Wire Taps: Nationals get Bryce Harper back, bobbleheads, run-scoring hits, lineup suggestions and all

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI in his return from the DL last night as the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies. He also said some stuff. And hey what happened to that line about the Yankees in that WaPost story?

So, Bryce Harper came off the DL, gave his thoughts on the lineup, stirred up some controversy, made some headlines, provided media outlets with plenty of page views, drove in a run, sold a lot of tickets, appeared in bobblehead form, said the Nationals were the best team in baseball and made some crazy, unexpected throws that had his manager talking and helped Washington to a win in the series opener with the Colorado Rockies.

"We're the best team in baseball. I truly believe that." -QOTD: Bryce Harper on MASN's post game interview

All in a day's work for the 21-year-old slugger. Should he have offered his thoughts on the lineup?

Should he have just given the standard milquetoast answers to the lineup questions he was asked?

Should he have thought about what Denard Span might think of his lineup comments?

Did he and Span have a tense moment afterwards where they didn't "slap" gloves in celebration? Not really.

What an exciting day...


Relive it all in link form... starting... RIGHT NOW!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Instead of 'Nothing But Natitude,' Harper’s box could’ve read, 'Nothing But Attitude.'" - "Bryce Harper returns to the Nationals, with attitude" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Ryan Zimmerman went back to third base for the first time since April 12 and made a dynamite play on a line drive, turning it into a double play. He also went 3-for-4 with two RBIs." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams on Harper's return, Desmond's knock, Zimmerman's defense after 7-3 win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Harper's short time in the big leagues has been filled with hype, controversy and production uncommon for a player his age. Here's a look at some of the numbers..." - "Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper: By the numbers" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• "It was Bryce Harper’s night and a big crowd came out to Nationals Park on a Monday in part to snag one of his bobble head dolls." - "Ryan Zimmerman shines for Nats on Bryce Harper's night" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "Standing in front of a pack of reporters at his locker, Harper was asked about Zimmerman moving to left field when Zimmerman came off the disabled list in early June." - "Bryce Harper says Matt Williams should keep Ryan Zimmerman in left field" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "For the first time in three months, the Nationals took the field tonight feeling like a complete ballclub again." - "Harper’s return, Desmond’s clutch hit lead Nationals over Rockies" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "It was subtle, but Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper made his presence felt early in his first game back in the lineup since April 25." - "Bryce Harper and the Nationals take the field (Nats win 7-3)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Harper improves a lineup that has been sputtering since he went on the disabled list." - "Harper provides spark as Nats at full strength" - Bill Ladson and Daniel Popper, nationals.com: News

• "Then two innings later, Zimmerman made the kind of instinctual and gifted play that earned him his sterling defensive reputation in the first place." - "Ryan Zimmerman adjusts to life back at third base" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Ryan Zimmerman made a career (and won a Gold Glove) playing third base as gracefully as the best of them." - "Ryan Zimmerman can still play third base" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Yesterday was the first time since the seventh inning on opening day that we got to see the planned eight starting position players in place." - "Nationals Pastime: A dangerous lineup, from top to bottom" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The hit made Desmond 11-for-16 (.647) with 16 RBI in his career when the previous batter is walked intentionally, according to the Elias Sports Bureau." - "Ian Desmond punishes intentional walks" - Andrew Simon, All Nats All the Time

• "On Monday, Bryce Harper returned as the final piece, and the results were a dramatic reminder of what they are capable of." - "Nats lineup comes together, comes through vs. Rockies" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "However, with the final ballot update coming out Tuesday before results are announced over the weekend, Rendon stands among the leaders for second basemen in a number of offensive categories." - "Rendon continues campaign for All-Star Game" - Bill Ladson and Daniel Popper, nationals.com: News

• "Nine players capable of playing every day will share eight spots, with Williams juggling the lineup based on pitching matchups, fatigue and other factors." - "Matt Williams will juggle the Nationals’ lineup ‘daily’" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper returned to the lineup for the first time since April 25 and contributed an RBI single and a run scored in a 7-3 win over Colorado." - "Clubhouse chatter from Harper, Zimmerman, Desmond and Zimmermann after 7-3 win" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals' offense was supposed to erupt with the return of outfielder Bryce Harper, and it did..." - "Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals - June 30, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Bryce Harper caused some controversy by questioning the lineup before his first game back off of the disabled list." - "Bryce Harper already causing controversy" - Buster Olney, ESPN

• "Strasburg and Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty believe they've identified and corrected a mechanical flaw that was causing Strasburg to rush his delivery." - "Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals - July 1, 2014" - Cody Ulm, MLB.com Preview

• "The Nationals are off and on, so I’m hoping they’re on tonight considering the fact that the above men will have a rather large platoon advantage." - "Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 1 — For Draftstreet" - Landon Jones, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• "In 91 plate appearances prior to the injury, Harper batted .289/.352/.422 with a home run and seven extra-base hits." - "MLB news: Jake Arrieta nearly no-hits Red Sox, Rajai Davis hits a walk-off grand slam, Bryce Harper returns" - Alex Skillin, SBNation.com

