 20-somethings thirsting for more playing time." - "Washington Nationals have plenty in reserve on a deep bench" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Last year after the Nationals beat the Phillies to capture the N.L. East division crown, Jimmy Rollins did a very Jimmy Rollins thing." - "Werth: 'We might have won 120 games'" - Chase Hughes, CSN Washington

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

VIDEO: Bryce Harper's New Under Armour Commercial:


• "A new Under Armour commercial featuring Bryce Harper features one strange workout shot." - "Bryce Harper's new commercial briefly gets very weird" - Ted Berg, USA TODAY Sports

• "... the Brewers rotation actually had a slightly better strikeout-to-walk ratio than the heralded Nationals rotation." - "Underrated Brewers rotation will surprise" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

• "He never got that strike. He never got that out. The Washington Nationals never got to celebrate winning the first postseason series in their history." - "Brutal defeat hasn't kept Drew Storen down" - Jayson Stark, Spring Training Blog - ESPN

• "The Nationals response to Jimmy Rollins: injuries are part of the deal" - Craig Calcaterra, HardballTalk

• "'If you cheat, I hope you get caught,' [David] Wright told the New York Daily News. 'I don't care if you're with the same agency I'm with or not. If you're a cheater, I hope you get caught, and I hope you get punished.'" - "Wright on clinic: 'If you cheat, I hope you get caught'" - Gabe Lacques, USA Today Sports

• "Add this to the epicness of Werth's beard: A glaring photo day shot that looks into your soul ... and just happens to be perfect for meme-ing." - "Reader challenge: Jayson Werth and his beard need your memes" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

IMMM™: "After missing two months, he began his minor-league rehabilitation. Just a handful of games into it, Washington GM Mike Rizzo called to tell Morse they needed him in the bigs." - "Michael Morse predicts great things from Mariners" - Larry Stone, Baseball Wires - MiamiHerald.com

• "Terry Collins is sending a message with his first lineup of the year. Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be at the top of the lineup when the Mets open their Grapefruit League slate Saturday against the Nationals." - "Kirk Nieuwenhuis to hit leadoff in NY Mets' spring training opener vs. Washington Nationals" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

• "[Danny] Rosenbaum, a starter in the Nationals chain, will be looked at for both duties during the spring." - "Weiss: Helton to miss 'first handful' of spring games" - Thomas Harding, Rockies.com: News

• NATSTOWN/MINORS:

• "February 21, 1969: Ted Williams returns to baseball full-time, signing a five-year contract to manage the Washington Senators." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Ted Williams returns to baseball full-time" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Washington Nationals fans will get to see the team's first spring training telecast Saturday at noon on the MLB Network." - "This is a big weekend for TV sports" - Jim Williams, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Nats, Bryce Harper now jinxed by Sports Illustrated cover" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Bryce Harper’s newest commercial is neon" - Sarah Kogod, Washington Post

• "VIDEO: Bryce Harper's latest Under Armour #IWill commercial" - Nats Enquirer

• "'I think center field is a position of strength for us,' Nationals director of player development Doug Harris said." - "Nats center field prospects a 'position of strength' with Perez and Goodwin leading way" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Two sources said Gio didn't receive banned substances, which matches up with what Gio said and more importantly matches up with the facts we already knew about the case." - "Walking in place" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "I enjoyed these photos of various Washington Nationals from the team’s annual picture day down in Viera." - "Jayson Werth’s beard, Ian Desmond’s mustache win Nats photo day" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Werth: Healthy 2012 Nats could have won 120 games" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "2013 Lineup Preview: Starting Pitchers" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "The Nationals have put together their list of prospects for the accelerated development program as they prepare to go to work next month in Viera, Fla." - "Nationals release accelerated development roster" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Nationals Unveil 'Accelerated Camp' Roster" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "The Nationals Review Podcast Episode 16" - The Nationals Review

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: " Zack Wheeler is a big name in Mets camp, but until yesterday many of his potential future teammates had never seen him throw a pitch." - "Wheeler looks ‘like a No. 1’ against live Mets batters" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "[Chase] Utley's presence in any Grapefruit League game is significant. He has not played in the spring since 2010 because of his chronically injured knees. After two days of action, Utley will skip Sunday's road trip to Lakeland, Fla." - "Chase Utley will play when Phillies start exhibition season" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "Marlins All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was struck in the head by a fastball that got away from top prospect Jose Fernandez during a simulated game Wednesday afternoon at the team’s spring training complex." - "JUPITER: Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton says he’s OK after taking fastball off helmet" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "Despite health issues, [Freddie] Freeman improved in several categories over his strong 2011 rookie season..." - "Braves' Freeman healthy, leaner for 3rd season" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

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