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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals In Fenway Park To Take On The Boston Red Sox.

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• The last time the Washington Nationals traveled to Boston for a series with the Red Sox in 100-year-old Fenway Park, they got swept in a three-game set in which the Nats started Tony Armas, Livan Hernandez and Shawn Hill against the Sox. That was 2006. Six years later, the Nationals will throw Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann at the Sox. Times have changed. Before that June '06 series, the last D.C.-based team to travel to Boston for a series with the Red Sox was the 1971 Senators, who passed through Fenway on the last road trip the team took before returning home to the nation's capital for the last three games the Senators played before departing for Texas. Washington vs Boston in Fenway for the first time since '06. Stephen Strasburg vs Felix Doubront. Nats vs Sox. 7:05 pm EDT from Fenway...Can't wait. Til then it's the LINKS... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!: (Today in Two Parts):

• "When he and Rick Ankiel were in the outfield minutes later, the dazed [Bryce] Harper asked the vet, 'Does it look okay? Am I still bleeding?' "'Oh, you’re good to go,' Ankiel lied, straight-faced." - "In Nationals’ clubhouse, disparate personalities such as Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez fit" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "There was a time not long ago when Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was the last person you’d want to be in baseball." - "GM Mike Rizzo’s Nationals arrive ahead of schedule" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe


• "[R.A.] Dickey allowed just three balls out of the infield in his 7 1/3 shutout innings, constantly confounding batters with his frustrating knuckler." - "SNYDER: Knuckling under can be a good thing" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "[R.A.] Dickey became the first pitcher in the majors to reach nine wins this season. He also exceeded his victory total from last year, when he often was the victim of poor run support." - "Dickey's knuckler, Duda's HR lead Mets over Nats" - Ben Walker, AP/

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson blamed [Chien-Ming] Wang's problems on mechanical issues. Wang is having problems with his arm slot." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals - June 7, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "[Bryce] Harper did allow that the wind was knocked out of him somewhat when he dove and he was 'just trying to take a minute' after the play." - "Davey Johnson brings to light Bryce Harper's back soreness, Harper says it's non-issue" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Bryce] Harper brought the panic level down a few notches during his session with reporters. During that three-minute interview, Harper must've said, 'I'm good,' at least five times." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper nursing sore back, insists he's fine" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Bryce] Harper appeared surprised the issue of his back had even been raised and dashed any shot of him not playing." - "Davey Johnson says Bryce Harper may not play against the Red Sox because of a sore back; Harper shoots it down" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The home stretch begins tonight in Boston, where the Nats make their first appearance at Fenway Park since 2006." - "Ready for more interleague play?" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Washington (32-23) managed to hit just two balls out of the infield off [R.A.] Dickey through the first six innings, and one of those was an out." - "Nationals knuckle under to Dickey" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "'When he dove for the ball, I thought he just knocked the wind out of himself,' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. 'That predominately was the case.'" - "Harper says he's OK after tweaking back" - Mike Flammetta, News

• "The most interesting team in baseball comes to Fenway Park tonight." - "Intriguing Nationals arrive at Fenway Park" - Peter Abraham, Boston Globe, Extra Bases

• "The new collectively bargained draft rules forced the Nationals to be financially mindful, especially after taking highly regarded – and surely expensive – Lucas Giolito with their top choice..." - "Nationals’ scouting director breaks down MLB draft" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Washington will take a 15-game stroll through the brutal AL East, beginning Friday with a three-game series against the Red Sox." - "Washington Nationals at Boston Red Sox - June 8, 2012" - Joey Nowak, Preview

• "There is a reason Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has nine wins already this season: His knuckleball is very good, and Dickey can throw more than one variation of it." - "Dickey's varying speeds on knuckleball befuddled Nationals' bats" - Byron Kerr,

• "[Davey] Johnson said [Bryce] Harper had a 'tender' lower back, a revelation prompted by Harper getting the wind knocked out of him as he dove fruitlessly for a flyball in the ninth inning." - "Nationals vs. Mets: R.A. Dickey stymies Washington, prevents sweep" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Unable to do any damage against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who improved to 9-1, the Nationals were unable to complete a three-game sweep of New York." - "Nats can't complete sweep of Mets" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Davey Johnson's boys will kick off a three-game series against a Red Sox team that really struggled out of the gate but has been playing decent ball the last handful of weeks." - "Nationals Pastime: Shippin' up to Boston" - Dan Kolko,

• "Carlos Maldonado's sore back rendered him unable to hit once again Wednesday night, and now it will send the catcher to the disabled list." - "Moore excited to be back in Major Leagues" - Mike Flammetta, News

• "Third round pick and Scott Boras advisee, Brett Mooneyham, a left-hander from Stanford, is also expected to sign 'relatively quickly,' [Kris] Kline said." - "Nationals agree with second-rounder Tony Renda, others as draft wraps up" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Kris] Kline said general manager Mike Rizzo will handle negotiations with [Lucas] Giolito's representatives in hopes of getting him signed before the July 13 deadline at 5 p.m. ET." - "Kline: Two of Nats' top four picks already agreed to terms, Rizzo will work on Giolito deal" - Byron Kerr,

