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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper Destroying Helmets; Davey Johnson And Mike Rizzo Have A Chat.

Aug 26, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson in the dugout prior to playing the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 26, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson in the dugout prior to playing the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

• "Scandal!" - Stacey Pilgrim: Davey Johnson was asked about how Bryce Harper was doing after Sunday afternoon's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 19-year-old outfielder had gone 0 for 3 in the series finale and taken a little bit of a spill after hustling to first base. Harper was double-switched out of the game late, but not because of his play or any injury as the Nats' skipper explained. "He’s fine," Johnson told reporters, "I thought he had three pretty good at bats against [Cliff] Lee. But I’ve got two bench players, I’ve got to double-switch, and I actually told Randy [Knorr], I said, ‘Tell the kid I have one player left and I’m double-switching with him, so he doesn’t kill himself down there.’ And he didn’t get to [Harper] right away and [Harper] was destroying helmets and the runway." [laughs] "But I said, ‘Randy! Will you get to him? Please get to him!’ But I had really no choice. And I don’t care if it was Babe Ruth. I’ve got one player left and I have to have as many batters stay in the game as possible." Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo also reportedly had a heated conversation after the loss to the Phillies. Because these two stories came out in the press at approximately the same time, they've been connected by several people in spite of the complete lack of evidence of any connection. Things are getting testy in NatsTown, where a four-game losing streak has some people panicking. The Nats head to Miami next. The Nats have a 7-6 lead in the season series with the Fish. The Marlins are 5-5 in their last 10. The Nationals can't sleep on them. Maybe they'll take the built-up anger out on their division rivals... We'll have to wait until tomorrow night to see... til then... LINKS AND LOTS OF THEM... starting RIGHT NOW!!!!


• "If it was me, I'd err on the side of caution. I don't know that I would have done it exactly the way the Nationals did." - Bill James on Stephen Strasburg shutdown - "Hey Bill" - Bill James Online


• "Nothing changed, Jordan Zimmermann said, even despite the evidence that something had." - "Jordan Zimmermann feels strong despite bad inning" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nats are getting frustrated by their play of late, but they're not panicking." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson sees no need for team meeting after 4-1 loss" - Dan Kolko,

• "Perhaps, however, it's time for a bit more sense of urgency from a club that has maintained an even-keel all season and has insisted it's still too early to think about the standings." - "Nats caught napping in Philly" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo held a lively discussion in the manager’s office that kept the doors shut..." - "Miscues, gaffes add up to Phillies sweep of Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "In each of the last two games, the Nationals have surrendered a late-inning insurance run when Phillies runners have been able to take advantage of easy opportunities to get into scoring position." - "Nats struggle to keep basestealers from success" - Joey Nowak, News

• "The loss left the Nationals in a testy mood. Manager Davey Johnson was heard screaming at someone in the clubhouse, sarcastically suggesting that person 'come down here' and run the team." - "Losing skid reaches four games" - Rob Maadi,

• The Strasburg Section:

• "Americans overwhelmingly say the Nationals should shut pitcher Stephen Strasburg down for the rest of the season rather than let him continue to pitch..." - "TWT/JZ Analytics Poll: Shut Stephen Strasburg down" - Washington Times

• "Stephen Strasburg should be shut down for the rest of the season say most Americans, according to a new poll." - "Poll finds Nats fans want Strasburg shut down"-

• "Bearing in mind that every Strasburg argument immediately makes you believe the other side is indisputably correct, here are [Joe] Buck, Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw, breaking things down." - "Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman discuss the Strasburg Shutdown" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "[Stephen Strasburg] who has notched a victory in each of his last four outings, is expected to be shut down once he reaches about 180 innings. Strasburg will enter his start against the Marlins on Tuesday with 145 1/3 innings this season." - "Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins - August 28, 2012" - Zack Meisel, Preview

• The Harper "Temper Tantrum" Section... (And just wondering, if say Jayson Werth had hit a water cooler, would it be called a "temper tantrum" or is that just a phrase thrown around because it's 19-year-old Bryce Harper doing it? Seems unnecessarily condescending. Just asking?")

