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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Weekend In Review. Six Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report...

• Almost There: With just six days until pitchers and catchers report (Feb.19), it's almost time to get ready to get ready for the 2012 campaign. There aren't many roster spots open this Spring for the Nats, but there are some things to be decided in Spring Training. Who will win the utility infield job? How will the Opening Day outfield be configured? Is this Bryce Harper kid for real? We haven't heard much about him this winter, do you think he has a chance at making the Opening Day roster? We might discuss this a little more in the next week, since the topic hasn't been getting the press it should...Which five starters will begin the season in the rotation? Will John Lannan get dealt this Spring? This weekend at Federal Baseball we listened back to Brad Lidge's interview on MLB Network Radio and heard what he had to say about his former Phillies teammate Jayson Werth. We also looked at the objectives that have to be met by the city of Winchester, Virginia if they're going to lure the Nats' Low-A affiliate away from Hagerstown, and went over's Keith Law's list of the Washington Nationals' Top Prospects. Here's what others around NatsTown were talking about this weekend...Links and lots of 'em, RIGHT NOW!!!


2012 Top 101 Prospects: 1. Matt Moore, LHP, Rays 2. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals" - "Future Shock: Top 101 Prospects" - Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus


• "So will the U.S. Senator from the District respond to Casey? Oh, that's right. There is no senator representing D.C. in Congress." - "Fight with Philadelphia is not one the Nationals can win" - Thom Loverro, Washington Examiner

• "For six years, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and his network of scouts and front-office executives worked to rebuild one of baseball's worst farm systems." - "Nationals manage to change the system" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "There's no question the roster that will gather in Viera one week from today will be the most talented one in the Nationals' brief history." - "How the Nats were assembled" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "No matter how much Davey Johnson wants him on the team, Harper’s presence on the Opening Day roster makes little sense from a development or business standpoint." - "Predicting the Washington Nationals’ 25-man Opening Day roster" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The most interesting battle of Nationals spring training in Viera, Fla., might not be waged on the field. It centers around top prospect Bryce Harper..." - "Five things Bryce Harper has to do to make the 25-man roster" - Pete Kerzel,

• "One thing I think fans would be most interested in are Lerner's responses to questions about the future -- about how to keep all the talent they've accumulated in the organization." - "A few more farm system leftovers" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Stephen Strasburg is back for a full season, and Washington added lefty Gio Gonzalez and closer Brad Lidge." - "Prediction for 2012 NL East race" - Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post

• "The Nationals enter Spring Training with a different attitude. For the first time in their history they expect to win, and they have every right to feel this way." - "Nats bring new confidence to Spring Training" - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Randy] Levine was especially impressed with the pitchers the Nationals have acquired the past two months, one of whom the Yankees had their eyes on." - "Yankees' Levine impressed with Nationals' offseason moves" - Byron Kerr,

• "'I looked at his swing and I told [bench coach] Joey Cora going home, ‘My God we’ve got a big problem,’ he said." - "White Sox got Rizzo'd" - Chase Hughes,

Related Link: "Appearing on the Waddle and Silvy Show Friday, Ozzie Guillen said he and his coaching staff noticed something was wrong with Adam Dunn's swing a few days into spring training last year." - "Ozzie knew about Dunn in spring training" - JJ Stankevitz,

• "Right-hander Ryan Tatusko gained more front-line experience early this offseason, pitching in seven games and 20 2/3 innings in the Venezuelan Winter League." - "Tatusko and Roark still connected as they focus on getting to D.C." - Byron Kerr,

• "Injuries played no role in [Ian] Desmond's 2011 offensive struggles; he played 154 games but batted a mediocre .253 while reaching base at a paltry .298 clip." - "Spring storylines: Trying to bounce back" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Bryce Harper] needs to continue to work on recognizing off-speed stuff, especially on the outer half. He could hit 25 homers right now..." - "MLB - Matt Moore, Jesus Montero and other impact prospects for 2012" - Keith Law,

• "Right-hander Ryan Tatusko gained more front-line experience early this offseason, pitching in seven games and 20 2/3 innings in the Venezuelan Winter League." - "Tatusko and Roark still connected as they focus on getting to D.C." - Byron Kerr,

• "'In 2005, there was no front office,' [Bob] Boone said. 'It was all intern-type people. It wasn’t that the scouts [weren’t good scouts], but we just didn’t have many guys.'" - "Going Deep: All systems go for Washington Nationals" - Geoff Morrow,

• "[Bryce] Harper would be exposed to immense pressure. It's not just about being able to hit at a major league level. Can Harper handle being baited by other teams?" - "Nationals should let Harper spring into action" - Rick Snider, Washington Examiner

• "[Rusty] Staub sold the game to a city, to a nation. He made stops in small burgs that required flights in small planes, no small chore for a man whose second-most evident physical characteristic is white knuckles." - "Montreal still holds special place in Rusty Staub's heart" - Marty Noble, News

• "I'm guessing many fans feel that [Andres] Blanco is just minor league depth, but some sources in baseball believe he'll be on the big league club." - "An extra man you may have missed" - Phil Wood,

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "In order to use human intelligence properly our mind should be calm."


• "With the upcoming season right around the corner, there is one question plaguing the minds of all Washington Nationals fans since last year's disappointing outfield performance." - "The Next Best Nationals Outfield Prospect" - Patrick Hilley, The Nats Blog

Video: Teddy and George in Cupid’s Undie Run - Let Teddy Win!

• "Though his serviceable arm is no longer needed with the Nats, Lannan may not draw as much return as some would hope." - "What Would Lannan Really Get The Nats?" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "Yes, that's Michael Morse in a magazine, jumping into a pool fully clothed..." - "Michael Morse, magazine star." - Nats Enquirer

• "To put it in perspective, the team didn't honor Tony Gwynn, an MLB hall of famer, until 2004, three years after he retired from Major League Baseball. Although, they did name the stadium after him..." - "San Diego State University Will Retire Stephen Strasburg's Jersey" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog


Marlins: "Pitcher Stephen Strasburg is back after missing most of 2011 because of elbow surgery, and the Nationals acquired left-hander Gio Gonzalez. They're also hoping that slugger Bryce Harper, their top prospect, can make the opening day roster." - "Miami Marlins have buzz like never before for a spring training" - Joe Cappozzi, Palm Beach Post

Mets: "Everyone has their own philosophies. Everyone values players slightly differently. That's the beauty of such lists and that's the fun in creating them. And reading others for that matter." - "2012 Amazin' Avenue Top 50 Mets Prospects: The Top 5" - Rob Castellano, Amazin' Avenue

Braves: "After Keith Law got me to flail my arms around yesterday in curfuddled disagreement, Marc Hulet of FanGraphs puts the Braves prospects universe back into order with a sane (and boring, I guess, but that's good) list." - "FanGraphs Returns Sanity To Atlanta Braves 2012 Top-15 Prospects" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Phillies: "Quick, name the five most valuable outfielders in the National League in 2011. Let’s see… Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Justin Upton… who else was in there? Would you believe Shane Victorino?" - "The Outfield of the Future" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley