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It would seem, though, that the bigger problem is the ice forming between the manager and the general manager — probably an extension of the bad blood between Robinson and team president Tony Tavares. Bowden insists there is no tension on his end.

“I love Frank,” he said. “I get along great with him. He came into camp with two of his best friends, Don Buford and Tom McCraw [two former Nationals coaches who were not retained] gone, and his favorite extra player, Jamey Carroll, is gone. I understand why he would be unhappy, but those are professional decisions and you have to respect that. You are never going to have your manager and general manager agree on everything. I have no issues with Frank.”

Position players are scheduled to report tomorrow and begin workouts Friday. When Alfonso Soriano and Jose Vidro both try to declare squatters rights at second base, whose issue will that be?