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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Adam LaRoche And Atlanta Braves' Tim Hudson Talk Knuckleballs; Biogenesis Updates

The Washington Nationals lost to the Atlanta Braves last night at Champions Stadium at ESPN's Wide World Of Sports In The Disney World Resort, but it was one pitch in particular that caught everyone's attention. Well, two pitches. Tim Hudson's knuckleball and the Dan Haren pitch Justin Upton launched. Who wants Links?


So here's what happened. Justin Upton's home run off of Washington Nationals' starter Dan Haren may have been the most impressive thing to see in last night's Grapefruit League game between the NL East rivals, but Tim Hudson's knuckleball to Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche was the most interesting/humorous thing. First mistaken for an eephus when it registered 47 mph on the radar, the pitch was later revealed to be a knuckler Hudson told reporters afterwards he's been working on. Hudson and LaRoche are friends, of course, and as the Braves' starter revealed in a post game interview, the Nationals' Gold Glove winning infielder asked for it.

"'He looked at me and (signaled with hand) like, ‘Knuckleball? Throw me a knuckleball?,'" Hudson told reporters, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien. "'Ha ha ha.’ I did it. It was almost a strike. It was close. Over the plate, down.'" Hudson held the Nats scoreless over six innings in the Braves' 4-3 win, walking no one and striking out five on the night he was named Atlanta's Opening Day starter, but it was the knuckleball he threw to LaRoche that got the most attention. And he had the one-liners to go with it:

"'It’s a new pitch I’ve been working on,' Hudson deadpanned. 'I was going to wait till the All-Star break to break it out, but it’s been so good lately that I’m going to start implementing it… "

Adam LaRoche singled later in that at bat, fwiw. Check out the pitch below and Hudson's comments after that, then it's links and lots of them after that... which at that point, for the sake of tradition, will be "RIGHT NOW!!!":

• VIDEO: Hudson vs LaRoche - Knuckleball:

• Hudson on throwing the knuckleball to LaRoche:

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

• "Limited by their inability to compel people to cooperate with their investigators, Major League Baseball officials will open a new front in their battle against doping." - "Baseball Is Said to Be Suing People Linked to Florida Clinic" - Michael S. Schmidt,

• "Internally, the Nationals still feel confident that [Gio] Gonzalez will avoid a 50-game suspension." - "MLB still investigating Gio Gonzalez, other players linked to Biogenesis" - James Wagner, Washington Post


• via Twitter (@NationalsPR):

• "[J.C.] Romero will be in uniform tomorrow and pitch against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, but general manager Mike Rizzo made it clear the 36-year-old won't make the Opening Day roster." - "Nats sign lefty Romero to minor-league deal" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "[Tim] Hudson’s knuckleball to [Adam] LaRoche on Wednesday was actually the second he has thrown him." - "That time Tim Hudson threw Adam LaRoche a knuckleball" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "And for some reason, [Adam] LaRoche said, [Tim] Hudson always uses their spring training meetings to mess with the Nationals’ first baseman." - "Adam LaRoche, Tim Hudson and a friendly first-pitch knuckleball" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "When [Adam] LaRoche was an opposing batter in spring training several years ago, [Tim] Hudson tried to sneak a knuckleball past him." - "Nationals Buzz: LaRoche on knuckler-induced laughs, Ramos on nine-inning stint" - Pete Kerzel,

• "[Tim] Hudson said he was working on the pitch this spring and decided to throw it after [Adam] LaRoche gave him the sign to do so." - "LaRoche gets kick out of Hudson's knuckleball" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Before the game, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said [Tim] Hudson would make his third opening day start for Atlanta." - "Braves’ Hudson Leads Braves Past Nats" - Dan Morrison, CBS DC

• "[Roger] Bernadina played six games in the outfield for the surprising Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic, helping to lead the Dutch to the championship round in San Francisco earlier this week." - "Bernadina, Nats hope Classic play proves valuable" - Joey Nowak, News

• "But Dan Haren was far less concerned about the numbers attached to his name this time and far more pleased with the way he pitched against the Braves in his penultimate tune-up of the spring." - "Haren '1,000 times better' in latest start" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "[Dan] Haren, who was coming off a terrible outing in Jupiter last time against the Cardinals, threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes and despite giving up the four runs, felt much better about his start against the Braves." - "Hudson dominates Nats" - Craig Heist,

• "After he finished his start tonight, Dan Haren focused more on how Braves hitters looked than his final line." - "Dan Haren encouraged despite rough results" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren left the game in the sixth inning after having a tough time getting hitters out. He threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes." - "Haren gets more of a grip in followup start" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Six days ago, Dan Haren couldn’t find enough negative adjectives to describe his performance against the St. Louis Cardinals." - "Dan Haren feels 'a thousand times better' in start vs. Atlanta Braves" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan] Haren has been refreshingly blunt in his self-criticism while he was struggling through a dead arm period, so there's no reason not to believe he may have turned a corner." - "Nationals Buzz: Change in grip on splitter has Haren more hopeful" - Pete Kerzel,

