Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

The Nats' GM Search Narrows

The Washington Nationals are narrowing their search for a permanent general manager, with Mike Rizzo, Boston assistant GM Jed Hoyer and Arizona player personnel vice president Jerry Dipoto emerging as the primary candidates, according to industry sources. The Nationals, who have employed Rizzo as acting general manager since the spring training resignation of Jim Bowden, will likely wait until after Monday's deadline for draft pick signings to announce a decision.

One source said that it appears no further interviews will be conducted.

As team president Stan Kasten and the Lerner family have conducted their search, exploring choices beyond Rizzo, many in Washington's front office have grown anxious about their futures. On March 4, three days after Bowden's resignation, Rizzo, who has been with Washington since 2006, was given responsibility for day-to-day operations of the major league roster -- a de facto GM job. Still, his assistant general manager title did not change.

Since that day, Rizzo has rebuilt the Nationals' bullpen with a series of low-cost free agent moves, conducted a draft, traded for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett, and dealt Nick Johnson and Joe Beimel. He has been given no indication about his chances for the permanent job, but at least one national report indicated that Dipoto is the front-runner.

"Rizzo is liked by people in the baseball community. There are a lot of people who are hoping he gets the job," said agent Matt Sosnick, who represents Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen. "Just stepping back -- even taking away any recent winning streak -- it's hard to fault him for any baseball move this season. He inherited a team without a lot of continuity and flow. And from a personal standpoint, he's very direct, very fair."

Rizzo, who came to Washington from Arizona, spent time in the Diamondbacks' front office with Dipoto. A former major league reliever who played at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dipoto is in his fourth season with Arizona, where he oversees pro scouting. Hoyer has been with the Red Sox since 2002, a lieutenant to Theo Epstein. When Epstein briefly left the job in the 2005-06 offseason, Hoyer was named co-GM.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 11, 2009; 11:50 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Comparing Nats Lineup to Better-Known Stars
Next: From Turner Field

Comments

Wasn't it under Hoyers tenure that the Sox signed Lugo and Drew? Or am I just making that up?

Because if so, oh deary deary me...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland was called the Naps in honor of their best player, Napoleon Lajoie, the 1901 triple crown winner.

Joemktg:

I'll agree that specialization and travel ball haven't helped. The decline of the three sport athlete, the decline of manual labor - chores around the house - as an important part of childhood, kids being driven everywhere rather than walking, these have all changed the durability of the modern athlete for the worse. My college coach, old salty guy from Tennessee who played in the Yankee system in the late 50's and early 60's used to say that there were two types of strong - weight room strong and country strong. Country strength is tendon strength built by doing everyday farm things like chores - baling hay, throwing bags of feed around,etc. Weight room strength tends to build only muscle because it's a controlled environment where doesn't have to balance one's body while lifting the weight. He liked players who were country strong; maybe that's why I didn't play much. Someone alluded to this difference earlier on this earlier. Strength coaches are beginning to realize this and there are some cutting edge guys who are beginning to force players to lift while balancing themselves. Still most strength training is geared toward power lifting - even for baseball players.

On your other point, I coached travel baseball for 15 years. My daughter's playing travel softball right now. It's a nutty system, and one that this country needs to rethink.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 11, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

So if we choose a GM after the draft pick signing deadline does that mean Strasburg is walking?

Posted by: ImWithStupid | August 11, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

No, it means they're waiting to see how Rizzo handles the last major GM thing (other than winter meetings) that they haven't seen him do yet.

My thoughts? Rizzo is the leader, but due diligence is always a good thing.

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Well good. Hope it doesn't come to that.

Posted by: ImWithStupid | August 11, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"No, it means they're waiting to see how Rizzo handles the last major GM thing (other than winter meetings) that they haven't seen him do yet."

Kasten probably has as big a hand in the Strasburg negotiations as Rizzo does - if not bigger. Reports had Kasten out in California recently meeting with Boras while Rizzo was sitting in the stands smiling at the Nats game. So it's unlikely that the success or failure of the Strasburg negotiations will be the deciding factor in Rizzo getting the full time gig. It's just more likely that they preferred not to have any change in the status quo while the negotiations are ongoing.

I also expect Rizzo to get the permanent gig, presuming of course that he wants it. I would not be surprised to see one of these other names being bandied about show up as the new asst GM once Rizzo loses the interim tag either.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Can we (hopefully) assume Chuck LaMar is out of the running?

Please

Posted by: Brian_ | August 11, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Rizzo was with Kasten on those trips to San Diego?

Posted by: hleeo3 | August 11, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

We missed you, Chico! (Could you tell?) Thanks for the story about the old days this morning. Great stuff.

Posted by: paulkp | August 11, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Combining the Boz posting with Chico's...

What else does Riz have to do to prove that he's earned the title? Seriously, could any of the other candidates done anything differently to improve the product that's on the field right now? The guy stepped in and has started to turn around a horrible situation: take the Boz analysis, combine with the coaching staff change and the changes in the bullpen (talk about making chicken salad out of chicken #$(*), and you've got proof that Riz has earned the spot.