• "It didn't take long — nine innings, in fact —for Bryce Harper to be every bit the Bryce Harper he can be in his return to the Washington Nationals lineup." - "Bryce Harper returns to Nats, proclaims 'We're the best team in baseball'" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "The Rockies crawled out of a bad month after Monday night — the worst June in franchise history — following one whopper of a metaphor in the sixth inning at Nationals Park." - "Rockies' momentum fades quickly in D.C." - Nick Groke, Boulder Daily Camera

• "Harper’s presence, coupled with Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing problems from third, have given the Nats more qualified position players than they have open positions, which has made everyone around the team wonder: Where will they put their surplus player(s)?" - "Overthinking It: The Nationals' Non-Problem" - Ben Lindbergh, Baseball Prospectus

• "Stephen Strasburg and Christian Friedrich couldn't have had more opposite professional careers..." - "Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals - July 1, 2014" - Cody Ulm, MLB.com Preview

• "Tyler Clippard is likely next in line in the pecking order but Drew Storen is having a nice comeback season after a down year in 2013." - "Bullpen Report: June 30, 2014" - Benjamin Pasinkoff, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• "Another playoff contender, the Washington Nationals, previously held the lowest home average price, but with an average price of $58.19, Nationals tickets are now more expensive." - "Despite First Place, Dodgers Tickets Cheapest On Secondary Market" - Jesse Lawrence, Forbes

• NATS MINORS:

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

Class-A Auburn: "Carey registered three hits in his first three games with Auburn, but has been held hitless in the last three contests." - "Outfielder Dale Carey, former Miami Hurricane, looks to round out game with Auburn Doubledays" - Jeremy Houghtaling, Auburn Citizen

Low-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (8-4, 52-30) fell behind 6-0 early to the Delmarva Shorebirds (6-6, 44-37) on Monday night and could never climb back from that hole, eventually losing by a final of 9-5." - "Suns fall to Shorebirds 9-5, split series" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

High-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals (6-4) erased a 9-0 deficit to tie the game at nine before falling 10-9 to the Frederick Keys (3-9) on Monday night. LF Michael Burgess's solo home run in the top of the ninth was the difference." - "P-Nats Erase Nine-Run Deficit, Fall 10-9" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "On the disabled list from April 15 to June 23, RF Drew Vettleson continues to show signs he's nearly 100 percent recovered from a broken bone in his right hand." - "Harrisburg Senators turn the calendar page, open July slate tonight at home vs. Flying Squirrels" - Dave Sottile, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Catcher Sandy Leon belted a one-out, walkoff home run off of Luis Ayala in the 11th, sending the Chiefs to a comeback win." - "Leon blasts Chiefs to walkoff win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NATSTOWN:

• "Bryce Harper returned to the Nationals lineup on Monday for the first time since he tore a ligament in his thumb in late April." - "Nationals’ Bryce Harper looks just like his bobblehead in return from DL" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post

• "So anyhow, it was Mitt Monday at Nats Park." - "Nats on the rise in NL Yeast" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post

• "In the original version of Boswell's story that appeared online Monday night, the second paragraph was about how Harper was going to end up with the Yankees in 4 1/2 years." - "Bryce Harper ruins Bryce Harper's return by being Bryce Harper?" - Nats Enquirer


• "With the turn of the calendar from June into July, baseball collectively diverts its attention, albeit briefly, from the games on the field to the ballots for the All-Star Game..." - "Turning attention to Nats in the All-Star balloting" - Nationals Buzz: Stuart Wallace, MASNSports.com

• "George Washington and Abe Lincoln represented Team USA on Monday, wearing their home white uniforms." - "Videos: Nats Park crowd chants 'USA' as racing presidents act out USA vs. Belgium" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. But tonight, the Washington Nationals realized just how much they had been missing without Bryce Harper." - "Nats Cruise Past Rockies in Harper’s Return" - Andrew Flax, The Nats Blog

• "After missing 57 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Bryce Harper returned to the Washington Nationals’ lineup Monday night, helping his team to a 7-3 win over the Colorado Rockies." - "Washington Nationals Game 82 Review: Zimmermann Secures Win in Harper’s Return" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "On Friday, the Nats will play the Cubs in an 11:05 a.m. game that will feature lots and lots of flags and many beer cans emblazoned with Old Glory." - "Washington's Independence Day Patriotic Palooza" - Jason Dick, Roll Call After Dark

• "The other punching bag is back!" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Get To Know A Nat 2014: Zach Walters" - Nationals 101

• "State of the Nats at the halfway point" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "All Braves right-hander Gavin Floyd can do for now is wait to see if and when he will be able to pitch again." - "After elbow surgery Braves’ Gavin Floyd must wait on prognosis" - Michael Cunningham, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "One of the items I wrote about over the weekend at HardballTalk involved Phillies president David Montgomery and his reluctance to rebuild." - "David Montgomery Doesn’t Want to Rebuild Because Attendance Will Fall" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "Jeurys FamiliaJuan Lagares and Eric Campbell committed errors in the eighth inning, which lead to four runs..." - "What happened in the 8th inning last night?" - Matthew Cerrone, Metsblog

Marlins: "Included in the Houston Astros’ hacked data deposited in Anonbin, a clearinghouse for such information, were a couple of Miami Marlins tidbits." - "Miami Marlins included in Houston Astros' leaked trade notes" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel

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