• "[Davey] Johnson wasn't sure yet of the extent of [Rafael] Soriano's procedure but doesn't believe it was serious." - "Soriano has root canal" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Justin] Upton's fifth home run of the spring provided just enough cushion for left-handed reliever Luis Avilan, who surrendered hits to four of the seven batters he faced in Washington's three-run seventh inning." - "Nationals' offense comes alive late vs. Braves" - Mark Bowman, News

• "Six Nationals – Roger Bernadina, Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Roger Bernadina, Henry Rodriguez and Carlos Rivero – are out of minor league options." - "Nationals roster notes and tonight’s lineup" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'A toothache never hurt anybody, as far as I know,' [Davey] Johnson added." - "Rafael Soriano had a root canal" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Rafael] Soriano has made five of the eight spring appearances he’d told Johnson he’d like to have to feel ready for the season." - "Rafael Soriano has root canal" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Rafael] Soriano is supposed to pitch Friday and the manager said he saw no reason he couldn't - provided he gets medical clearance." - "Nationals Buzz: Soriano gets to root of tooth pain, Bernadina returns and says he's 'close'" - Pete Kerzel,

• "[Rafael] Soriano is scheduled to pitch in relief on Friday against the Tigers and throw in back-to-back games next week." - "Soriano slated to pitch Friday after root canal" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The Nationals have two stalwarts in the middle of their infield, players who believe in playing as often as their bodies will allow." - "Nationals middle infielders Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa come to play every day" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "'I'm very excited right now for this step in my career,' [Wilson] Ramos said. 'It's the first time I caught eight innings after I had surgery.'" - "Ramos excited to go distance behind plate" -Bill Ladson, News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter:


• "Five years ago, after officials at a Washington Nationals game told a shirtless man he had committed 'indecent exposure,' an ESPN columnist surveyed Nationals fans about their attitudes toward scantily clad peers." - "Body painting: Does it run afoul of public nudity laws?" - Brian Palmer, Slate Magazine

• "Monday, April 29: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves: Tons of speed and power in the outfield when the Nationals make their first trip of the season to Atlanta to face the new-look Braves." - "Baseball 2013: Hamilton's return to Texas, Hall of Fame shutout among notable dates for season" - AP/Fox News

• "There are just four major league teams currently playing on Florida's east coast and one of them, the Washington Nationals, could be leaving." - "Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training" - All Things Considered, NPR

• "Our first game against the Washington Nationals started at 6:10 p.m. at the Mets’ ball field. It is named Tradition Field and it is a lovely baseball stadium." - "Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: March 22, 2013" - Stanley Greenberg, SyossetJericho Tribune

• "The Washington Nationals start the 2013 Major League Baseball season in the lofty top spot of the MLB Power Rankings, ahead of the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays." - "Nationals open at No. 1 in MLB Power Rankings" - Scott Cullen, CSN

• via Twitter: Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle w/ Bo Porter/Strasburg quotes:


• "Ross Detwiler has flashed a curveball that Davey Johnson claims is as good as any he’s seen the lefty throw..." - "13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #12" - Curly W Live

• "This year, the Racing Presidents are welcoming a new member to their team — William Howard Taft, whom the Nationals are calling Bill." - "Racing Presidents add a fifth runner; you can make paper dolls of all of them" - Tracy Grant, The Washington Post

• "The 2012 NL East Champion Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and the start of the 2013 season at Nationals Park on Monday, April 1 when the team hosts the Miami Marlins at 1:05 p.m." - "Washington Nationals open 2013 Season against Miami Marlins" - Press Release, News

• "James Brown, the CBS special correspondent and Emmy-winning sportscaster, will again serve as master of ceremonies for the pregame festivities, which will include the following..." - "Nationals Buzz: Nats unveil plans for opening day ceremonies" - Pete Kerzel,

• "I probably will be live-tweeting the Nationals games that I go to if my parents let me use their phones." - "SPRING TRAINING- I'm Going to Florida!" - Matt's Bats

• "Those of us who spent the summer of 2012 watching Ryan Zimmerman struggle with shoulder issues will not soon forget it. Zimmerman had to adjust his play at third to compensate for the problem." - "Harry Wright on Dead Arms" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Video: Tim Hudson's Eephus pitch to Adam LaRoche that was really a knuckleball" - Nats Enquirer

• "Get To Know A Nat: Drew Storen" - Nationals 101


Marlins: "How do Marlins players deal with criticism of the organization? CineSport's Noah Coslov and the Sun Sentinel's Juan Rodriguez discuss this, the Marlins middle infielders & Christian Yelich." - VIDEO: "The Marlins Mentality in Spring Training" - Florida Sun-Sentinel

Mets: "As both players continue receiving treatment, manager Terry Collins remains confident [David] Wright will be his Opening Day third baseman." - "Collins confident Wright will be ready for Mets opener, not so sure about Murphy" - Mike Puma,

Braves: "If spring training is any indication, new left fielder Justin Upton is going to give Braves fans plenty of thrills and drive a lot of baseballs to the far corners of Turner Field." - "Braves’ J. Upton hits another colossal homer" - David O'Brien,

Phillies: "[Cole Hamels] struck out former teammate Shane Victorino on three pitches. On the final pitch, Victorino was frozen in the batter's box when Hamels broke off a knee-buckling curve ball." - "Hamels throws Victorino a curve" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News