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Report: Dipoto Could Be Next Nats GM

For the last six months, Mike Rizzo has led the Washington Nationals through a significant roster transformation, and in the last few weeks, he successfully handled negotiations with Stephen Strasburg, signing the No. 1 pick in perhaps the biggest victory of his front-office career. But less than 24 hours later, Rizzo is the subject of a Yahoo Sports report suggesting that he will lose his position as acting general manager. According to the report, which cites multiple unnamed sources, the Nationals will soon announce the Arizona Diamondbacks' Jerry Dipoto as their next permanent general manager.

Nationals President Stan Kasten did not return phone messages or an e-mail seeking comment late Tuesday night. Kasten had recently narrowed his finalists for the permanent job to a list that included Rizzo, Dipoto and Boston assistant general manager Jed Hoyer.

Dipoto and Rizzo did not return calls seeking comment.

Dipoto is currently in his first season as Arizona's vice president of player personnel and his fourth season overall overseeing the team's pro scouting operation.

If Dipoto obtains the job, it would shock many employees in Washington's current front office, many of whom had assumed that Rizzo's performance in recent weeks -- especially with Strasburg -- would all but guarantee him the job. Kasten, after the Strasburg negotiations were completed, joked with Rizzo that he had just dispensed the largest sum of money in amateur history. "That's going to look great on your résumé," Kasten said in jest.

Rizzo, who has dealt frequently with Scott Boras during his career, emerged from the Strasburg negotiations with the agent's full respect. "Rizzo knows his [stuff]," Boras said. "He has a gut for" evaluating players.

Rizzo, as acting general manager, has restocked the team's once-horrific bullpen and pulled off a four-player deal with Pittsburgh that netted the team outfielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett. He also traded first baseman Nick Johnson and reliever Joe Beimel just minutes before the July 31 trading deadline.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 19, 2009; 12:01 AM ET
 
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Next: Strasburg Special

Comments

i'm not in favor of replacing rizzo, but let's not get carried away with giving him all the credit for the SS signing. realistically, that one came down as much, or more, on kasten/lerners. they took a much larger presence in that negotiation/signing than they would with most.

still, he's done a much better job with what he was handed than bowden and has made some positive strides with this team.

Posted by: sec231 | August 19, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson and reliever Joe Beimel*

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | August 19, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Huh. What a murky decision that would be. Looking forward to parsing the spin.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 19, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

This is a rudderless ship of a franchise. One step forward, two steps back.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | August 19, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"to be named" certainly changed to
"could be" in a flash. the twitter guy tweeted out of turn?

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

If DiPoto becomes the GM let's hope we don't discard of Rizzo like a piece of toilet paper. He deserves credit for what he's done with the team since taking over the duties. I would just hate to simply rid of him because we found someone "better". At least keep him as the AGM and thank/reward him for his work.

DO THE RIGHT THING KASTEN/LERNERS!!!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | August 19, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

This is an utter farce if true. Rizzo works hard cleaning up Bowden's mess and this is the thanks he gets? I doubt he would stay with the team if he doesn't get the job. It's a demotion. What a way this would be to cap off the Strasburg triumph.

Edes is sometimes reliable and sometimes not. On the one hand, he has a lot of Boston connections having worked for the Globe, so it is possible that he is either hearing this from peeps of Josh Byrnes and Peter Woodfork with the D'backs, who used to work for the Red Sox, or maybe he is hearing something from Jed Hoyer's colleagues. On the other hand, he also reported that Theo Epstein had signed a 3-year contract extension in 2005 and Epstein quit like 8 hours later. Whoops.

Posted by: harbeh | August 19, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't DiPoto replace Rizzo in AZ, and what have the D-Backs done since Rizzo left? Nada -- except the talent that Rizzo brought in.

What in the world could DiPoto bring that Rizzo doesn't? Rizzo seems to have earned the respect of the league, even prior to Bowden's departure, and while I can't say for sure what role he had in the SS negotiations, I can say that I was impressed with the outcome.

This just doesn't make sense to me from a player development and team development point of view.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 19, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

The only way I'd be in favor of this is if Rizzo didn't want the job and wanted to step back into his "old" role. However, that would seem unlikely.

Posted by: kingrob76 | August 19, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

This is just so absurd. How has Kasten been able to look Rizzo in the face for all this time knowing he was going to pull the plug as soon as the Strasburg negotiations ended? That's just evil.

What exactly does DiPoto have that Rizzo doesn't? As far as I can tell, Rizzo is highly regarded by other scouts and GM's around the league. Kasten used to be, but has lost much of his luster since his Braves days. If Kasten chooses DiPoto over Rizzo in one of the most disrespectful moves in recent baseball history, the Nats will lose whatever credibility they have left.

I just hope that Kasten, for once, does the right thing and looks Rizzo in the eye and says: "you're hired." Otherwise, it's more of the same from the Natinals.

Posted by: rucks35 | August 19, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I've stuck by and defended this franchise and ownership group as a partial season ticket holder since 2005 through some pretty inept gestures at resembling a major league franchise. I've chafed at national writers with nothing better to do on a rainy afternoon than take potshots at the woeful Nats. I didn't fret or criticize when the Nats walked away from Crowe nor panic when the Strasburg negotiations went to the midnight hour. I was convinced they were committed to bringing a winning team to Washington, had a plan, and that finally, Mike Rizzo was the guy who brought the knowledge and respect around the league to carry it out. Sticking by Acta long after the team's performance showed he should have been dismissed and now possibly sticking it to Rizzo right after the franchise's greatest triumph that he helped engineer calls any faith and allegiance I showed to this organization in question. Loyalty to Bowden. Loyalty to Acta. Bupkus to Rizzo? Tonight may well have been my last Nats game. Turns out that all of that "friendly" out of town ribbing I've been receiving was true -- absent some compelling explanation from the tweedle dum and tweedle dee leadership troika, canning Rizzo would just be further proof that this franchise is a joke.

Posted by: McKinley2 | August 19, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

i'm holding out a bit of hope that kingrob is right -- Rizzo earned the opportunity, but decided he wasn't up to the ridiculousness required of GMs, or understandably wanted to stick to what he knows best (scouting). i certainly hope it isn't because he didn't earn the spot, because I think he did. And, if the Nats were to lose his talent, that would be a big blow to "the Plan" in my eyes.

