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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals War Of Words With Affiliate, Off Day In LA For Nats.

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Programming Notes: The Washington Nationals have an off day in LA, so Nats fans will have to find another way to beat the heat wave. While the Nats are out golfing and visiting friends on the West Coast, there's trouble brewing on the East Coast with the Nationals apparently involved in a war of words with one of their affiliates in what is definitely one of the biggest stories of this off day. Let's get to that and the other just-after-lunch-time links...Sorry they're late, I'm storing up sleep for this weekend's late-night series with the Dodgers...What? You can't store up sleep?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

MUST READ: "The rain has ended, but the flood of harsh words from the Washington Nationals, Potomac Nationals owner Art Silber and Prince William County hasn’t stopped." - "Potomac Nationals' field a source of three-way spat" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Nationals lost another one-run game yesterday, but they had chances to win it in extra innings only because of another dominant outing by Clippard." - "Before loss, Tyler Clippard bounces back" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I've spent my whole life on the road,' manager Davey Johnson said." - "Nats aren't fazed by life on the road" - Gene Duffy, nationals.com: News

• "Yes, it's that time again. Join me and Chase Hughes at 1 p.m. today for another live episode of Beltway Baseball on CSNwashington.com." - "Beltway Baseball Live today at 1 p.m." - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "In starts with an extra day of rest, Lannan's 4.36 ERA is nearly a full run higher than starts on typical rest (3.42)." - "Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers: Lannan, Kuroda go head-to-head in series opener" -  Steven Miller, MLB.com Preview

• "They'll pick things back up on Friday night in Los Angeles, with another series against a beatable team in the Dodgers, but they missed an opportunity in Houston this week." - "Nationals lose another one-run game to Astros" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'We needed to win the series after the tough loss in Atlanta. But you know what, they played us really strongly. We weren’t good enough today.'" - Tyler Clippard"Nationals vs. Astros: Jayson Werth breaks slump, but Houston prevails in extra innings" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'No question about it,' manager Davey Johnson said. 'It was a good series. We’re coming along, but I wanted to win two out of three here for sure.'" - "Werth's bat not enough in Nationals' 11-inning loss to Astros" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Gorzelanny said the ankle 'felt good' Wednesday morning before throwing a bullpen session." - "Gorzelanny likely to start against Dodgers" - Gene Duffy, nationals.com: News

• "Werth is a career .440 first-pitch hitter. He has as many homers (15) in his career as he does on 2-2 pitches, and only one fewer homer on the first pitch than he does on 2-1 counts." - "For Jayson Werth, swinging early hasn't been a bad strategy" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'The bottom line is they got hits, what they need to do to win the game, and I blew it for us,' Coffey said." - "Washington Nationals at Houston Astros: Coffey can't hold Astros in extra innings" - Gene Duffy, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'Not that (pitching coach Steve McCatty) hasn't done a great job, it's just that when I get more up to speed on the league, makeup and the pitchers on our staff then I start messing with it.'" - Davey Johnson - "Rotation and injury updates from Minute Maid Park" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'There’s not an urgency,' [Daveyj Johnson said. 'It’s not like you’ve got the second-coming coming back.'" - Davey Johnson on Pudge Rodriguez - "Davey Johnson still mulling Tom Gorzelanny’s next start, and more stuff" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'There's not one bad person on this team,' Zimmerman said. 'It makes it a lot better. I have never been on any team that had each other's backs like this one.'" - "Zimmerman says Nats are close-knit group" - Gene Duffy, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "To control negative physical and verbal actions, it is necessary to get at their root, the mind, and tame it." - 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

Class-A Auburn: "A two-run single by Matt Skole in the eleventh inning powered the Auburn Doubledays over the Williamsport Crosscutters in the second game of a two-game series at Historic Bowman Field on Wednesday night." - "Doubledays Outlast Crosscutters in Eleven" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "[A.J.] Cole, who did not factor into the decision, tossed 5.0 innings and surrendered just one earned run on four hits, without walking a batter, and striking out a pair." - "Hagerstown Falls to Augusta in Series Opener, Greenjackets Win 11th Straight" - Hagerstown Suns News

• Class-A Potomac: Sandy Leon - 3 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Daniel Rosenbaum - 9.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's - Potomac Nationals Scoreboard

• "Bryce Harper coached first base and then made a brief appearance in left field when Bill Rhinehart was ejected in the 8th inning." - "Bryce Harper Gets A Little Work On His Scheduled Day Off" - Harpermania.com

Double-A Harrisburg: Game Highlights -


• via senatorsbaseball on the YouTube.

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs (43-53), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, swept a doubleheader against the Buffalo Bisons (41-57) Wednesday at Alliance Bank Stadium." - "Chiefs sweep twin bill against Bisons" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Thursday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN: 

• "It's no secret the Nationals are still trying to find their identity. The franchise is better known for their minor league talent than the guys they have out on the major league field." - "Nationals still searching for an identity" - MASNSports.com Nationals Buzz: Ted Youngling - The Nats Blog.

• "Werth had his first home run in over a month, his 11th of the season, and two doubles – his first three-hit game in a Washington uniform – and could use this game as a launching pad to a strong second half." - "GAME 98 REVIEW: Werth Heats Up but Coffey Cold in 11th" - Tyler Radecki, NatsNewsNetwork

• "I will say 'give him time' but really I mean 'be 100% sure he can't hit because when you bring someone else in you don't want to jerk him around to bring Desmond back.'" - "Paging Ryan Zimmerman" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Here's to hoping PBR tall-boys cost $2.25 by Sunday." - "Good news/bad news? The Jayson Werth drink special got a little more expensive yesterday." - Nats Enquirer

• "On July 2, 1861, on the grounds of the Ellipse, the Washington Nationals baseball club played a baseball game against a team that was made up of soldiers from the 71st Infantry New York Regiment." - "D.C. Baseball History and The Battle of Bull Run" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• "Whatever Werth did over the All-Star break, it worked.  He returned to the plate with what seemed like a clear mind and new focus." - "And Jayson Werth Can Exhale" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

NL EAST UPDATES: 

Braves: "The Houston AstrosHunter Pence, at least at the moment, is not the Braves’ slugger of choice, two major league sources say." - "Atlanta Braves need a bat, but they might have to pay handsomely" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

Mets: "The Giants openly flirted with Carlos Beltran when the Mets visited San Francisco this month, and closer Brian Wilson recruited the Mets outfielder at the All-Star Game, but the teams are experiencing difficulty matching up in a trade." -  "Giants' interest in Beltran hits snag" - Andy Martino, New York Daily News

Mets: "At the center of trade talk all around New York — and baseball — is Carlos Beltran. The switch-hitting slugger is perhaps the biggest prize available on the market as the July 31 non-waiver deadline approaches." - "Is Thursday Carlos Beltran's Last Stand With Mets At Citi Field? Trade Could Be On Horizon With Mets Facing 10-Game Road Trip" - CBS New York

Marlins: "Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 19 games on Wednesday, and throughout his recent run, manager Jack McKeon has said multiple times Bonifacio is starting to remind him of former speedy, switch-hitting leadoff man Luis Castillo." - "McKeon continues to praise Bonifacio; Mujica would close if Nuñez gets traded"- Clark Spencer, Fish Bytes

Phillies: "Brad Lidge made what might be his final rehab appearance yesterday, pitching a scoreless eighth inning for Lakewood in a South Atlantic League game." - "Lidge hopes to rejoin Phils soon" - Philadelphia Daily News

BONUS STORY FOR READING THIS FAR: 

Dunn Update: "'If I’m not having fun anymore, I’ll go home,' Dunn told Yahoo! Sports. 'Flat out. I’ll go home. I mean that. Swear to goodness. I’ll. Go. Home. I enjoy playing. Even though I suck.'" - "Candid Dunn admits thinking about quitting" - Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports