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Bryce Harper says the Nats 'finally have an All-Star staff'


Bryce Harper says the Nats 'finally have an All-Star staff'

Of all the tasks on the lengthy to-do list for new Nationals manager Dusty Baker, fostering healthy relationships with his star players is likely near the top. Of course, this isn't new territory for the veteran skipper, who has been around elite talents like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Joey Votto in his accomplished managerial career. 

So it comes as no surprise that the relationship between Baker and his latest phenom, Bryce Harper, will probably be scrutinized throughout most of the 66-year-old's tenure in Washington -- especially compared to that of his predecessor, Matt Williams. 

Harper, who's currently making the media rounds as he's up for a number of year-end honors, was asked Monday night on MLB Network about his new manager as well as pitching coach Mike Maddox and first-base coach Davey Lopes. 

“I think you see that smile on my face,” Harper said after accepting the NL Outstanding Player award. “I’m definitely very excited to have him. Being able to play for a guy like Dusty, somebody that’s been around the game for a long, long time … and being able to do the things with him and learn from him. Also learning from a guy in Davey Lopes, one of the best first base coaches in the game and one of the best baserunning coaches in the game also. I’m very excited for that. And also Mike Maddux. Being able to pick his brain about pitchers and seeing the tendencies that other pitchers throw with. I’m very excited to have the team that we do. We finally have an All-Star staff, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Obviously, that last line about "finally having an All-Star staff" might raise a few eyebrows. Was that a dig at his former manager? Or was it simply praising the new coaching staff?

Harper's been known to speak his mind in the past, but has rarely criticized Williams in public, even staunchly defending him during a September in which rumblings of clubhouse discord grew louder and louder. 

On the flip side, Baker's known strength as a manger is his ability to win over a locker room with his infectious personality. With that in mind, it should be fascinating to watch the dynamic between he and Harper develop in 2016 and beyond.  

MORE NATS: Report: Williams returns to D'backs as 3B coach

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.