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  1. Significant moment No. 1: Harper hits the wall

    Dec 31, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We conclude…

  2. Nats bring back Rhymes on minor-league deal

    Dec 30, 2013, 7:29 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have re-signed Will Rhymes to a minor-league contract, giving the 30-year-old infielder an invitation to big-league spring training, according to his agency. Rhymes, who played at the College of William and Mary, was at Nationals camp last spring and wound up spending the season at Class AAA Syracuse. He hit .274 with a…

  3. Significant moment No. 2: Rizzo hires Williams

    Dec 30, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  4. Significant moment No. 3: Davey’s farewell

    Dec 29, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  5. Significant moment No. 4: Eckstein fired

    Dec 28, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  6. Point/Counterpoint: Espinosa as utilityman?

    Dec 27, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: SHOULD THE NATIONALS MAKE DANNY ESPINOSA THEIR UTILITY INFIELDER, OR SHOULD THEY LOOK ELSEWHERE TO FILL THAT POSITION? MARK ZUCKERMAN: This may be the unpopular answer, but I say the Nationals absolutely should give Espinosa a shot here. To me, the most important trait for a utility infielder is defense. And you…

  7. Significant moment No. 5: Beanball war with the Braves

    Dec 27, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  8. Significant moment No. 6: Storen’s demotion

    Dec 26, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  9. Significant moment No. 7: Span’s 29-game streak

    Dec 25, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  10. Significant moment No. 8: Gio and Biogenesis

    Dec 24, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  11. Significant moment No. 9: Harper’s 2 Opening Day homers

    Dec 23, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…

  12. Significant moment No. 10: Strasburg’s 1st shutout

    Dec 22, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We begin…

  13. Point/Counterpoint: 20 starts for Detwiler in 2014?

    Dec 20, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: WILL ROSS DETWILER START MORE THAN 20 GAMES FOR THE NATIONALS IN 2014? MARK ZUCKERMAN: While it’s tempting to say no, I’m going to display a bit of faith in Detwiler … and the Nationals, for that matter. When healthy over the last 2 1/2 seasons, he has been an awfully good…

  14. Nationals send Brown back to A’s for cash

    Dec 19, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have traded Corey Brown to the Athletics, sending the outfielder back to the franchise that originally drafted him in the eighth deal struck between Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane in three years. Brown had been designated for assignment last week by the Nationals, who needed to clear a space on their 40-man roster…

  15. Sorting out bullpen roles

    Dec 19, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    One of the toughest tasks for any first-time manager is bullpen usage, and that figures to be among the more intriguing aspects of Matt Williams’ inaugural season as skipper of the Nationals. Williams inherits a Washington bullpen loaded at the back end with three right-handers who have all enjoyed success as a closer in the…

  16. Nats announce 4-year agreement with Syracuse

    Dec 18, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

    Photo courtesy Jason Benetti, Syracuse Chiefs

    The Syracuse Chiefs have served as the Nationals’ Class AAA affiliate for the last five years, and the two clubs will continue their partnership for at least five more years after Wednesday’s announcement of a player development contract extension that runs through 2018. This new contract extension, a four-year agreement, is the first long-term deal…

  17. How does Moore fit into Nats’ 2014 plan?

    Dec 18, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    If the Nationals make another move before the start of spring training, it most likely would be for another bench player. Which most likely would directly impact Tyler Moore. Which raises the following question: How exactly does Moore fit into the Nationals’ plans, both in 2014 and beyond? The organization continues to praise the young…

  18. Lefties priced themselves out of Nationals’ market

    Dec 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    MLB: New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners

    Two more clubs signed free agent left-handers yesterday, and if you’re wondering why the Nationals couldn’t have landed one of these guys, you need only look at the bloated contracts said southpaws were given. Boone Logan, owner of a 4.39 ERA in eight major-league seasons, got a 3-year, $16.5 million deal from the Rockies. Meanwhile,…

  19. Marrero lands with Orioles on minor-league deal

    Dec 16, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Chris Marrero, released by the Nationals earlier this fall, has found a new home just up the road: Baltimore. The Orioles have signed the 25-year-old first baseman to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to Baseball America. Marrero, the Nationals’ highly touted first-round pick in the 2006 draft, was outrighted off…

  20. Williams embraces lofty expectations

    Dec 16, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    In the six weeks he’s been on the job, Matt Williams has learned a few things about the Nationals that he didn’t necessarily know before he was named their new manager. In particular, everyone’s motivation to realize significant success right now. “What I’ve learned is that this organization is very concerned with winning,” Williams said…

  21. Time to reconsider collisions at the plate

    Dec 15, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Palm Beach Post File Photo, 2003

    One of my absolute favorite moments in baseball history was the final play of the 2003 NLDS between the Marlins and Giants, the one where Jeff Conine fires a one-hopper from shallow left field to Ivan Rodriguez, who braces for impact with J.T. Snow and manages to hold onto the ball as he goes head-over-heels…

  22. Nats lose catcher Nieto in Rule 5 draft

    Dec 12, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals lost Adrian Nieto in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to the White Sox, who are hoping the 24-year-old catcher has progressed enough to spend 2014 in the major leagues. Nieto, a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft, was well-liked by Nationals officials, but his slow development (he hasn’t advanced…

  23. 3 deals in 10 days leave Nats in good shape

    Dec 12, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Ten days ago, the Nationals needed a starting pitcher. They needed a left-handed bench bat. And they sorely needed a left-handed reliever. Then came the trade for Doug Fister. Then came the signing of Nate McLouth. And after Wednesday’s trade for Jerry Blevins, general manager Mike Rizzo could take comfort…

  24. Rizzo: Blevins was “our best option”

    Dec 11, 2013, 6:08 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals talked to every left-handed reliever on the open market. And they inquired about potential trades with three or four clubs. In the end, Mike Rizzo decided a Jerry Blevins-for-Billy Burns swap with the Athletics made the most sense in multiple ways. “This was the best option we could…

  25. Nats acquire LHP Blevins for prospect Burns

    Dec 11, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals acquired the left-handed reliever they so desired, pulling off a trade with the Athletics on Wednesday that brings veteran Jerry Blevins to Washington in exchange for minor-league outfielder Billy Burns. Blevins, 30, was one of perhaps 10 left-handers the Nationals had expressed interest in at the Winter Meetings…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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