Federal Baseball is in full recovery mode after a long weekend that began Friday morning at 3:30 am EDT when we packed up the car and drove from New Jersey to the nation's capital to take in the four-game series with the New York Mets... We took in three of the four games (of course we missed Friday night's game when Ryan Zimmerman hit walk-off no.9 of his career, but it was for a good reason, and we were there for wins on Saturday and Sunday so we can safely say we are not a jinx, you know, if jinxes exist.)
After Sunday's game we recorded another edition of Nats Nightly with the District Sports Page, wrote up a quick postgame and then drove back to NJ and sat in traffic for an hour and a half longer than the 4 and a 1/2 hours it usually takes so we're hurting today. Some of us were on the West Coast this weekend, some were driving up and down the East Coast. Now we're all tired. But the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline is approaching and there's a lot of chatter out there. So here's a quick edition of Wire Taps to keep you busy while we get our bearings...
• We also attended the SB Nation's D.C. meetup while we were in D.C.:
Kevin Lockland addressing the crowd at the SB Nation Blogger Meet-Up in DC (with side of mac 'n cheese). pic.twitter.com/nuyRW2fNBn— SB Nation (@sbnation) July 26, 2013
• Here are a few radio shows with District Sports Page's Dave Nichols:
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo talked to reporters on Saturday, explaining that he didn't see the Nationals making a splash before the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. He did, however, say that there was one thing he could see the defending NL East Champs adding:
"If we could tweak or improve certain spots on the bench," Rizzo said, "I think that would be one place that we would attack."
• Here's what some of the beat writers and reporters around the country are saying about the Nationals as the trade deadline approaches:
• "Adding a veteran left-handed hitter for the bench would help the Nationals. Current players such as Roger Bernadina and Steve Lombardozzi have not provided pop from the left side." - "Nats on the hunt for additional pieces before Deadline" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News
• "An opposing scout, in fact, said Washington is the most obvious team currently with a losing record capable of 'pulling a Dodgers,' which is to say putting together a sustained run of excellence to get from below .500 to the top of a division." - "Waiting for a surge, underachieving Nationals not in selling mode" - Joel Sherman, NYPOST.com
• "The Nats have made two bold moves this week, but Rizzo suggested he doesn't anticipate a 'big splash' on the trade market." - "Will fireworks in front office light a spark in disappointing Nationals?" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
• "They could continue going with righties Dan Haren and Ross Ohlendorf and turn to righty Nate Karns, if necessary. They do not want to part with any of their high-end young pitching — righty A.J. Cole and lefties Robbie Ray and Sammy Solis." - "Will World Series champion San Francisco Giants, now in last place, be sellers at trade deadline?" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN
• "Just because the Nationals have sputtered and gagged to this point doesn’t mean they’re finished, and just because they have underperformed so far does not mean they can or should be written off." - "Why the Nationals still have a chance" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post
• Harper/Rose: Davey Johnson spoke to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies last week about Bryce Harper's all-out approach to the game and told the show's hosts essentially, "Harper is going to be Harper." I guess since we have his actual words, we can print those too. Here's what we wrote last week:
Harper continues to slide headfirst, Johnson said, "... because that's just who he is."
"Have you told him to slide feet first?" a Junkie asked.
"I told him just do what you do," the Nats' skipper said, "It would be like telling Pete Rose, 'Don't slide headfirst.'"
Here's what Pete Rose said about Bryce Harper on Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio recently:
• "'He’s not gonna get hurt by playing hard,' [Pete] Rose said. 'Who played harder than I did? I should rephrase that; he’s GONNA get hurt, but he’s not gonna hurt where it’s gonna take him out of the lineup for a length of time.'" - "Pete Rose on Bryce Harper" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog, Washington Post
• Good Biogenesis News?:
From what we've heard, Gio Gonzalez did not receive PEDs, so unlikely he'll face discipline.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 28, 2013
• More Links - Here are some more links to get you through the afternoon while we get going again:
•"This weekend, they gained ground not in the NL East but in the Wild Card race, with the Reds getting swept in Los Angeles while the Nationals were winning those three straight games against the Mets." - "Is it still possible to catch the Braves?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com
• "When the Washington Nationals dispersed for the three-day All-Star break a couple of weeks ago, manager Davey Johnson left them with a message: 'We’ve got work to do.'" - "Everything comes together in Nationals' rout of Mets" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times
• "Wilson Ramos had the ball from his first career grand slam sitting in his locker after the game, a ball he said he was going to give to his mother." - "Nationals Pastime: Span on his homer barrage, Ramos on his first grand slam" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "Even with two days off this week, the Nationals’ rotation will stay on turn ahead of next week’s crucial series against the Atlanta Braves, Manager Davey Johnson said." - "Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann to face Braves next week" - James Wagner, Washington Post
• "So take this sudden and surprising hot streak with a grain of salt. Yes, they've won four of five. But they're still two games under .500 with 56 to play." - "Nats' wild homestand ends with winning streak" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington
• "Taylor Jordan, the rookie inserted into the rotation as a stopgap for injuries, delivered the best outing of his young major league career for his first win in six tries." - "Nationals vs. Mets: Washington pounds out 14 runs, 18 hits in Taylor Jordan’s first major league win" - James Wagner, The Washington Post