• "As the Nationals’ sputtered offense to five runs in three games over the weekend, [Bryce] Harper went 3 for 11 with two doubles." - "Davey Johnson explains Bryce Harper leaving in a double-switch" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Davey] Johnson has discussed the 19-year-old's second-half slump, in which he's hitting .196 with nine extra-base hits, on several occasions." - "On Bryce Harper getting double-switched out Sunday and his second-half offensive struggles" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Before entering the room, though, we heard Johnson loudly exclaim to someone: 'Why don't you come down here and manage this team!' At which point Nationals PR director John Dever asked all of us to head back outside the clubhouse." - "Heated words, but no rift" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'I had a discussion with my boss,' [Davey] Johnson said. The game itself was enough to make Johnson angry." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - August 26, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "In every one of the four games the Nationals have lost since Wednesday, relievers have allowed at least one run." - "During losing string, bullpen having trouble bridging" - Byron Kerr,

• "Needing to come up big to avoid only their fourth series sweep of the season, the Nationals instead dropped their fourth straight game, this one in unusual fashion." - "Instant analysis: Phillies 4, Nats 1" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson met after yesterday's game and Johnson was heard getting a bit heated during the discussion in his office, shouting, 'You come down and manage the team!'" - "Nationals Pastime: Addressing a few key topics after a weekend to forget" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals’ losing streak grew to four with a 4-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the dual gaffe of Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche defined the final chapter of a sweep in Philadelphia." - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Gaffe leads to 4-1 defeat and sweep in Philadelphia" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "With Tropical Storm Isaac heading toward South Florida on Sunday night, the Nationals altered their travel plans in advance of this week's two-game series that's scheduled to begin in Miami on Tuesday." - "Isaac causes Nats to alter travel plans to Miami" - Joey Nowak, News

• "Both Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche took full responsibility for their share of the baserunning error in the seventh inning of today's 4-1 loss to the Phillies..." - "Nationals Pastime: Werth, LaRoche own up to baserunning gaffe" - Dan Kolko,

Video: "[Michael] Morse, who suffered a bruised right hand Friday night when he was hit by a pitch, attempted to play catch this morning at Citizens Bank Park but still was in some pain." - "Morse, Desmond aiming for Tuesday" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nationals slogged through the weekend without Ian Desmond and Michael Morse, both of whom hope to return Tuesday." - "For the Nationals, mistakes have added up" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Since universal compassion involves gradually expanding one’s circle of concern to the whole of humanity, it needs constant cultivation."


Class-A Short Season Auburn: "LHP Brett Mooneyham (2-2) got the start and set the tone by allowing just one hit over six innings to earn the win." - "Doubledays beat Scrappers in home finale" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "As Auburn Doubledays starter Brett Mooneyham described his outing against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Falcon Park on Sunday, it seemed as if he struggled through six innings." - "Hopefully not the last: Brett Mooneyham tosses a gem as Doubledays take regular season home finale" - Jeremy Houghtaling, The Auburn Citizen

Class-A Potomac: "Frederick jumped early on Potomac starter LHP Robbie Ray. After two walks, Allan de San Miguel hit a homer that just cleared the left-center field fence to give Frederick a 3-0 lead in the first." - "Keys Outlast Nationals 10-7 in Pivotal Game" - Potomac Nationals News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Starter Jeff Mandel became the second straight Syracuse starter to toss a complete-game shutout, following John Lannan's Saturday-night performance with a 102-pitch masterpiece." - "Mandel's shutout leads Chiefs past Braves" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "The International League announced today that Syracuse left-hander John Lannan has been named the League's Pitcher of the Week for the period from August 20-26." - "Lannan named IL Pitcher of the Week" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Line of the Day: Sandy Leon, 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB, K - Leon is hitting .381 in Syracuse this season (16 games) with four doubles and a pair of home runs." - "Jeff Mandel tosses six-hit shuout, second straight CG SHO for Chiefs" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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


• "For the Washington Nationals, heading to Philadelphia this past weekend and being swept by the Phillies probably wasn’t something they considered likely." - "Putting A Rough Weekend In Perspective" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "But what about tension mounting? According to's Bill Ladson, Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson got into a post-game shouting match on Sunday..." - "Davey to Rizzo: 'You come down and manage the team.'" - Nats Enquirer

• "Not only did the Nats get swept but the Braves stopped the freight train that was the San Francisco Giants and picked up a game and a half on the Nats." - "Monday Quickie - the 'kept it out' weekend" - Harper, Nationals Baseball


Phillies: "First-place Washington and second-place Atlanta still remain far off in the distance even after the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Nationals Sunday..." - "Inside the Phillies: With Phillies, it's been a case of too little, too late" - Bob Brookover,

Mets: "Ike Davis picked the right moment yesterday to give this stagnant Mets lineup a swift kick in the Astro." - "New York Mets defeat Houston Astros 2-1; Ike Davis hits two home runs" - Mike Puma,

Braves: "When Fredi Gonzalez was asked by Fox broadcaster Tim McCarver what the manager had learned from his Braves’ September collapse last year, Gonzalez said he’d learned to be less patient." - "Braves manager will ‘pick his spots’ to rest slumping Uggla" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marlins: "The Marlins hit four home runs, including yet another round-tripper by Giancarlo Stanton and Rob Brantly’s first in the majors, as Miami ended the trip with a 5-6 mark." - "LOS ANGELES: Miami Marlins experience power surge in win over Los Angeles Dodgers" - Clark Spencer,