Posted by: mo_dc | August 19, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Just as I'm finally getting all these warm and fuzzy feelings back about the Nats, this has to come outta nowhere and dump all this cold water feelings all over me.
Come on. Rizzo has been nothing short of great. The guy has proven his worth. Everything he's done has been on the mark. I can only hope this is an ugly rumor. Because if true, it would really be sad. Don't blow it now Nats. Do the right thing. Rizzo is The MAN for the job--Permanently.

Posted by: dovelevine | August 19, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo has made so many great moves for this team: acquiring Morgan and Burnett, trading Hanrahan and Millidge, sacrificing Nick Johnson so Dunn could play 1B and Dukes could play right field. He has also made some great non-moves: not trading Dunn and/or Willingham for prospects. Also, didn't he sign Zimmerman to his current contract? Also, some Strasburg guy. Honestly, Rizzo has proven himself to be a great GM. DiPoto is another unproven gamble -- like Acta. What on earth is ownership thinking?

Posted by: ammonite88 | August 19, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

While I understand much of this sentiment, I am less enthusiastic about Rizzo than others here. My primary concern is that he has failed to recognize the critical need to focus on the long term. In fact, he has very explicitly said that he sees no need for the team to rebuild.

The Nats may not be as bad a team as their record would indicate, but to deny the need to rebuild is to deny reality. The Nats will lose Dunn, Willingham and Guzman long before the team has a realistic chance to be a contender. While I like these players, they need to go if the Nats are to get the young prospects who will provide the foundation for a championship. Yet Rizzo seems more interested in achieving mediocrity this year and next than in solidifying a foundation for long term success. I just disagree with that, and would much prefer a GM who accepts the need for a Plan, and who stays focused on the future.

Posted by: Dynatic | August 19, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

And I said "if" DiPoto takes over. Now don't confuse that with me being ok with it. I also like Rizzo and would like to keep him. He's been doing a good job and why would you want to interrupt his plans. Makes no sense. So yes, please:

DO THE RIGHT THING and KEEP RIZZO!!!

Posted by: big_game_lannan | August 19, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I also remember the Ken Rosenthal report of Manny being fired which at the time didn't happen and also the reports earlier in the year that they weren't going after Adam Dunn and then the most recent back and forth of information and disinfomaton about Strasburg going to Japan.

This ship finally appears headed in the right direction. Good GM dept. decisions have been made and not exactly sure who deserves the ultimate credit but certainly a TEAM win on a group decision.

With all that said and the ship headed in the right direction, WHY MESS WITH THE CHEMISTRY???????????????

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 19, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Just the existence of this kind of rumor is really telling. Kasten is known for being tight-lipped with the media and this is the second or third time we've gotten rumors through the press (specifically Bowden getting canned, Acta getting canned, etc).

I think it's unlikely Kasten said anything to the media. And it would also seem unlikely that DiPoto would said anything. That would be really dumb if you're trying to get a job.

So it's got to be someone on the Lerners side with the rumors.

Which is either evidence of some kind of strange power struggle, or somebody who really gets under Kasten's skin.

Personally I like Rizzo and I want to see him stay. But if for whatever reason they don't like him, they should just do it quick. I actually think they HAVE been fair to him. He was never guaranteed the GM job. He's always been acting.

Posted by: anubis_lab | August 19, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

@Chico Harlan - Nationals President Stan Kasten did not return phone messages or an e-mail seeking comment late Tuesday night. Kasten had recently narrowed his finalists for the permanent job to a list that included Rizzo, DiPoto and Boston assistant general manager Jed Hoyer.
__________________________

Chico, you are now in the doghouse AGAIN with Stan. Come on, phone messageS???? That implies you left more than 1. Fess up, how many times did you really call him?

This is just like back in June when FOX said Manny Acta is going to be fired shortly and you kept calling Stan.

If Bowden kept his job for almost 3 years of Lerner/Kasten control, this move would baffle me if true.

I say no way is it true, and if it is, maybe there is a logical explanation. But seriously, this is a joke right coming on the heels of a major coup!


Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Kasten has NEVER been a standup guy. Look at the gutless way that they dealt with FRobby. Under Kasten, the Nats have been cheap and classless.

Kasten has tried to appropriate the credit for the Braves that belongs to Schuerholz and Cox (he was SOLELY responsible for the Hawks, and you see how that turned out). If you read between the lines, it looked like (a) the SS negotiations were all about "standing up to Boras" and (b) Kasten wanted to be the guy with the bigger d**k. I wonder how much an attempt to grab the spotlight is involved. Rizzo has handled every chance without an error; "firing" such a guy says volumes about you and how you run things, and none of them are good.

I've said it before; there are probably better GMs than Rizzo. So what -- hire him. He deserves it. It would be poetic if the Mets hired him and he turned them around (but Fred Wilpon invested his cash with Madoff, and hired Minaya, so smart moves are few and far between with the Amazins). The Lerners have at least doled out the money; I now think Kasten should be kicked to the curb.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

By the way, if you read the Y! article, you can see that some really good candidates (like Gerry Hunsicker and Terry Ryan) chose not to pursue the job further. The Nats, it seems, have a rep around baseball, and it isn't good.

And what's up with Steve Phillips? Is Kasten SO out of touch that he would consider hiring the biggest joke in baseball as GM? The man makes Bowden look like Branch Rickey. Like that wouldn't cement the Nats' status as a joke of a team. I mean, really, Steve (expletive) Phillips? Hiring Steve Phillips for ANYTHING is a firable offense...

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Gbooks, calm down, you are reading way too much into it. You are assuming the Yahoo article is legit. That whole article is based on a bunch of unnamed sources and probably inaccurate. Most of the posts here are just fanning negative flames.

Who wants to read this crap at 6AM.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 19, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Chico, you are now in the doghouse AGAIN with Stan. Come on, phone messageS???? That implies you left more than 1. Fess up, how many times did you really call him?

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 6:16 AM

--------------------

There's nothing wrong with making multiple calls to get a comment or reaction. It's a standard operating procedure in journalism. Especially when your calls aren't being returned. If Stan Kasten wants the calls to stop, all he has to do is say something -- even "no comment" in a text message.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 19, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/2159613746

I take you back to June 13th (not July 13th)

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 19, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with making multiple calls to get a comment or reaction. It's a standard operating procedure in journalism. Especially when your calls aren't being returned. If Stan Kasten wants the calls to stop, all he has to do is say something -- even "no comment" in a text message.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 19, 2009 6:52 AM
--------------------------

Gregg it is called badgering. The Yahoo report broke late last night. 1 call is enough and is this really news or tabloid journalism or just plain stirring the pot.

Stan does not talk publicly about personnel issues until a decision is made. Chico knows the best he will get is a no comment and a tongue lashing.

You call it standard operating procedure in journalism and I call it journalistic integrity. The Washington Post is not the National Enquirer.

All the journalists that worked their leads on Strasburg behind the scenes with Stan all got the same answers "No Comment" or "You couldn't be further from the real story" which is how he dispenses it and yes, he puts you in the proverbial doghouse where many local journalists have been and a few national journalists.

When ESPN was giving their accounts of the Strasburg progress they named names such as John Heyman of SI and they even brought Chico Harlan on via telephone to talk.

Unnamed sources to me falls on the line of non-credible and that is my opinion.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

man, this year has been a major roller coaster ride. If this is true, it would take me back down again really fast.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

“I am no help on the GM subject,” Kasten wrote in an email Tuesday.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't lend much credence to that report. I'd have to hear it from more reliable sources to believe it's true. I have to admit I was bummed when I heard it. I think Rizzo has proven himself and deserves the job. I had my doubts about him but I think he's ready.

Maybe in his heart he doesn't really want it? I can't recall him saying clearly one way or another and he did call the Boras negotiations "exciting" (crazy man). But maybe he's decided he'd be happier going back to what he was doing but didn't bow out because they didn't want to scare off the rest of the candidates.

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | August 19, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone say... "trial balloon"?

Raise hell, if you want Rizzo, because this is a test to see if he has fanbase support or not.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Folks-

It seems a bit odd to take the drama to the level of "I may have seen my last game" over the failure to retain an assistant GM. I have been impressed with Rizzo so far, as well, but part of this is tht he looks so good in comparison to his predecessor. Most would, and in a way, Rizzo himself is a leftover from the Bowden reign.

I was really glad that Rizzo traded Nick and Beimel when Bowden would have held them. I do not feel like I am in a position to say whether the return he got shows he is a good GM. I also don't know if the Lerners and Kasten expected him to pull off other trades that he couldn't get done.

Again, Rizzo has been part of the trade evaluation/negotiation team for a few years, and in on the drafts. This gives him some responsibility for the last two seasons. I also remember we gave him some credit for the Rauch/Bonifacio trade- although Bonifacio was later flipped to get us Willingham, the word I have noted used to describe Bonifacio most recently was "execrable".

The team could keep Rizzo, and he might deserve it, but please don't get weepy for some "stability". He might represent something we don't want to waste any nostalgia on.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo's an old school second generation scout. A decent guy, hard worker. But that's about it. DiPoto is probably more of the new generation, and when the rest of the successful GMs are new generation, then that's what you have to go with. Like Pat Gillick said, 'these new GMs are text messaging each other all the time and I've never even sent one in my life'. And even he admitted that it put him at a disadvantage. They can always make Rizzo head of scouting if they want. Thanks for the memories, Riz, you waited three months too long to can Acta and we lost a season because of it.

Posted by: Brue | August 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

@506 - that's exactly what I thought when I read this.

BTW, I'm not seeing this anywhere else but Yahoo and MLBTR/WaPo siting the Yahoo report.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised by the reaction this news is generating here. The Nats have so incredibly far to go as an organization. They need to hire *the best* guy who they think can lead them to where they want to go. Whether Rizzo actually is the best guy for the job, or not, is a different question. But just the fact that Rizzo has done a good job in the interim spot doesn't mean that he's the best guy for the job long-term.

In some ways, choosing to hire someone other than Rizzo actually shows a lot of growth in this organization's decision-making process. Now they're going for the guy the think is best--as opposed to sticking with Bowden since he's been around and has done a decent job (as of 2006), or giving Dmitri a 2-year contract extension. Maybe things really have changed in NatsTown.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 19, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

'citing the Yahoo report' even...

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Tonight may well have been my last Nats game.
Posted by: McKinley2 | August 19, 2009 1:52 AM
----
I'm not as close to jumping as McKinley, but I share the sentiment.

One could debate who would make the better GM, but passing over Rizzo at this moment would negate a rare burst of good will, and alienate some of the team's most loyal supporters. The rumor alone is damaging. Until this organization shows that it can build and maintain a fan base, it cannot afford to be so tone deaf.

If this happens, there better be a very good explanation.

Posted by: KenNat | August 19, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I will go on record that I was totally against replacing Manny Acta because I liked him as a person and thought he could turn things around.

Now with seeing Jim Riggleman at the helm and the few differences in you see in style vs. Manny you can see some drastic differences like the handling of the pitchers and keeping games close.

I am admitting to myself that maybe I wanted Manny around more because I don't like change.

This could be the same with Rizzo although I will see I don't like change for the sake of change.

Right now, it ain't broke so does it really need fixing?

Dipoto will be around for a long time. Why make the change now? Am I missing something?

Oh and PS, Bill Ladson has the story too, of course citing Yahoo. LOL

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

SAY IT AIN'T SO! It's no fluke the Nats started playing major-league level ball after Rizzo brought Nyjer Morgan onto the club after sooooooo many failed center field experiments. To ditch Rizzo now would be a travesty!

Posted by: chipshot410 | August 19, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

If true this is fine...it is what I predicted when this story surfaced several weeks ago about the final three candidates. Riz won't be fired just relegated to the job he was hire for Asst GM.

Posted by: markfd | August 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting development and many of you have some great takes.

Mine is that Rizzo gets promoted past the GM job VP of Baseball Ops and reports to Stan. New GM reports to Rizzo.

Yes it is a mess but it is the Nats way. None of the people up for the GM job have enough juice to turn it down if they don't like the reporting structure so there it is.....

Posted by: JayBeee | August 19, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I like Rizzo, but I am willing to consider that there might be better options - younger, new philosophy, less-gut-instinct, more hard statistics, Moneyball-guy.

As 1/2 Street noted, anybody would look good in comparison to JimBo. I think Rizzo has done well in these few months, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he has the skill-set to take us the rest of the way.

Also, I think it shows us that it probably wasn't Stan's idea to bring Rizzo over from AZ. Just seems like Stan wants his own guy.

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I see your points Hacmanindc, but Moneyball is most most certainly dead.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

If Rizzo doesn't get the job, what does this tell prospective future FO employees about loyalty and appreciation for a job well done? What does it tell future free agents the team might want to pursue? Remember when Mike Mussina was in his walk year and the Orioles would barely talk to him? Meanwhile, the Yankees wined and dined him like he was the prom queen, and amazingly, he signed with the Yanks.

Do the guys in the Nats' FO want our team to be like the Orioles? Rumors are a dime a hundred; let's hope this one turns out to be nothing.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why, but I can't find a link to the game story from last night...

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | August 19, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Moneyball is as dead as Jacob Marley. Let's hope this is just the Ghost of Rumor's Past and Stan wakes up in time for Christmas morning.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

If true this is fine...it is what I predicted when this story surfaced several weeks ago about the final three candidates. Riz won't be fired just relegated to the job he was hire for Asst GM.

Posted by: markfd | August 19, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps, but if so, Rizzo will take the first job that he is offered with another franchise that is either a promotion or a lateral move. The Nationals will have shown him exactly what they think of him, and he'll know what his "ceiling" is in this organization.

Posted by: rbpalmer | August 19, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

never mind.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | August 19, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Why do you think Moneyball is dead? I don't necessarily buy into every theory in the book and the Nats are not a small-market team. But, I think it offers a better way to evaluate players and build a team.

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"I see your points Hacmanindc, but Moneyball is most most certainly dead."

The problem with Moneyball is that the 2003 A's as built by Billy Beane were also juicing.

Of course, things like OBP and SLG are now so common that no one would even recognize them as a Moneyball strategy these days.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

It's dead because big market teams now practice some of the same principals with an unlimited budget.


**********
Why do you think Moneyball is dead? I don't necessarily buy into every theory in the book and the Nats are not a small-market team. But, I think it offers a better way to evaluate players and build a team.

Posted by: LarryBraverman | August 19, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I was not happy with Rizzo's handling of the Duke's situation when he was late to the park after attending the youth ball practice, but everything else he has instigated has been golden. But as Chip stated earlier, the big turnaround started with getting Nyjer here in center and as the leadoff hitter. Speed thrills, and for that, and of course signing SS, Rizzo deserves a shot at GM.

Posted by: JpJp | August 19, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The basic premise of Moneyball, it seems to me, is that Billy Beane was buying skills like OBP and SLG that were undervalued by other GMs. Thus, he was able to sign valuable players at discounted rates and trade overvalued players.

You're right, Sec506, OBP and SLG are fairly common now so perhaps they are not as undervalued. I guess the question for our next GM is what skills are being undervalued today.

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I would agree, Big Market teams figured it out so there is no competitive advantage. So we need a GM to find a new one.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Interpretive statistics are the new frontier, particularly the defensive ones, like UZR.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Don't know if this has been mentioned, but maybe the story stems from Dipoto leaving AZ to come here, but for Rizzo's old/current job of assistant GM, with Rizzo getting the promotion to GM.

I agree that Rizzo has earned the job and I will be extremely disappointed if he's passed over. But this FO likes to do things in secrect, so hopefully this report is off.

We've all complained that we need more scouts, so hopefully Rizzo is the GM and Dipoto is the new #2.

Posted by: sec307 | August 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It's dead because big market teams now practice some of the same principals with an unlimited budget.

----
If that's the case, Moneyball is not dead, but more mainstream (at least parts of Moneyball). As I recall, the book made the point that the approach was only an advantage if the other teams did not believe in it.

Posted by: KenNat | August 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

They didn't replace Bowden for turning in four years of terrible management. Rizzo has 3/4 of a good year and he is gone.

The Lerners even managed to ruin Strasburg day for us. They couldn't go a whole week of being good at their jobs...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

That said if Rizzo and Dipoto can work together...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Yahoo Sports "sources" include my barber, the baggage cart driver from Southwest Airlines, and Bagdad Bob.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | August 19, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Moneyball is that the 2003 A's as built by Billy Beane were also juicing.

...and that all the A's proved is that a team with two or three really good starting pitchers could win a four-team division.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

JIMMY! It's AWN!

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

demille: Early contender for post of the day!

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Man, if this report is true, then it really harshes my mellow ...

Posted by: erocks33 | August 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Adios Rizzo. Fare thee well.

Is "Listach" German for "hold the runner" ?? Why they don't force the Rockies make the play at Home with 2 outs last night is beyond me.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If true, this would be a major step backward for the franchise both from a PR perspective (less important) and morale perspective (more important). Rizzo is, by all accounts a "baseball guy" who understands the nuts/bolts of building a team. To show him the door now, after the team turned things around this season, cut ties with problem child Milledge, dealt spare parts for young talent and signed SS would be a tough pill to swallow.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | August 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I've been impressed with Rizzo's work, but I'm not going to react until I have more than a rumor (and evidently one first published by a non-local outlet) to go on.

In other news, I can't believe that they ejected the president of the Tony Plush Fan Club. sec3, was that around the time of the Hawpe HR? I noticed a nattily attired fellow on his feet in the Red Porch area at that juncture in the broadcast but didn't see any aftermath (if that was indeed the situation in question).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo deserves respect, Yahoo.COM as an investigative news source does not. Even with Yahoo claiming multiple sources it seems rather unlikely. They do not cover this team. Perhaps DiPoto has an agent. Perhaps Bowden is feeling playful.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 19, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

WOW. Some awfully strong reactions, here.

I certainly like some of the moves Rizzo has made, but let's not get carried away. The Morgan-Burnett/Milledge-Hanrahan swap looks like it was a good one, but it might not look good in two years. The Beimel and Johnson swaps - it's way too early to evaluate what we got.

The Strasburg signing is wonderful, but Rizzo can't get all the credit for that. The Zimmerman extension is wonderful, but I think that was mainly Kasten's deal.

