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Nats give Harper another day off, hope he returns by Friday

Nats give Harper another day off, hope he returns by Friday

Thought a stiff neck has held Bryce Harper out of the lineup for the third straight game, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said there's no cause for concern. 

"It's the same," the skipper said of Harper’s injury before Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. "It’s in a spasm and they’ve tried to alleviate it and it hasn’t worked yet. So we just do what we have to do. Don’t assume that it’s worse than what I’ve [said] because it’s not."

The reigning NL MVP was shut down from baseball activities earlier in the week, but Baker intimated that he hopes Harper will be ready to return following the club’s off day on Thursday. The manager also hopes that the time off could give the 23-year-old right fielder a mental break from some of his recent struggles at the plate.

"There’s an effect,” Baker said. “If anything you’ve had a break to watch and regroup sometimes. It can help you. The fact is that if he only had 40 at-bats it’d be a big deal. He has 300-something at-bats. The more at-bats you have, the longer it takes to get out of shape and lose your stroke and it’s not like he had his stroke in the first place.”

Harper’s absence means the Nats will lean on a bench that’s been heavily used in recent weeks, this time giving rookie outfielder Brian Goodwin his first major-league start. With veterans Stephen Drew and Ryan Zimmerman currently on the disabled list, Baker has expressed concern that he has been spreading some of his healthy regulars too thin.

"I think that Anthony [Rendon] probably misses Drew more than anybody because we don’t really have a true kind of third baseman," he said. “We may have to think about doing something or else Anthony [Rendon]'s going to have to play every day and I really don’t want to put [Daniel Murphy] over there because Murph needs a day off, too. I can see him slowing down a little bit. [Danny] Espinosa needs a day off; he’s slowing down a little bit."

Fortunately for the Nats, none of the injured regulars are expected to be out long, so it appears the roster could be back at full strength relatively soon. 

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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.