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10/4/07 Breaking NEWS! Nationals Aim To Lead League In Strikeouts. Or Do They?

     Now I don't want to go sounding off here, but yesterday evening I noticed an article in YahooSports MLB Rumor section entitled, "Dunn, Wilkerson Might Get Interest From Nationals" which was sourced to the Washington Examiner, and asked, "Would the Washington Nationals consider bringing back Brad Wilkerson?," before mentioning Washington GM Jim Bowden's interest in Cincy's power-hitting outfielder Adam Dunn, who, the article mentions, is known to be good friends with Austin Kearns.

     I thought about it for a moment or two...Why bring in two more outfielders when you have Church, Logan, Pena, Kearns, Maxwell, etc. already in DC? Did it mean the end for Church and Logan? Would they really replace Church's (.272, 15, 70) and Logan's (.261, 0, 21) with Wilkerson's (.234, 20, 62) and Dunn's (.264, 40, 106)?

     Would Wilkerson be a backup in a Pena, Kearns, Dunn outfield? The Nationals did play Kearns in center once late in the season, was it a test? Did Dunn really hit 40 HR's with 106 RBI? (That really was my next question...)

     ...I decided to check on the source of the speculative rumor-repeating...the link led me to, which runs out Newark, NJ, and the original article, written by one Phil Wood, a sports writer for the Examiner who covers the Nationals in print and on XM radio according to a quick googling of his name.

     In a well-written and thoughtful article, Mr. Wood states that the Nationals are due to increase their payroll this offseason, and suggests that the man tasked with putting the 2008 roster together, DC GM Jim Bowden's recent decisions have payed off directly in the unexpected early success of the relocated, rebuilding franchise.

     Mr. Wood concludes the article by theorizing that the Nationals would most likely turn to the second tier of free agent options since they would be priced out of the big names by the usual suspects. Mr Wood suggests that Wilkerson's history in DC, and Bowden's well-documented history of interest in Dunn, who, to quote, Mr. Wood's article, has, "...been heard to speak favorably about playing in Washington," would make the two likely targets of the Nationals winter plans.

     But that's all the information Mr. Wood offers, and yet Yahoosports includes it in the MLB Rumor section as if it's straight out of Jim Bowden's mouth. Or maybe I just read it that way in my excitement at seeing the Nationals and Brad Wilkerson linked in the same sentence? I could bring my Wilkerson jersey out of storage!!! I guess what I'm asking this a case of Yahoosports reporting opinion as fact?(even though it was in their "rumor" section?) Read the articles for yourself and tell me what you think if you're as desperate for Nationals talk as me...

YahooSports summary...,4761 3

Phil Wood's Washington Examiner Article...