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Official Rizzo Announcement

The Nationals just e-mailed a press release making the official announcement:

The Washington Nationals today announced the promotion of Michael A. Rizzo to the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager.
Rizzo, a 26-year veteran of professional baseball, joined the Nationals in 2006. Since March of this year, he has served as the team's acting General Manager. During that time, the Nationals promoted Jim Riggleman to Manager and successfully signed first round draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen. As Assistant General Manager and Vice President | Baseball Operations, the Nationals entire scouting operation fell under his domain, including Major Leagues, professional scouting and international talent.
"Since Mike is one of my favorite people, this is one of the easiest and happiest announcements I've ever had to make," said Stan Kasten, President of the Washington Nationals. "Mike was one of the architects of our plan to be competitive long-term and the last few months have only proven that there's no one more capable than Mike of continuing our vision for the franchise. This move gives the team organizational continuity and demonstrates to Major League Baseball and our fans in DC that we're committed to the strategy for building a perennial winner."
"Without question, Mike Rizzo has proven his capabilities as a talented and effective baseball executive," said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner. "In every possible respect, he has earned this promotion. Mike's professionalism during recent negotiations, his steady demeanor day-in and day-out, his intelligent, thoughtful decision making process and consistently positive attitude, make him the obvious and appropriate choice for GM. Mike Rizzo reflects and exemplifies the integrity of our franchise. This is a good day for the Washington Nationals."
Rizzo joined the Nationals after seven seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he helped earn the team a 2001 World Series Ring and the 2005 Topps Organization of the Year citation.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, he was raised in Chicago and spent four years as a minor league player for the Angels. He joined the Diamondbacks after several years scouting in both the Red Sox and White Sox organizations.

The news conference is being televised now on MASN.

Chico will have a full report later today.

By Alexa Steele  |  August 20, 2009; 4:14 PM ET
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Next: Nats Extend Strasburg Ticket Special


Mike Rizzo and Tony Soprano separated at birth. Whose with me?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 20, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mike.

Congratulations Nationals, smrrt move!

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 20, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Mike! It is a great week to be a Nats fan.

Mike Rizzo = Jim Bowden's greatest acquisition.

Posted by: lowcountry | August 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo and Riggo = Major improvement.

Congrats Rizzo.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 20, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Glad that it is settled. Good luck Rizz!! Hope you have a long and fruitful run.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Lots of happy talk about the Nats today, and for the past few days. I'm as susceptible to hope and excitement as the next guy (the four presidential bobbleheads on the bookshelf in my office will attest to that). It occurs to me though that alot of the good will really starts from the team playing quite a bit better over the past several weeks. Even two one-run losses in the last two days haven't dampened the sense that this is a team that can compete reasonably well in the next few years with the addition of a few key pieces. I wonder what the reaction to Rizzo's hiring would have been if we had been in the midst of a six game losing streak. Let's not forget that he brought us Logan Kensing (twice) Julian Tavarez, and Kip Wells. Not every decision he has made has been as charmed as the Nyjer for Lastings deal. I guess the key thing is that when he makes a mistake he recognizes it and tries to fix it. Witness the fact that Kensing, Tavarez, and Wells are no longer with the team. You can't ask for much more than that.

Posted by: Section222 | August 20, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

GNT, nah, I don't see it.

Congrats to Rizzo. I was impressed with his responses during the Q&A session. His dad must be very proud.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Half a lineup from MASN:


Morgan - CF
Guzman - SS
Zimmerman - 3B
Dunn - 1B
Willingham - LF
Dukes - RF
Bard - C
Gonzalez - 2B
Mock - P

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Man, there's nothing like getting a job you actually earned. Great work and congratulations, Mike!

Also, kudos to Chico, whose observation and intuition proved correct. Kasten's words today only reaffirmed what Chico had been seeing over the past few months.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Rizzo on a well-earned promotion and the Nats ownership for making a wise decision to promote continuity within the organization.

Does anyone on this blog wonder if Rizzo would have been named GM if the Nats were unsuccesful in signing Strasburg? Not to be cynical, but something tells me the Lerners would have used him as the fall guy if Strasburg didn't sign and we'd be talking about the new GM the team hired.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 20, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

wizfan, Kasten stated during the presser that Rizzo would have had the job even if Strasburg was not signed.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

During the press conference, Kasten was ask just that. He said even if the Strasburg deal didn't work out Rizzo was the man.

Posted by: NickfromGermantown | August 20, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Well good job to Stan for not immediately undermining his new GM by answering that question in a way that made it clear how tenuous his hold on the position was.

Come on, why believe anything any of these guys ever say without caveats?

Posted by: Section506 | August 20, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Nick. The latest (Aug./Sept.) program for sale at Nats Park has a feature on the groundskeepers. It talked a bit about mound work but didn't go into the curly w about which you'd asked. My husband's guess is that they somehow color the clay that they use for that particular pattern. There are also some pics of them using a stencil to paint a white curly w in another area.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

506, I believe what Rizzo says because he stated that the most important thing he learned from his dad was to tell the truth and be true to his convictions. I believe him and I find that refreshing. So there. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and there are ticket sales and lineup posts up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Mike.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 20, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Another piece from Nick, from nats320:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I mean "for."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

1a1: Thanks! I at first they used some kind of dye for the clay. But what puzzles me is how it never seems to get messed up during a game. (And thanks to your hubby, too!)

Posted by: NickfromGermantown | August 20, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Maryland will finish with a 2-10 record.

Maryland's defensive line and linebacker corps are a joke --- no pass rush whatsoever and give up a ton of long yardage plays.

I have seen harder hitting teams in powder puff leagues.

The only hard hits the Terps make - are out of bound plays - which cost them an additional 15 yards - which are quite frequent.

California's running back - Best - will gain 296 yards in the opening game

I love it, when Maryland constantly gets embarrassed on national TV.


California -- 56
Maryland -- 10

It's hilarious to see Maryland win a game - and the very next week get clobbered by a Virginia Tech - Boston College.

It is great to see Maryland go down to a crushing defeat on the football recruiting front (the kids they have received commitments from - are a joke! - taking the bottom of the barrel)

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | August 20, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

You're most welcome, Nick.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 20, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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