The next GM is a big decision, and one that will have a pretty big impact on the franchise for the next few years. I actually don't want warm and fuzzy feelings to be a part of that decision. I want it to be cold, rational and bloodless. I want the Lerners and Kasten to choose the BEST person, not to default to the current choice because we all think he's doing pretty well. The only question with respect to Rizzo is: is he the BEST person available?

Posted by: Section220 | August 19, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

All one has to do is look at Kastens track record the Frank Robinson situation jumps out at you,he is a no nothing blowhard here in Atlanta he is not held in high esteem, as mentioned in an earlier post he tried to claim credit for the Braves run of double digit division titles when actually he had nothing to do with it. Mike Rizzo has earned the respect of the Nationals fan base he is more than competent but Kastens track record is to get rid of anyone who knows more than he does which in reality would mean he'd have to terminate everyone starting with the ground crew. The Lerners need to step in and resolve this situation, i don't know this clown from Arizona but he ain't no Mike Rizzo.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Whoever he is, the new GM will determine the future of the franchise.

We can only hope he (Rizzo, someone else) will be another John Schuerholz, someone with the unfailing support of the Lerners. Kasten will be in the background collecting his paychecks and claiming credit for any successes and ducking blame for any failures.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I certainly like some of the moves Rizzo has made, but let's not get carried away.

q4t

Posted by: grandstander | August 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Is "Listach" German for "hold the runner" ?? Why they don't force the Rockies make the play at Home with 2 outs last night is beyond me."

You don't get tagged out at home when one of your best players is coming up to bat.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Yahoo Sports: "Multiple sources insisted Tuesday that the Nationals are on the verge of announcing that Arizona Diamondbacks vice president Jerry DiPoto is about to be named Nationals GM, replacing Rizzo, who has been interim GM since replacing Jim Bowden earlier this season."

Hmmmm. Aren't those multiple sources wandering the streets and informing us that the world is going to end tonight typically rather insistent too? (Not to mention disheviled.)

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"This is an interesting development and many of you have some great takes.

Mine is that Rizzo gets promoted past the GM job VP of Baseball Ops and reports to Stan. New GM reports to Rizzo.

Yes it is a mess but it is the Nats way. None of the people up for the GM job have enough juice to turn it down if they don't like the reporting structure so there it is.....

Posted by: JayBeee "

I think that this is unlikely to happen simply because Rizzo seems to be from a whole different planet than Stan Kasten. The vp of baseball operations has to deal with advertisers, employees, payroll, etc--all the nitty gritty parts of running a team. Rizzo is good at scouting and player evaluations.

I know nothing about DiPoto but I have noticed that Arizona has not shaken the league up with their personnel decisions since Rizzo left. Just what would the attraction of DiPoto be? Does Kasten think that Dipoto could have sweet talked more from the Johnson and Beimel trades or even dealt Guzman for hot prospects?

In the end I think that Rizzo may have said some rather blunt things within the front office meetings that may have embarrassed Kasten. Front office types have long memories. Replacing Rizzo will be a hard sell to the fans.

Posted by: driley | August 19, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Interpretive statistics are the new frontier, particularly the defensive ones, like UZR.

Posted by: Section506

****************

Careful, 506. VORP might get jealous.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If there are multiple sources saying this why would the Post, Times, MLB.com, SI, ESPN and Snakes Creek Bugle not heard them?

Hopefully because they don't exist.

Maybe the Lerners offered Dipoto a free hand with farm, and a huge pay raise to come and work for Rizzo?

Ah, funny stuff...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll wait and see. My gut reaction was that there was a 'source' trying to ruin the good feeling of the franchise in the Strasburg signing and trying to cause chaos. This seems too crazy to be true.

Posted by: raymitten | August 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DiPotto v. Rizzo

STAN: I wonder if fans would buy more season tickets and think things are getting better if we completely started over with a Modern Game sort of guy, to let them know we have cutting edge analysis on hand?

LACKEY: I know, let's leek to Yahoo! and tell them that we're considering DiPotto and see their reactions.

STAN: Make it so.

GLUVNA: Yahoo!? Yeah, get this... RIZZ-OVER. DiPotto for GM of the Washington Nationals! Yeah, seriously, Stan just said he was thinking about it. Hold on, I have to call you back on Line 2 with a different voice and a mustache -- for disguise, y'know.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

speling was terable in that last posd. Soree!

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

That was good, NatsNut. Nice scenario, 506, but why would they want to send a vegetable to Yahoo? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Stan!

The only fan base the Nats really have are Philly & Met fans...and the hard core locals.
They don't care who the Nats GM is up in NY & Philly, but here the hard core locals certainly do. To not make Rizzo the GM would be a huge alienating error, and would drain off even more of an already small local fan base.
Do the right thing!
Promote Rizzo!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Daggone it, 506, you beat me to the punch!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Daggone it, 506, you beat me to the punch!"

And I drank it all, so now you're going to have to make some Five Alive or something, sucker.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Here is Chris Needham's take.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/Nats-to-Dump-Their-GM-53643687.html

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well Mike Wise is once again slamming the Nationals and the people who work for them on his radio show.

It seems he thinks that people pity those who work at the stadium and THIS rumor once again proves why he HATES the NATIONALS and the FANS who support them.

All from a rumor at YAHOO SPORTS.

Why don't you try some reporting of your own WISE is that not what your job is or is that now to hard to try while on the RADIO.

Posted by: CBinDC | August 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, a more happy relationship with advanced analysis would be good for the club. Adding another brain would be good. If they can make it work with both of them then all the better.

Still seems strange that only yahoo have scooped this. Also it does not say much for the state of modern journalism that an unverifiable report from an unreliable source has spread this quickly throughout what one would hope was still the respectable press.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

i dont know wat this guys major league sources r, but they r wrong. i know for a fact that on thursday wen a guy not named dipoto will not be named gm.

Posted by: firestan | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

from ESPN and Klaw:

"Now that Stephen Strasburg is in, could Mike Rizzo be out? Well, that was what people were saying. But don't buy it.

While YahooSports.com reported that Diamondbacks vice president and former major league pitcher Jerry DiPoto will be named the Nats' new general manager, sources told ESPN Insider's Keith Law it's not true.

DiPoto, Rizzo and Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer were considered the finalists for the Nats' job."

Posted by: KermitMan | August 19, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Kick a guy to the curb once you used him to land Strasburg. Now he is dispensable?

Look if you want to hire someone other than Rizzo fine, but someone from the Diamond backs organization? I mean seriously, the Diamond Backs? Their major league roster isn't very good. Baseball America ranks their farm system behind the Nats. I can't see how anyone from that organization would bring anything special to the table.

And this crap about him being too old school...something about him not sending text messages. Text messaging is easy to learn. I think Rizzo has done well and to throw him overboard now because he doesn't text message or for anyone from the DB organization is a complete joke! If we get DiPoto we will probably start trading for their crappy players like Bowden did with the Reds.

Who is the DB version of Austin Kearns?

Posted by: skinsfan1234 | August 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Is "Listach" German for "hold the runner" ?? Why they don't force the Rockies make the play at Home with 2 outs last night is beyond me.

You don't get tagged out at home when one of your best players is coming up to bat."

BS. You don't bet on getting a base hit with 2 outs against the other club's closer when the fastest guy within 100 miles is rounding the bag and the ball is bouncing 150 feet from home plate. Listach has to send Morgan on that play 10 out of 10 times, makes no differnce who is coming up.

Anyway, Rizzo was not some hero. He was capable in his limited role, but the guy is not some genius or anything and this club should not be comfortable taking risks on a GM with basically no front office experience. Taking risks with plays at the plate in the bottom of the 9th, sure, but on a GM with less than proven media or bargaining skills, maybe not.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

That's okay, I'm more of a Kool-Aid drinker, anyway.

---

And I drank it all, so now you're going to have to make some Five Alive or something, sucker.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 10:34 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

nice job by needham of essentially burying the fact that it's purely a rumor and reporting on it like it's almost a foregone conclusion...

Posted by: sec231 | August 19, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo has done a lot to help turn this ship around in just a couple months time.

I'd kinda like to see what else he might have up his sleeve if he's got a little job security and a little future with the club.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

On another note, seeing the 106.7 Sports Junkies on the Nats pregame show made me wonder whether Nats games might end up on that station next year. I read somewhere that the deal with 1500 is up after this year. Maybe then I'd actually be able to listen to night games on the radio again. Also, that's some height discrepancy those two have going there...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

-Who is the DB version of Austin Kearns?

Chris Young. But Young has more power and speed. They don't have anyone who is actually as bad as Kearns.

Posted by: RickFelt | August 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It's not just Needham doing that. Everyone reporting this story is going off unverifiable yahoo sources.

Everyone (including us) is going to look very silly indeed if this turns out to be untrue.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure he's done all that much. I mean, he's made some good moves, but he certainly hasn't done them alone. Stan took the lead on the Zimmerman extension. As someone else pointed out, the trades have turned out good in the short term, but we'll see what happens in the long-term. And, the Strasburg signing was great, but we've already heard about the direct involvement of Stan and Ted. I like Rizzo, but I think some people on this blog are willing to fall on their swords for the guy because he's not Bowden.


Rizzo has done a lot to help turn this ship around in just a couple months time.

I'd kinda like to see what else he might have up his sleeve if he's got a little job security and a little future with the club.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 10:47 AM

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure he's done all that much. I mean, he's made some good moves, but he certainly hasn't done them alone. Stan took the lead on the Zimmerman extension. As someone else pointed out, the trades have turned out good in the short term, but we'll see what happens in the long-term. And, the Strasburg signing was great, but we've already heard about the direct involvement of Stan and Ted. I like Rizzo, but I think some people on this blog are willing to fall on their swords for the guy because he's not Bowden.

__________________

Rizzo has done a lot to help turn this ship around in just a couple months time.

I'd kinda like to see what else he might have up his sleeve if he's got a little job security and a little future with the club.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 10:47 AM

Posted by: hacmanindc | August 19, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Gregg it is called badgering. The Yahoo report broke late last night. 1 call is enough and is this really news or tabloid journalism or just plain stirring the pot.

Stan does not talk publicly about personnel issues until a decision is made. Chico knows the best he will get is a no comment and a tongue lashing.

You call it standard operating procedure in journalism and I call it journalistic integrity. The Washington Post is not the National Enquirer.

All the journalists that worked their leads on Strasburg behind the scenes with Stan all got the same answers "No Comment" or "You couldn't be further from the real story" which is how he dispenses it and yes, he puts you in the proverbial doghouse where many local journalists have been and a few national journalists.

When ESPN was giving their accounts of the Strasburg progress they named names such as John Heyman of SI and they even brought Chico Harlan on via telephone to talk.

Unnamed sources to me falls on the line of non-credible and that is my opinion.

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 19, 2009 7:18 AM

-------------------

It is not badgering. It is responsible journalism. You say they "got the same answers". But if you don't get ANY answer, even if the answer is a two word "no comment" text or voicemail message, you keep calling until you do get an answer. Again, that is not badgering, that IS exercising journalistic integrity by giving someone every chance to respond and give their side of the story. So they can't say, to start the following dialogue...

"You never asked me."

"You never responded to my message."

"What message?"

...because the conveniently lost e-mail or voicemail is much harder to believably pull off if the reporter has left five or six messages.

And nowhere in there did I say anything at all about anonymous sources, a wholly different and unrelated discussion. This is about giving someone the chance to reply on the record and, as a matter of journalistic integrity, making more of an effort than making a single call in order to do so.

The reporter's responsibility is to the reader or listener or viewer; if putting that first puts you in the doghouse with the person you're covering, well, you're not there to be liked -- you're there to get the story.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

If we get DiPoto we will probably start trading for their crappy players like Bowden did with the Reds.

Who is the DB version of Austin Kearns?

Posted by: skinsfan1234 | August 19, 2009 10:40 AM

----------------------

Too late; they already traded Felipe Lopez.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 19, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Just Yesterday Mike Wise said he wouldn't talk about Bret Favre signing with the Vikings unless the story had been verified by reliable sources and now he's all over this on the radio based on a rumor from Yahoo! Amazing.

Posted by: OU8121 | August 19, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

everyone's reporting it based on the edes/yahoo story, soundbloke. but most aren't reporting it like it's a foregone conclusion or burying the "rumor" portion of it as deeply.

Posted by: sec231 | August 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You are all acting like it's the end of the world if we hire this Dipoto guy. Really, he's not so bad himself: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/2008/07/29/20080729dbdipoto0730.html

Posted by: dcsportsfan13 | August 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@dfh21 & 506

Thought the same thing last night. Even your best hitter puts it in play less than a third of the time.

Posted by: Jackmathias | August 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone acting so surprised, this has been on the table for a few weeks. Rizzo, along with DiPoto and the wiz kid from the Red Sox have been on the short list and now its time for ownership to execute.

Knowing the Nats as we all do, maybe this is just another StanK smoke-screen or maybe the LernerStanK just can't fathom that their acting GM got them to choke up and spit out 15M for SS, the ROI for that is Rizzo get shown the door.

If your wondering about Riggelman, well the next set of rumours has Willie Randolph and Bobby V on the short list. JR is not going to be the manager next year.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 19, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Um for every good move rizzo has made, You can name a bad one. Rizzo looks good because he isn't Bowden, but is he really the best man for the job?

Posted by: JDB1 | August 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

DiPoto has told friends in Arizona that he plans to accept the job, which opened when Jim Bowden resigned under pressure this spring.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/8590096/16705404

Posted by: WrongDog | August 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

DiPoto has told friends in Arizona that he plans to accept the job, which opened when Jim Bowden resigned under pressure this spring.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/8590096/16705404

Posted by: WrongDog | August 19, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

DiPoto has told friends in Arizona that he plans to accept the job, which opened when Jim Bowden resigned under pressure this spring.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/8590096/16705404

Posted by: WrongDog | August 19, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

dude, how many times you gonna post it. Hit refresh why dontcha.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

But that's about it. DiPoto is probably more of the new generation, and when the rest of the successful GMs are new generation, then that's what you have to go with. ...

Posted by: Brue | August 19, 2009 8:05 AM
_______________________________________

Yeah, that JP Ricciardi is tearing it up in Toronto. As is Paul DePodesta in LA.

I loved Moneyball as a book and as an approach. But it is so done and over. The _original_ Moneyballer, Billy Beane, isn't looking too smart with a team 20 games out (that's only 5.5 better than the Nats). Look at the division leaders -- they're ALL teams that spend money on payroll.

The debate isn't about DiPoto's merits. It's reflected in a belief that hard work should be rewarded. Rizzo's worked hard, he's done good. He should be rewarded with a promotion. He surely shouldn't learn he's been passed over in an unnamed sources article in Yahoo. That's no way to treat an employee (and Kasten could've quashed this with a quick denial, even just saying, "no decision's been made. Mike Rizzo's done a great job in an interim capacity and will receive every consideration") but it is SO par for the course for the Nats. It is in keeping, such as head-scratching moves like keeping Bowden on, and now giving serious consideration to Steve (expletive) Phillips as GM.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

It's not necessarily the decision to go in a different direction with the GM that I have a problem with, although I would like to see a full offseason handled by Rizzo before we got rid of him- it's the timing of this decision. It shows a lack of good judgment by our ownership group. Coming on the heels of signing Strasburg, and getting some actual good press for once, firing the GM right now would undo all that and return the Nats to the inept status that they have rightly held since coming to Washington.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | August 19, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Just got the mail about $1 tickets for Friday's game, but the ticket site is down.

What gives?

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

d'oh ... They go on sale at noon.

mea culpa.

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 19, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Now IS a good time to get the GM position settled. if Rizzo is not going to be the guy, do we really want the new GM learning the organization at the winter meetings?

Posted by: dfh21 | August 19, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

dfh21

That may be the best point of the day. Although it does mean my dream of a Guzman waiver trade is dead...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 19, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

To: Nats Fans
From: Mike Rizzo

Please! Could you help me take this knife out of my back? It really hurts!

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | August 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"The debate isn't about DiPoto's merits. It's reflected in a belief that hard work should be rewarded. Rizzo's worked hard, he's done good. He should be rewarded with a promotion."

No. You pick the guy who you think is the best for the job. Period. Giving someone a huge job like this because they've worked hard and they've done a good job--even if you don't think he's the best guy out there--is a loser's mentality.

Look at it this way. Signing Strasburg (and, to some extent, Zimmerman's contract) gives the Nats a limited window of opportunity to turn things around. Assuming that Strasburg pans out as projected, if you're the Nats you want to be able to (a) win with Strasburg while he's under control, and/or (b) be so successful 4-5 years from now that Strasburg will want to sign with you long-term, and it will make financial sense from your standpoint to lock him up like that. Otherwise, you'll be trading him away in 4-5 years for prospects and the rebuilding starts over again--Strasburg (and maybe Zimmerman too) is gone, and the fan base (what's left of it) is bitter and frustrated.

So, given that time horizon, it makes sense for the Nats to recognize that they need to hire now the guy who they think is the best guy for the job, period. No tryouts, no giving a shot to someone who you don't think is the best guy. You don't have the time to spare.


"He surely shouldn't learn he's been passed over in an unnamed sources article in Yahoo. That's no way to treat an employee."

If the decision has been made, no one has said that Rizzo was not told of it in advance privately.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 19, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

In the $1 ticket waiting room....

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | August 19, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Got my $1 tickets for Friday's game! Wheeee!

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

2nd Row of the Mezzanine for $1.50!

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | August 19, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Belliard is behind the whole thing.

Posted by: nationalsanthems | August 19, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Belliard:

Eeny Meanie

(To Ronnie Belliard, on behalf on Nats Journal:
Eeny meeny miny mology
For your place in Nats mythology
Please accept our humble 'pology
Eeny meeny miny mology)

Eeny meeny miny mode
Belliard the ugly toad
Caused Chernobyl to explode
Eeny meeny miny mode

Eeny meeny miny mawn
How come there's no fish to spawn?
Belly ate 'em, now they're gone
Eeny meeny miny mawn

Eeny meeny miny misis
Belly caused the credit crisis
Selling subprime mortgage slices
Eeny meeny miny misis

Eeny meeny miny med
Belly's legs are made of lead
So's his hands and so's his head
Eeny meeny miny med

Eeny meeny miny mutt
Belly plays like Jabba Hutt
Squashes grounders with his butt
Eeny meeny miny mutt

Eeny meeny miny mild
When you gonna have that child?
Been gestating quite a while
Eeny meeny miny mild

Eeny meeny miny milli
Blaming Belly is so silly
Seems to work so what the hilly
Eeny meeny miny milli

Posted by: nationalsanthems | August 19, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

CoverageisLacking: I take your point, but if you do not reward good employees -- if you are KNOWN for passing over good employees in favor of outsiders -- you will not keep them. And if you're seriously considering Steve (expletive) Phillips, you have no clue as to qualifications. None, zip, zero, nada. You kept on Jim Bowden. You considered Steve (expletive) Phillips.

You have a guy who has a coherent vision for a winning team -- good clubhouse, defense, all the things Bowden didn't give a fig for -- and a guy who can fix things (like a busted bullpen) on the fly -- that's a real degree of difficulty overcome, right there. The next guy might be, Rizzo's proven he is.

As for Rizzo being notified, it's a possibility, but it is not in keeping with how the Nats have been in the past. And if you get a rep for doing business THAT way, the best people will avoid you. Like Gerry Hunsicker, who's done well at HOU and NYM.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear Kasten's interview on the radio pre-game show last night? He had high praise for Rizzo and his handling of the situation and said a decision on the GM situation was coming in the next day or two. My impression from hearing it in real time was that Rizzo is a shoe-in. With Law debunking the Yahoo story, I'm inclined to go with what I heard with my own ears and I'm not giving this DiPoto thing much attention, other than speculating that he's hired on by Rizzo.

In other news, Nick Johnson is out with a hamstring with no timetable for return. Anyone still think it was not a good idea to deal him?

Posted by: sec307 | August 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

newpost

Posted by: sec231 | August 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If the rumors that kasten wanted rizzo and the lerners wanted someone else are true, then I wouldn't be surprised if kasten leaves after the season is over.

Posted by: WrongDog | August 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo has done a very good job.

He has taken a dysfunctional roster full of Bowden's former 'top' prospects he acquired from other teams, and gradually replaced them in the organization with other players that simply performed better on game day.

He recognized that Lastings Milledge was never going to be a guy that hit for average and had problems in the outfield.

He recognized that despite being tutored in the big leagues for 4-5 years in Baltimore and then DC that Daniel Cabrera was not going to become the polished rotation starter Bowden thought he would.

Ditto for acknowledging that Joel Hanrahan didn't have the mental makeup to be a closer in the majors. He simply lacked the ability to handle the stress.

Note Hanrahan has been moved back to situational relief in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, Morgan and Burnett have contributed to the Nationals improved play in the second half.

As indicated the trade of Nick Johnson occurred just a couple of weeks before he injured himself yet again.

No, Rizzo deserves the GM job on a 2 year deal with options for the club.

He doesn't deserve a long-term deal based on less than a year of work, but to jettison him now would send the wrong message to the players and the fans.

And once again the Nationals would look like the baseball equivalent of the Oakland Raiders.

Posted by: leopard09 | August 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And Jacob Marley was as dead as a doornail.

-----

Moneyball is as dead as Jacob Marley.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 19, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

gbooks, I agree that the Phillips thing is scary.

One point that I think is interesting to see you mention is "coherent vision." I absolutely believe that the decision the Lerners and Kasten need to make here is all about coherent vision. This extends from drafting and player development all the way through--i.e., actually having and "The Plan" and not just giving lip service to a notion. But I'm not certain that Rizzo has such a coherent vision, nor that he has the tools to carry one out.

In any case, there's a lot about a GM and his performance that we as fans don't know and never see. It's not just making trades. If those on the inside haven't fallen in love with Rizzo after seeing him first-hand, I would be inclined to think there might be something to it.

As for rewarding loyalty and good performance within the organization, I agree with you 100%. But the problem is that this organization is a mish-mash. There are still Expos guys left over, Bowden guys still there, etc. Many of the guys were not hired by Kasten and the Lerners in the first place--we should perhaps blame Kasten if he kept on guys whom he didn't like, but it is what it is and this is where we are. If Dipoto is brought in, I would think that there will be a significant house-cleaning, they will hire guys who are all on the same page, and a real organizational culture can be created, including rewarding loyalty. This team has been so dysfunctional on an organizational level, between the Expos mess and Bowden. Now, that's Stan's fault for not cleaning it up earlier. But again, we are where we are, and hopefully they are finally addressing it.

If you want my opinion, the best thing that could have happened would be if they had hired another guy who was mentioned in Edes's article--Terry Ryan. But not for the GM job. Get rid of Kasten and give Ryan full responsibility for the organization, a la Scheurholz. Too bad it would never happen.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 19, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

DiPoto rumor false
10:07
AM ET
Washington Nationals Top Email
Now that Stephen Strasburg is in, could Mike Rizzo be out? Well, that was what people were saying. But don't buy it.
While YahooSports.com reported that Diamondbacks vice president and former major league pitcher Jerry DiPoto will be named the Nats' new general manager, sources told ESPN Insider's Keith Law it's not true.
DiPoto, Rizzo and Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer were considered the finalists for the Nats' job.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What I love best about baseball is the passion expressed by so many of its fans. Baseball is a long game during a long season with a long history, and the fact that things may or may not work out this year doesn't mean the team is going away. Things change, and hopefully that change will result in a better team next year.

Tom Boswell warned us all upon the arrival of the Nationals to Washington in 2005 that they would give us reasons celebrate and reasons to mourn during the course of a single season, much less during their tenure in this town, and we, as fans must learn to deal with those highs and lows.

So we celebrated baseball's return to DC in 2005. We mourned in 2006 when Frank Robinson was fired. We celebrated in 2007 when we won far more games than we were expected to (even though we still had a bad record). We mourned in 2008 when we lost 102 games. We screamed with pain during the first half of this season, and have had a few moments of celebration since the All-Star break. It's all part of the game we love and which, in many ways is a reflection of our lives.

LET'S GO NATS!

Posted by: luv2bikva | August 19, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Truly a profound post, luv2bikva. Thanks!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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