The Strasburg negotiation cannot be hung on Riz: there are more critical factors involved that call for a top down decision.

To me, the crucial question: could either of the other two candidates have done a better job?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 11, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I still think the lerners will make rizzo the scapegoat if strasburg doesn't sign. Though I think he will. Due diligence is good, but somehow I have no faith the lerners will get this right.

Posted by: WrongDog | August 11, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Y'all were too fast for me on the Naps reference.

And carrying forward:

Thanks, Doug. I wondered whether it might be outs but some of the numbers seemed too high for a player making an out. Putouts makes sense, though.

I liked your digression, OldDude. I also liked #4's reference to the distinction between weight room strong and country strong. I'll have to tell my husband that one.

Oh, and there are some new posts up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Rizzo won't be scapegoated. Haven't we had enough of those already this year? Given what we've seen to date, I'd feel comfortable with his getting the nod as permanent GM, if that will be the case.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

And I can't wait for the draft signing deadline to be in the rear-view mirror.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

looks like the GM Search is over, all that is left is to make a decision and announce it.

I don't know anything about the other two guys. maybe someone else can shed some light. what do DiPoto and Hoyer have that Rizzo doesn't?

Posted by: MrMadison | August 11, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

After what Boz just wrote in the previous NJ comparing what the Nats have versus other names... there is even a thought that someone other than Rizzo for GM??? (it would have to be Belliard's fault)

Posted by: twinbrook | August 11, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

By 1909, Nap Lajoie was the Indians' manager as well as their star player--which was not unusual back then. I don't believe that they were referred to as the Naps before he was their manager.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 11, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is a knowledgeable baseball lifer from a baseball family. He is liked by and large in the baseball community. He has spent most of his career in scouting and development. He has consistently made sound moves since taking over the team. He seems to have a better relationship with Kasten then Bowden did. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Sadly Nats management is not known for consistently making the no-brainer moves.

Hoping Rizzo gets the job. He deserves a shot at least as much as the other candidates mentioned. Chances are they won't have to break the bank to promote him. Moreover, I think it's a little uncool to continue to have him do the job without letting him know one way or the other if he has the job.

Posted by: ts35 | August 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree that due diligence here is a good thing. Because I know what he's done for the New! Improved!!! Nats of today, from my almost pristinely ignorant point of view here I like what Rizzo has done and think that he has demonstrated that he deserves the job. But we owe ourselves an opportunity to get someone even better if that someone exists and is available and willing, and Hoyer and Dipoto seem to be legitimate candidates.

But I'm still rooting for Rizzo because there is something to be said in favor of fostering continuity of the Nats' recent upward trend.

But I really do think that Riggleman should be de-interimized, because the team has now proven to respond very well and effectively to him. Especially Zimmerman.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | August 11, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

If Mike Rizzo does not get the job then Old Man Ted needs his ass kicked.

Posted by: dstout3423 | August 11, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know much about the other guys, but I have definitely seen enough from Rizzo to know that I want him in charge of the Nats. He is decisive, but not reckless. Due diligence is important, but so are results. He has delivered in his short time in charge and he deserves to job full time.

Posted by: natshopemonger | August 11, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, Twinbrook. Most things are Belliard's fault when you get right down to it.

In other news, wonder whether Juven Pills fell under the category of PEDs back in the day?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Fangraph has Tony Plush as far and away the best defensive player in all of baseball (with FoF as a distant #2). Considering the massive hole in CF to start the season, getting Morgan while dumping LMillz, who will never match Willingham's numbers, should be cause enough to get the job.

Nyjer is not only the best defender in the game, but he's under team control for (I think) 5 more years. And Burnett is no slouch either.

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo deserves the job, he has consistently made good decisions, even great decisions.

The only potential "fly" in the ointment I can see is his association (taint?) with Jim Bowden. Honoring Bowden's promise to Dmitri Young, given Young's very slight chance of making it back to the parent club? These are the only things I can see that would make a difference.

I think they should keep the guy and quit fooling around with others ... unless to hire one of them as his lieutenant.

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

i favor bringing in an outsider with a fresh perspective and who doesn't have any ties with players currently on the roster. some hard decisions are going to have to be made between now and next april and it's probably better that they're made by someone who's more objective. i don't know if rizzo would stay if hoyer gets the job, but i'm guessing he won't if the choice id dipoto who's bascically doing the job rizzo had in AZ.

Posted by: surly_w | August 11, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Certainly it is true, Belliard is definitely the reason Rizzo may lose his job to some carpetbagger.

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Country strong?

Is that why Rocky went out into the tundra of Siberia to train while his perfectly chiseled Russian opponent did the Pavlov's dog thang?

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't it under Hoyers tenure that the Sox signed Lugo and Drew?"

