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Washington Nationals: Rumor Mill And Notes...Stephen Strasburg, Jim Riggleman and Cristian Guzman.

• Washington Post - Nationals Journal - "Negotiations, Suspensions, Operations" - Chico Harlan.

"The countdown clock ticks away, but the real action must wait. Executives who've dealt with Boras in the past say he strategically holds off all serious negotiating until the 11th hour. 'That's his strategy,' one executive said. 'He's got his timetable. That's his M.O.'"

(ed. note - "Anyone who was under the illusion that anything was going to get done before the last possible minute should prepare themselves for a long night on Monday. The Nationals have the day off after the upcoming four-game stint in Cincinnati, so you know what we'll be doing all day here at Federal, obsessing, and I don't want to hear that signing or not signing Strasburg is no big is...")

(Segue: Speaking Of Cincinnati...) - 

Donkey Comes Home...

• Dunn comes back to his mother city | News - Adam Rosenberg

"I don't know how it's going to be," Dunn said. "I won't really know until I get there. It should be interesting, though."

(ed. note - "Adam Dunn's going to be making his first trip back to the city in which he began his legendary home-run-hitting career. In Great American Ballpark, which Dunn called home for 6 of his 8 seasons as a Red, the Big DCMD (Don't Call Me Donkey!) hit 124 of his 308 career HR's, while batting .254 and on basing at .385. Yes I said, on-basing...")

More On Crow...Or Maybe The Other Way Around.

• MLB Draft Blog - ESPN - Keith Law. 

"Latest rumor on Kansas City's first pick, Aaron Crow, has Crow indicating that the Royals' $3 million offer, which frankly is more than generous considering his lack of leverage at this point, was not sufficient to get him to sign..."

(ed. note - Aaron Crow (RHP) went 9th overall to the Washington Nationals in last year's draft and when the two sides couldn't agree on a contract, he played out the year and reentered the Draft. The Kansas City Royals made Crow the 12th pick of the Draft this time around, and the pitcher doesn't like what he's hearing from the Royals either...Starting to think maybe this wasn't the Nationals fault...")

More On Rizzo, And The GM Job...

• Ken Williams made another bold move in acquiring Alex Rios - Jon Heyman

"The Nats have been conducting a GM search, which doesn't seem to bode well for Rizzo. But the club-owning Lerners are nothing if not unpredictable. The field has apparently been narrowed to Rizzo plus two well-respected assistant GMs, Boston's Jed Hoyer and Arizona's Jerry DiPoto. There is some thought a permanent GM could be named by the end of the month."

(ed. note - Mr. Heyman also speculates that the job Jim Riggleman's done could earn him consideration for the full-time manager position next season...Mike Rizzo, who's trade for Nyjer Morgan has, in Mr. Heyman's words received, "...almost universally positive" reviews, but the Nationals, according to "some execs" Mr. Heyman quotes, might be, "worrying too much about their present record." Oh, and the fact that Cristian Guzman cleared waivers, "...shows you his value," according to a "competing exec", though they make no mention of the role Guzman's silly salary might have played in his passing through...") 

And Finally, If You're Not Down With Eckstein Yet, Get Down...The Man's A Geenyus...

• Eckstein suspended one game | News - Adam Rosenberg

Replays may have shown that Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein had reason to argue on Tuesday night, but that argument landed him a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball.

(ed. note - This is Eckstein's second blow up, and he's not going to stands it anymore...and when was the last time you saw a hitting coach get tossed...")

That's what's going on this afternoon...