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Nats Packing Bags In DR [Update]

[This report comes relayed from Barry Svrluga, on site in the Dominican]

The Nationals this morning are disbanding their operation at Jose Rijo's baseball academy in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, and have ordered at least some of their prospects to go home. Jose Baez, who directs the facility -- which the Nationals had rented from Rijo -- said that the Nationals will likely release some of their Dominican players and field only one team in the Dominican Summer League this year.

Previously, the Nationals have fielded two DSL teams, one of which won the league championship in 2008.

Washington assistant GM Mike Rizzo and Mark Scialabba, assistant director of player development, have arrived at the facility, as has Jose Rijo, presumably to oversee the transition.

The team has made the decision to fire Rijo, though Rijo has still not gotten word of the decision. Baez said this morning that he, too, expects to be fired -- though he has heard nothing yet on the matter.

Asked if he was upset, Baez said, "Not really, because I came here and I was a grown man and I worked hard like you're supposed to do. The circumstances, I have nothing to do with. Things that I can't control."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 26, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
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Next: It's Official: Rijo, Baez Out [Update]


Chico - Realize this is unlikely, but could Barry find out some of the names of players that are going to be held onto?

Posted by: Brian_ | February 26, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I assume this means that all the players on both DSL teams are "owned" by the Nats and not Rijos?

Posted by: estuartj | February 26, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse


Great to see Desmond in the lineup after the hand scare.

Also, it strikes me that our batting order works pretty well with a DH, it's the only way to get all of the bats into the lineup (Johnson, Milledge (in lieu of Patterson above), Dukes, Dunn and Willingham). Bodes well for interleague play I guess (barring a trade).

I am by no means a Bowden hater, and I have no reason to believe that he is responsible for the Frowny Fiasco or guilty of any wrongdoing. Having said that, I'm not sure that a fresh start would not be welcome. Among other things it might unclog trade negotiations (e.g., an outfield asset for a prospect and a veteran reliever).

Posted by: BobLHead | February 26, 2009 10:18 AM

Posted by: BobLHead | February 26, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bob, your comment above reminded me of this movie quote from Unforgiven (fitting?);

Little Bill Daggett: I don't deserve this... to die like this. I was building a house.
Will Munny: Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.

Posted by: estuartj | February 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to our man in the Dominican (SvrlUUUga) for his reports.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 26, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Deserve has nothing to do with it.

A change has got to come.

Baseball: I would be very interested to learn how the new coaching staff is managing this spring. Has the new personnel brought a new approach to baserunning drills, outfield positioning, fielding drills, etc.... We have already hear a little about Eckstien's photographic memory and approach to coaching hitters, but what about Grissom and the others? Will we see differences on the field?

Posted by: natbisquit | February 26, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Well now we know why they didn't fire JimBow yesterday, they had more pressing in-house moves to make;

02/25/2009 1:04 PM ET
Washington Nationals announce promotion of Chartese Burnett to Vice President of Communications and Community Relations
Burnett Will Launch & Oversee the Nationals Minority Outreach Efforts

Now that we've got that out of the way let's move on to that little matter of the GM, asst GM for the DR, etc. You know, the small stuff.

Posted by: estuartj | February 26, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

natbisquit, check out nats320 - the posts are a tad long winded, but they are on the scene in FLA a everyone seems willing to chat with them for at least a few minutes.

Posted by: estuartj | February 26, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Rijo and Baez are going...going...gone. New post.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 26, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I second estuartj re. nats320. Lots of pics, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 26, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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