• "This weekend should indeed be fun. Stephen Strasburg could throw 100 miles per hour in a park that’s 100 years old." - "Nationals shipping up to Boston for interleague play" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Since returning to the Nats' rotation eight days ago, [Chien-Ming] Wang has allowed 23 baserunners in 9 1/3, and he's put up an 0-2 record in those two starts." - "Nationals Pastime: Arm slot an issue in Wang's latest shaky outing" - Dan Kolko,

• "If you think about having [Lucas] Giolito and [Stephen] Strasburg and Gio [Gonzalez] and Jordan Zimmermann at the front of your rotation -- you have to factor in [No. 1 pitching prospect] Alex Meyer -- now you've got some depth again..." - Kris Kline - "Big, strong pitchers highlight Nationals' 2012 First-Year Player Draft" - Mike Flammetta, News

"Beltway Baseball - 6/7/12" -

• "This weekend should indeed be fun. Stephen Strasburg could throw 100 miles per hour in a park that’s 100 years old." - "Nationals shipping up to Boston for interleague play" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Tony Renda, a second baseman out of Cal-Berkeley, will report to Single-A short-season Auburn soon after agreeing to a deal that a club source said was less than the $630,000 slot for the No. 80 overall pick." - "Pair of Nationals' draft picks are in the fold" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "To be extremely self-centered, only interested in your own satisfaction, always brings negative consequences in the long run."


Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Alex Meyer (5-3) improved to a perfect 4-0 at home, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits, two walks and one strike out over six innings." - "Suns Sweep Intimidators with 6-5 Win in Series Finale" - Hagerstown Suns News

• "Infielder Matt Skole, catcher Adrian Nieto, outfielder Caleb Ramsey, pitcher Aaron Barrett and manager Brian Daubach have been elected to represent Hagerstown for the Northern Division squad." - "Hagerstown's Skole, Ramsey, Nieto and Barrett selected to SAL All-Star game, but more deserving of election" - Byron Kerr,

Class-A Potomac: "The Frederick Keys used three solo homers to beat the Potomac Nationals 6-2 at Harry Grove Stadium on Thursday night." - "Keys Take Series with 6-2 Win over Nationals" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Mets 4, Senators 1 - Eury Perez, 1 for 4, 1 R; Daniel Rosenbaum - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost for the first time in four games, 8-2, to the Louisville Bats on Thursday night." - "Early deficit dooms Chiefs in loss to Louisville" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Corey] Brown is starting to come out of the stratosphere that he was flying through over the last few weeks. He is 0-for-his-last-10 and hitless in the last three games." - "Chiefs fall behind, fall to Bats" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Friday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson,


"This team has enough pitching to last with anybody, but the offense has to pull its load. The team is currently 13th in the NL in runs per game, at 3.83..." - "Nationals continue to look good a third of the way through the season" - Nationals Buzz: Dave Nichols,

• "If there is one debate in Washington this summer that could overtake RG3 talk, it has to be the eventual shutdown of Stephen Strasburg by the Nats." - "Point - Counterpoint: Strasburg Shutdown" - John Manuel, Fanspeak

• "Washington’s major league baseball club heads to Boston for a baseball series. It is fitting that we take time to remember and acknowledge one of the biggest Boston baseball fans, Arthur General 'Hi-Hi' Dixwell." - "Boston’s number one fan" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Bryce Harper visited Bonnie Brae Elementary in Fairfax on Wednesday to read to a 3rd grade class." - "Aw, here's Bryce Harper reading to some 3rd graders" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nationals Memes" - The Nationals Review

• "Mike Morse might not be in stride yet, but his .668 OPS is miles better than [Xavier] Nady, equal to [Rick] Ankiel, and not too far behind [Roger] Bernadina." - "Right where they should be" - Harper, Nationals Baseball


Mets: "It remains the most emotionally charged moment between the teams, one that sparked two years of animosity and much public debate about retaliation." - "A look back at the Top 10 moments from 15 years of Subway Series" - John Harper, NY Daily News

Braves: "Mike Minor had yet to be born in the summer of 1987 when the Braves traded proven starter Doyle Alexander for some accordion-playing, loose-jointed minor leaguer named John Smoltz." - "Smoltz pitched way to greatness as part of dominant trio" - Steve Hummer,

Phillies: "If there was ever a period when Brown could roll the engine into Philadelphia permanently, now’s the time as the Fightins could use a much-needed boost to their lineup." - "Brown still must improve before he can help Phils" - John Boruk,

• Marlins: "The Miami Marlins have a rich history for a team that has only been around since 1993." - "The Marlins' Top Highlights in Team History" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes