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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg opts out; Nationals celebrate at parade; Ryan Zimmerman, Yan Gomes options declined

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news, from the parade to the roster decisions that followed.

MLB 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals Parade Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The worst part of Wire Taps comes in the offseason. Aside from the dearth of links to choose from, the photo selection process was often miserable.

Let me explain:

Federal Baseball, along with all of SB Nation, has access to two sources of photos, one from Getty Images, and one from USA Today. During the season, ahead of every set of Wire Taps, I comb through the photos of the day—typically from the most recent game—and pick a good one. Here’s the thing, though. In the offseason, nobody is taking pictures of the Washington Nationals. So the same photos from the final game of the season stay up. Last year, they were all of Bryce Harper’s goodbye. The year before, it was photos of the Cubs celebrating in the clubhouse at Nationals Park; the Dodgers the year before that.

After getting over the gut-punch of seeing the last year’s failures (a reminder that this process occurs on a daily basis), I would typically search for some obscure moment, some weird piece of Nationals history or some enjoyable part of the season before.

So it feels fitting that as I write Wire Taps for the last time, the season is over, and yet the photos that Patrick, Blake, and anyone else who writes here will see are photos of the parade, of hundreds of thousands of jubilant Nats fans, of Ryan Zimmerman finally lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy, of confetti streaming down on Constitution Avenue. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the job (though my sleep schedule will certainly benefit) — but what a way to go out. I guess other ways to constantly remind myself that the Nationals actually won the World Series will have to suffice.

Here’s what’s coming from Constitution Avenue; the news from Nationals Park; the beat from Half Street; the deal from D.C.; the scoop from South Capitol Street:

The Nationals parade allowed a city and its team to share a communal moment (WaPo)
There will never be another day like Saturday, when the primary figures of DC baseball—the Lerners, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Rizzo—and their long-tortured fans came together to celebrate the collective catharsis that came with the city's first World Series championship since 1924.

Report: Ryan Zimmerman Contract Option Declined by Nationals, Will Be Free Agent (B/R)
The expectation is that the Nats will bring back Zim if only at a lower price tag.

Nationals To Decline Option On Ryan Zimmerman, Yan Gomes (MLBTR)
Yan Gomes won't necessarily come back next year, though Adam Eaton and Sean Doolittle's options will be exercised.

Nationals owner Ted Lerner says World Series parade worth the wait after 95 years (ESPN)
"And as the "Baby Shark" theme played once more, team owner Lerner told the team's veterans, "From now on, you can call me 'Grandpa Shark.’"

Stephen Strasburg opts out, to hit free agency (MLB.com)
Strasburg made the decision before the parade, but both sides kept things quiet for obvious reasons. Now, Strasburg will get his payday.

Nationals owner Ted Lerner says World Series parade worth the wait after 95 years (ESPN)
"They say good things come to those who wait. Ninety-five years is a pretty long wait," Nationals owner Ted Lerner told the cheering crowd. "But I'll tell you, this is worth the wait."

'District of champions': Rizzo lauds fans, Nats (MLB.com)
Mike Rizzo, off and on the bus all day at the parade, had a cigar in his mouth, his hat backwards, trophies in his hands, selfies at every possible moment, and some thoughts about his Dad, without whom he would have never gotten to this point.

A Trophy’s Game 7 Journey (NYT)
In a photo essay captioned by former Nats beat writer James Wagner, watch the World Series trophy go from a plane to the field to a carrying case to the celebration.

Nationals’ World Series victory parade highlights (WaPo)
Washington gathered for a party 95 years in the making, and it did not disappoint. Mike Rizzo also described the loyalty in the clubhouse—no anonymous quotes this season, no "clubhouse lawyers"—to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of red-clad fans.

In photos: Washington celebrates its first World Series victory in 95 years (WaPo)
The day in photos, courtesy of the Post's photographers.

Washington Nationals fans talk about winning 2019 World Series (WaPo)
Everyone from 17-year-olds from Washington DC and 75-year-olds from South Carolina—all of whom had a unique Washington baseball experience—tried to put into words just how much this means.

Cartoons: D.C. wins the World Series — but not statehood (WaPo)
Skip all but the last if you're politically averse.

A wild, funny, emotional celebration for champs (MASN)
The final bus that crawled down Constitution yesterday held Ryan Zimmerman, Davey Martinez, Mike Rizzo and the Commissioner's Trophy. It was hysterical, emotional, impossible to fathom. Adam Eaton, bless his soul, opened up "The Hotline," and with that, the Nats made their feelings clear — their desire to keep Anthony Rendon on the Nationals, their thankfulness and excitement for Ryan Zimmerman, and so much more.

Anthony Rendon gives a thumbs down to MVP chants during parade (NBCSW)
Anthony Rendon was not interested in *any* attention whatsoever when he started garnering "M-V-P" chants.

The eight pitches that made the Nationals champions (The Athletic)
Game 7 flipped, almost entirely, on the basis of seven pitches. The first, an 88.5 mph changeup that didn't do much out of the hand of Zack Greinke, went into the Crawford Boxes. The last, a 90.6 mph cutter that hit the spot but pinged off the foul pole anyway.

Police escort Max Scherzer look-alike around World Series parade (SI)
As it turns out, not a great day to walk through DC with different-colored eyes.

Two Nationals fans got engaged at the World Series parade (WaPo)
Jefferson Payne and Alyssa Hannah, season-ticket holders from Herndon, got engaged under a baby shark balloon before the parade.

The Washington Nationals Collaged Years of Postseason Heartbreak Into an Unforgettable World Series Run (Baseball Essential)
Nothing—literally nothing—about the Nats' run to the World Series title made any sense. Not their lack of a bullpen; not their old age; not their beating up on the Astros and Dodgers; not their time off; not their compiling of all four wins on the road. But for all the years that it seemed so logical, so given that the Nats *would* win in the playoffs—the 2012 series, the 2014 18-inning game, the 2016 Game 5 heartbreak—maybe it had to happen this way.

Three-day celebration begins with parade and rally (MASN)
Parade yesterday. Caps today. White House tomorrow. A lot of drinking in between, one would imagine.