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Wire Taps: Bryce Harper on the trading block; Where things went wrong for Nationals; Sean Doolittle talks tweets;

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news as we all wait for today’s 4:00 PM EDT non-waiver trade deadline to pass...

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of wars and election days, historians often have a tough time nailing down extreme turning points. If any Nationals historians exist, they would be smart to pay attention to the events of today.

Here’s the news from Nats Park in what could (but probably won’t) be the final Wire Taps during which Bryce Harper is a National.

How the Nationals' season went awry (Yahoo!)
“The clubhouse is a mess,” said one source. A lot of the blame is placed on Dave Martinez, who has been inconsistent with his players and his discipline. Moreover, Max Scherzer isn't quite the clubhouse leader the Nationals need. With Bryce Harper on the block, the question of buying or selling will be answered today, but the mess may still remain.

Nationals should trade Bryce Harper before MLB trade deadline (WaPo)
Harper's projected .270 average for the rest of the year probably won't get the Nationals to the playoffs, especially given his troubles with the shift and high and outside fastballs, so the Nats should get some value out of him while they still can.

Bryce Harper trade rumors (MLB)
If the Nationals figure out J.T. Realmuto, then throw everything else out the window. But if they don't, count down the hours until 4 PM, because rumors will fly that include Harper and Cleveland, Los Angeles, and everyone in between.

Nationals talk about ‘a sense of urgency.’ But can they show one? (WaPo)
"The Nationals have 57 games to make a run. Asked how he would sell his club to General Manager Mike Rizzo and his front office, Martinez pointed out that the lineup is finally whole with Adam Eaton, Daniel Murphy, and Ryan Zimmerman playing regularly. He hinted that Stephen Strasburg should return soon from the disabled list and Sean Doolittle should follow soon after."

The Nationals should trade Bryce Harper — to get better this year – The Athletic
Harper should go. Not because the Nats can rebuild, but because they can get rid of his .220 average and replace it with Michael Taylor or Victor Robles, while adding J.T. Realmuto. It doesn't seem quite plausible yet, but a lot can change within the next twelve hours. (Also in here: Patrick Corbin speculation and the league viewing Davey Martinez as overmatched.)

Nationals' Sean Doolittle Tweets Thoughtfully On Controversy Surrounding Trea Turner, Sean Newcomb, And Josh Hader (Deadspin)
"Doolittle isn’t condemning his teammate, but neither is he excusing the behavior or handwaving away the outpouring of public disgust."

Nationals' Sean Doolittle responds to MLB players' offensive tweets (WaPo)
Sean Doolittle took the message where he thought it needed to go: the problem isn't social media, the problem is the culture in baseball that allows hateful rhetoric.

Washington Nationals gauging interest in market for Bryce Harper if they make him available (ESPN)
"To make a deal for Harper, the Nationals would have to be overwhelmed and get everything they want -- a frontline starter and more -- a source told Kurkjian."

At MLB trade deadline, should the Nationals buy or sell? They aren’t making the choice easy. (WaPo)
The Nationals look flat. They have free agents to sell. But the NL East looks surmountable. And Davey Martinez is confusing. And everyone has lost alue this season. So nothing really makes sense.

When an athlete’s ugly tweets hit home, ‘it feels like an actual gut-punch’ (WaPo)
For fans, seeing tweets dug up from a player from their favorite team isn't just disheartening; it's painful. There's no way to alleviate that pain, but the best way to start is by apologizing beyond yourself and your team -- it's by engaging with the community you hurt.