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The Starting Nine: Nationals Links; Matt Williams' Introduction

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So you're not sitting around monitoring Twitter, searching #Nats, sifting through aggregators and sorting through hundreds of random blog posts and stories about the Washington Nationals? We try to make it easy for you with "The Starting Nine," a collection of the stories you need to read...

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

We understand, sort of, not really, that not everyone can spend their offseason waiting around for some news on the Washington Nationals to break. So if you find yourself wondering what you missed in the last week, catch up every Monday morning with The Starting Nine. Nine topics/stories that will keep you in the know as far as what's going on with the nation's capital's Nats. We're also including "The Rotation" below, the Top 5 Stories from the last week on Federal Baseball...

1. Matt Williams Introduced To D.C.:

2. On New Nats' Skipper Matt Williams:

• "The Nats won’t be in the start-’em category of teams, like Tony La Russa’s belligerent clubs, but they may be in the finish-’em group." - "Nationals Manager Matt Williams is a hire who values defense and finding advantages" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Ausmus, like Matheny, is a former catcher. Williams, a former third baseman, also projects quiet strength — one Diamondbacks player described him as 'not loud, but vocal.'" - "Matt Williams (Nats) and Brad Ausmus (Tigers) continue trend of newbie managers in MLB" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• "Williams has already put his stamp on the team, hiring Mark Weidemaier from the D-backs to serve as a defensive coordinator and advance coach." - "Washington Nationals introduce former All-Star Matt Williams as team's new manager" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "When a veteran like outfielder Jayson Werth sounds impressed after his first discussion with his new manager, that speaks volumes." - "Nationals Pastime: Leftovers from Matt Williams' introductory press conference" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "Another man watching from the seats was Nats bench coach Randy Knorr. It could have been an awkward situation." - "New manager Matt Williams meets the Nats" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

3. "Mitchell Report ?s:

• "In any event, the Washington Nationals made Matt Williams — the steroid-infused slugger who was later exposed in the Mitchell Report — the first of the known steroid cheats to become a major league baseball manager." - "Nationals turn over reins to a cheater" - John A. Torres, floridatoday.com

4. Williams' Defensive Coach:

• "Randy Knorr, who interviewed for the managerial position and is popular among the Nationals players, will return as bench coach. Steve McCatty and Rick Schu will remain as pitching and hitting coach, respectively." - "Nationals coaching staff to return nearly intact, will add a new position focused on defense" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Weidemaier’s hiring is particularly intriguing because it follows a recent trend in baseball to emphasize defensive positioning based on scouting and advanced stats." - "Nationals add Matt LeCroy, Mark Weidemaier to coaching staff" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

5. Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

6. Carson Crusher vs Buffalo:

• "The now-retired Davey Johnson took a more lenient tack, trusting his group to put in the work necessary to play at a high level." - "First task for Nationals manager Matt Williams: Diffusing tension from Phoenix face-off" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

7. New Mentor In Town For Nats' Slugger:

• "Coaching Harper isn’t just limited to the field as well. Williams knows Harper deals with an unprecedented amount of scrutiny and attention from media and fans for someone his age." - "Matt Williams on Bryce Harper: ‘I love the way he plays the game’" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

8. Random Nats Links And Such:

• "The New National TV Contracts And 2014 Payrolls" - Wendy Thurm, FanGraphs Baseball

• "Every year they don't win a title with Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg is another blow to fan morale -- and another mark in their favor on this list." - "Tortured Franchise Rankings: 2013 MLB Edition" - Will Leitch, Sports On Earth

• "The Nationals employed very few defensive shifts under Davey Johnson" - "Nationals Pastime: A few quick Sunday notes" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com


9. AFL Fall Stars Game:

• "[Matt] LeCroy told me he has been ecstatic the past few days after being offered the position." - "A possibility on who will manage Double-A Harrisburg next season and AFL Fall Stars recap" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Much is expected from Goodwin and his future, so it’s easy to forget that he hasn’t been in professional baseball that long." - "Brian Goodwin named an Arizona Fall League all-star and other notes" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Alex Meyer] struck out Ramsey and Bryant with it in the first inning, then got Nationals prospect Brian Goodwin with it in the third." - "Alex Meyer, homers lead West to Fall Stars Game victory" - Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: News

The Rotation - Top 5 Stories From Federal Baseball: