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Patrick Reddington: The Nats' MVP, if not the National League's

After going 3-for-4 with a three-run home run in last night's 9-0 win over the Miami Marlins, right fielder Jayson Werth has a .329/.406/.540 line with 13 doubles and 21 home runs in 101 games and 411 plate appearances in the third year of his seven-year deal with the Nationals. Since returning from a disabled list stint June 4, the 34-year-old outfielder has a .355/.441/.595

Sept. 9 meeting set between Nationals and Lee County, developer

Mark Sept. 9 on your calendars - that's the day we'll get an indication about how serious officials from Lee County and Fort Myers, Fla., are about courting the Nationals across the state to conduct spring training. According to Spring Training Online, that's the day the Nationals will meet in D.C. with representatives of Rockford Construction, a developer interested in building a mixed-use development that

Off the field, Zimmerman, Span and Gonzalez answered your questions in MASN's live chat

After a huge Nationals win, MASN will show you postgame interviews with players, in which reporters ask about a big inning or a huge home run. Following a loss, you will hear players being asked some tough questions, maybe about pitch selection or a costly error. Either way, you often hear players answering serious, game-related inquiries. However, we know that you have other burning questions

David Huzzard: Impressions of Syracuse and the forgotten Danny Espinosa

Last night was the first Nationals game I watched since Thursday, and that isn't because I have been so frustrated by the season I've given up on baseball. It is because I spent the last five days on a whirlwind tour of minor league ballparks. This trip was to include two of the Nationals affiliates, but short-season Single-A Auburn was rained out. Luckily for us,

Ted Leavengood: Finally making a game of it

The Nationals have started to dig out of the hole. The mark of the good ballplayer and the good team is competing consistently, going out and playing to win day-in and day-out. Washington has been consistently competitive in recent weeks. Even when they have been down early in games, they have punched and clawed their way back to key wins against the Royals and Phillies.

Gonzalez, Span and Zimmerman on-deck for Wednesday's tripleheader live chat

This Wednesday at Nationals Park, we will be hosting our first live video chat of the season, which will stream live on the homepage of MASNsports.com. The chat will be a tripleheader as Denard Span, Ryan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez will be participating and answering your questions live. In order for this to be successful, we need your help. Submit your questions on Twitter or

Dave Nichols: A defeat emblematic of the season's struggles

The Nationals took two out of three over the weekend from the Kansas City Royals to keep their dwindling playoff hopes just barely alive. Starting play Monday, the Nats sit 8 1/2 games behind Cincinnati, with just 32 games remaining, for the last invitation to the playoff party in the National League. The loss on Sunday halted a five-game winning streak, matching the longest the

Brevard County making push to retain Nationals

The decision by Osceola County commissioners to reject plans for a new $98 million spring training complex for the Nationals may have opened the door for Brevard County to retain its status as the team's Grapefruit League home. According to this story in Florida Today, Brevard County commissioner Robin Fisher says the county will go "all in" in its attempts to keep the Nationals at

Patrick Reddington: It's just not Strasburg's year

It's just not Stephen Strasburg's year. It was supposed to be, but it's not. Strasburg was efficient Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. He was pounding the zone. He was striking batters out, with eight Ks. He was inducing ground balls, with eight groundouts. He had seven scoreless innings on 86 pitches. He gave up a leadoff home run by Brian Bogusevic on the first pitch

Rachel Levitin: Acquiring DeJesus an example of Nats trying to maintain first-place roster

When I got a text message from a Cubs fan friend of mine on Monday night, I can't say I was surprised by the what he had to say: "Look for me at the game. And David DeJesus is a good pickup." While I didn't see that friend on my television set, I did shoot him a message back in agreement. It's this move -

David Huzzard: David DeJesus and the Nats' 2014 bench

Sometimes the best moves a general manager can make are the ones that look confusing at first. Keep in mind general managers are allegedly smarter than the media and bloggers, and should be a couple of steps ahead of us. One the surface, the David DeJesus trade looks weird. The Nats don't need him for this season and his $6.5 million option is a lot

What's next in the Nats' long search for a new spring home? (updated)

So Kissimmee, Fla., is out as a possible spring training base for the Nationals. Where does that leave the Nats in terms of their longstanding desire to relocate spring camp to a location that offers both a new stadium and more teams closer by? For the time being, they'll stay in Viera, Space Coast Stadium and the adjacent minor league complex. Though it's not their

Ted Leavengood: Can Nats compete without more international signings?

As an organization, the Washington Nationals have largely eschewed big international signings. Last week, they paid $900,000 for Anderson Franco and the front office has said it will be more aggressive in international markets moving forward. Prior forays have been disappointing at best. They got nothing except legal fees for the $1.4 million they paid to Dominican phenom Smiley Gonzalez in 2006. They tried again

Osceola County rejects plans for Nationals' spring training complex

The Nationals won't be moving their spring training headquarters to Kissimmee, Fla. Last night, Osceola County commissioners voted 4-1 against constructing a new complex and stadium for the Nationals, who want to move their Grapefruit League operations out of Viera, Fla. Those commissioners voting against the $98 million deal said that any potential benefits from the project were outweighed by the county's investment in it.

Dave Nichols: Strasburg shows backbone standing up for Harper

It was a wild weekend in Atlanta. Not so much for the actual baseball content, as the Nationals dropped another series to the Braves, setting their season record against the division leaders at 4-12. Rather, after Bryce Harper was hit by pitches twice Friday night, the Nationals - at least their top starting pitcher - decided enough was enough. Harper, a player who will forevermore

Patrick Reddington: Dan Haren's tidy narrative

Dan Haren told reporters this winter he was surprised by the concerns about his health when he hit the free agent market. After all, the 32-year-old right-hander had made just one trip to the disabled list in his 10-year major league career. The Los Angeles Angels put the pitcher on the DL in July 2012 with what was described then as a lower back issue.

