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Nats-Phils rivalry now a two-way street

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Nats-Phils rivalry now a two-way street

Rivarlies in sports have to, absolutely must, be two-way relationships. A one-way rivalry can be just about the saddest thing to be realized, just ask Wizards fans about the LeBron James-led Cavaliers. Now that the Nationals look like a good baseball team, and the once-untouchable Phillies are vulnerable, the D.C.-Philly baseball matchup is becoming one of the best and most heated in sports.It took a series win by Washington, and an overall dominant stretch over Philadelphia, for it all to be realized. It was clear last night the Nats and their brash young star Bryce Harper finally got under the Phillies skin as Cole Hamels lost his cool and is now suspended five games. Throw in a taunting kiss from Shane Victorino - a clear reference to Harpers lore - and we have ourselves some storylines.Over at CSNPhilly.com, their Phillies writers have come to acknowledge the contentious relationship as a clear rivalry that could entertain sports fans of all walks for quite some time. Columnist Rueben Frank put the hatred within the Philly perspective and sounds pretty excited for what could be waiting for us in the future.You wanted a rivalry? You got a rivalry.Were only a month into the 2012 baseball season, but this is already getting good, he writes.
After the Nationals ill-fated Take back the Stadium ploy? After a weekend of Flyers and Eagles chants infuriated the locals at Nationals Park? After Cole Hamels hit Bryce Harper Sunday night and then openly admitted to doing it? After Jordan Zimmerman hit Hamels two innings later? After Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called Hamels classless and gutless?Oh yeah, were on.
Many around baseball are looking now at the Nationals Take Back the Park campaign as the true catalyst for the rivalry, that Washingtons public efforts to turn away Phils fans shook the hornets nest. But now, if this rivalry continues it will clearly date back to Hamels beaning of Bryce Harper. According to Frank, even Hamels realizes what he did.Thats what makes it exciting in baseball, he said after pitching eight strong innings in the Phillies 9-3 win at Nationals Park in Washington. Thats what you want. To see your fans really get involved. ...You can feel the energy, and you want to play harder and I think thats what it really takes to get more people to watch our series when were playing each other. Its a long year, and when you have a series to look forward to, it kind of makes things go a little bit quicker and the excitement really takes you to another level of play.Frank and Phillies fans seem to look at Hamels pitch as a statement made by the team, on national television and against an upstart young team. The statement Hamels made when he hit Harper on national TV Sunday night was that the Phillies arent quite ready yet to relinquish N.L. East bragging rights to the upstart Nationals, Frank writes.Whether the message was received is hard to tell, but with another series between the two coming up on May 21, we should find out soon. The two teams also play six of their last nine games together. It is a rivalry that now has both teams buying in and the best could be yet to come.

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New York Daily News puts Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in Yankees uniforms

New York Daily News puts Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in Yankees uniforms

You can always count on the New York Daily News to run an audacious cover. The tabloid delivered again Friday with an image edited to show two of the league's best young hitters in Yankees pinstripes: Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Orioles short stop Manny Machado. 

"Bats to the Future" is exactly the headline you'd expect, too.  

It's hard to tell what's more odious to Washington and Baltimore fans: the image itself or the suggestion that baseball's new collective bargaining agreement makes it easier for the Yankees to poach their stars. 

The premise of that argument comes from sources who say the new CBA contains two changes beneficial to New York: reduced revenue sharing burden (due to tweaks in how sharing is calculated, plus a deduction for the cost of building and running Yankee Stadium) and an increased luxury tax threshold. 

Without going into number crunching detail, the Daily News explains how the club could afford Harper and/or Machado when they become free agents after the 2018 season. 

The article's tone of inevitability, despite its many assumptions, will rankle fans of all 29 other teams. After all, the Yankees aren't the only franchise interested in Harper and Machado. 

The Nationals and Orioles will presumably try to keep their stars. But to do that, they may have to fend off potentially historic money from the Bronx. 

MORE BASEBALL: Nats let Ben Revere walk

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Nationals decline to tender the contract of Ben Revere

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USA Today Sports

Nationals decline to tender the contract of Ben Revere

Ben Revere was brought to Washington in the hopes he could solve the centerfield and lead-off issue that plagued them the previous year. After just one year, the Nationals have decided to move on from Revere as they declined to tender him.

The move makes Revere a free agent after a .217/.260/.300 season that fell way below expectations. Revere tied his career-high with two home runs and added 24 RBI while scoring 44 runs. 

Stay tuned for more information!