Rachel Levitin: That pesky thing called perspective

When it comes time to reflect on the Nationals' 2013 season, my thought is that this one will be all about managing expectations. After last night's victory against the San Francisco Giants - the Nats' fifth win in a row - I found myself on the Metro amid the postgame foot traffic. While sitting there, I gathered nuggets from people's conversations and took notice of

David Huzzard: A few thoughts on hope

The Nationals' four-game winning streak is a small glimmer of hope, faint light from a far off place. In "The Dark Knight Rises," Bane shows Batman the means to escape his prison. It is a one-in-a-million shot. One person out of all the prisoners had done it and it was a mystery as to if that were fact or fiction. It is the nature of

Ted Leavengood: Playing for pride

Stephen Strasburg's complete-game shutout on Sunday was an exclamation point at the end of a weekend statement that the Nationals have found their sense of pride. It was the best game of Strasburg's young career. He has said many times that he wants to go deeper into seasons, deeper into games and it doesn't get much deeper than a complete-game shutout. Coming at the end

Wild weekend in Washington

If you blinked over the weekend, you probably missed something. Between a series sweep, a couple of career milestones (and Gatorade showers to go along with them) and MASN's Social Media Weekend, this weekend was one to remember at Nats Park. The Nationals entered their weekend series against the Phillies with a four-game losing streak, but behind Dan Haren's quality start and some lively bats,

David Nichols: Werth's resurgence provides some fun down the stretch

The Nationals swept the Phillies over the weekend. That always feels good. But the Nats are still eight games out of a wild card spot with just 45 games to play. It's not an impossibility, but the odds of making the postseason sure aren't great. What is great, though, is the way Jayson Werth has been playing this summer. The veteran outfielder is in the

Social Media Weekend continues Saturday at Nats Park

One day of Social Media Weekend is in the books. We rewarded fans for their social media usage Friday, providing people who tweeted at us and tagged their Instagram photos with signed gear, seat upgrades and more. And we're at it again Saturday. Check out what's on deck by looking at the schedule below. Even if you can't make it to Nats Park, we're offering

Meet Denard Span this Saturday, presented by Cox

For Nationals fans, one of the most exciting parts about last offseason was the acquisition of Denard Span. The center fielder livened up the Nats lineup, bringing speed to both the outfield and the basepaths. Well, thanks to Cox Communications, you have the chance to meet Span this Saturday, August 10! From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Span will be taking pictures with fans at

Rachel Levitin: Where's the sustained fire and passion in 2013 Nats?

While I'll admit I wasn't present for the actual bench-clearing brouhaha that went down at Nats Park on Tuesday night, I have to say I for one am glad it happened. Just a couple of weeks ago on this very blog, I was commenting about how this Nationals team doesn't seem to be fighting for their wins this season. Granted, I went on to explain

David Huzzard: What to do with Adam LaRoche

Adam LaRoche's offensive numbers are better than a league average hitter, and only the second-worst among Nats regulars, but he ranks 22nd in the league among qualified first basemen in OPS. The problem isn't that the Nationals are locked into one more year of LaRoche. They faced the same issue in the 2012 offseason when they went after Prince Fielder. It is that there isn't

Ted Leavengood: Seeking 2.75 million heroes for 2013

There was a point several months ago, before games against Atlanta became object lessons in what the Washington Nationals have failed to master. It was opening day, when last night's game was projected to be a key matchup between the key contenders for the NL East title. On that cool April day, Stephen Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings and Bryce Harper hit two home runs

Social Media Weekend set to kick off Friday

We're getting close to one of the best times of the year around the MASN headquarters: Social Media Weekend. Thanks to Hair Cuttery, kicking off Friday, Aug. 9 at Nationals Park, we'll be offering fans exclusive prizes and experiences. Each season, particularly in 2013, we have seen our loyal fans tweeting at us, chatting on our Facebook threads and sending us Instagram pictures. And we

Dave Nichols: With playoff hopes slipping this season, will Nationals make big changes for next year?

The Washington Nationals are 12 1/2 games out of first place at 54-57, three games below .500, with a three-game series against the division-leading Atlanta Braves looming this week. The Nats and Braves have nine such games to play before the end of the season, so each of these games count doubly in the standings. But with the Braves playing as well as they have

MASN's "Touch 'Em All" Rewards Program continues with more exclusive giveaways

A month of MASN's "Touch 'Em All" Nationals Rewards Program is in the books. During the launch, we saw fans sign up and then fervently take to their social media accounts to earn exclusive prizes. During July, we saw so many great Facebook shares, tweets, Instagram pictures and more. After rewarding five engaged fans with autographed Ryan Zimmerman gear last month, we're at it again!

Patrick Reddington: Rizzo, rumors and the Nats' GM search in '09

Mike Rizzo and the Nationals announced a new long-term deal for the general manager last night. Managing principle owner Theodore N. Lerner praised the work the 52-year-old executive has done since 2009 to turn the Nationals into, "one of the most exciting and respected young teams in baseball." Rizzo talked in the press release about the hard work they have done with the Lerners' support

Rachel Levitin: Maybe making no moves was the right move

The non-waiver trade deadline has passed and it appears the Nationals are staying intact. Given the team's performance this summer, there were times in which I thought there might be a few more mumblings on the rumor mill followed by a few changes come the end of July. But as I've continued to watch this team over the course of season, this might be the

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