Yes to Lugo. Drew didn't technically sign until after Epstein had returned. Of course, Hoyer was just one of four men making the baseball decisions, so it's hard to give him all the credit or blame for Lugo, Drew, or the Beckett/Lowell for Hanley Ramirez trade. Or for that matter, the World Series the team won following that offseason.

But wasn't it under Rizzo that the Nationals had no interest in trading Cristian Guzman? Like, last week? Give me Hoyer.

Posted by: Tank2 | August 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Whoever becomes Mark Lerner's new best friend, AKA Drinking Buddy, is the next GM. I hope I am joking, but that is how Bowden kept his job for so long. Rizzo has earned it with or without the signing of Strasburg.

Posted by: hleeo3 | August 11, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Belliard is the reason why the Senators left town ... twice ... he is also the reason why the Senators only won one world series.

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

In opposition to Rizzo, there's a Jim Bowden level tactlessness to his public statements, especially involving players. His dumping of Beimel and Johnson for long shots could look particularly dumb if either ends up as a Type B free agent and insists on walking. Nyjer Morgan is far outperforming his career numbers and should be expected to regress to the mean, sooner or later.

Now, those of you who know me know that I don't believe any of that stuff. I couldn't care less about loudmouthery or character, so long as the person performs, I have always said Nick didn't have the sixth tool and Beimel was a nice story at best, and Morgan at his mean is still something the Nats are sorely lacking.

But someone had to present the other side.

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Rizzo has proven his 'eye' when it comes to talent evaluation. It's obviously too soon to judge the deadline deals, but considering Storen's promotion to AA (thanks NFA!) and Holder's performance so far, he seems to hit more than he misses.

If we don't hire him, I see no way he remains with the organization. If we don't give him the job now, we'll never give it to him, so it's best for him to move on.

It's time Kasten does the smart thing and reward the Mike.

Nobody beats the Riz!

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The compelling thing about Hoyer is that the Red Sox have really created an organization-wide culture, philosophy, and approach. It relates to player development, drafting (look at some of the serious high-upside kids they have drafted with their end-of-round picks), injury prevention and training, etc. Hoyer is not a traditional baseball guy, like Rizzo and Dipoto are. He's a quant-type guy.

Presumably, Hoyer would try to create such an organizational approach--which most teams still lack--here as well. I'm not certain that Rizzo has the skills or background to be able to do that--whether the Nats want to, or should, make a move in that direction is a different question. Personally, I think that they should. It would give some direction and coherence to "The Plan."

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 11, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Belliard was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963.

Let's go Nats.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 11, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

To be honest I want nothing to do with the red sox... I know Rizzo was a scout for them once upon a time, but that was a different time and Rizzo has a longer track record. Hoyer is just a guy riding Epstein's coat tails. I don't want the Nats to become "Mini Red Sox".

Posted by: hleeo3 | August 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Morgan regressing to the 'mean' is total hogwash. The guy is in only his tenth year of playing baseball, where other guys his age have been playing for over 20 years. And dispite that, he's THE BEST defender in all of baseball. The question is not whether he is a good CF, but whether he is a GREAT CF. Tracee hit the nail on the head yesterday - the Nats were 21st in runs pre-Plush, and 3rd post-Plush.

Conclusion - the dude is freaking awesome, both at the plate (and on the bases) and in the field.

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

So, Rizzo put Guzman on waivers, the Red Sox claimed him, and Rizzo said they'd have to give him a AA pitching project and promote Hoyer with a once-in-a-lifetime raise so he would never want to leave Boston.

Then the Sox released their claim on Guzman.

Right?

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The Nats '09 Every Day lineup

Jacoby Ellsbury
Miguel Tejada
Evan Longoria
Mark Teixeira
Prince Fielder
Dan Uggla
Bengie Molina
The 2nd baseman : Belliard the ugly troll.

They can't really be that good...can they?

No, because of Belliard the ugly troll. Streak? What streak, Belliard makes this the worst team in baseball, worst than the worst of the worst.

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine that the failure to trade Guzman is more related to not finding anything worth trading him for. Or at least nothing that would clear waivers...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 11, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

another question is...

if Rizzo does not get the Job, and one of the other guys gets it...does that mean we blow up the team and restart from scratch..again?

Rizzo firmly believes that we "build" and not "re-build" at this point. which is what I believe as well. we've got offense. we need to add pitching, and a little bit of defense(middle infield) now.

but who is to say that DiPoto or Hoyer believes that? they could very well believe that we need to completely rebuild from scratch.

are we patient enough for that?

Posted by: MrMadison | August 11, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps more important than the search for a new GM, has anyone heard anything about whether or not Stan is going to stay around? There were some rumblings that he wasn't happy about a year or so ago, but nothing since. For what it is worth, I did "hear" recently that he would leave when his deal is up (not sure when that is). We could debate whether his staying or going is a good or bad thing, but if he left it would certainly signal a major shift in the direction of the franchise.

Posted by: evco94 | August 11, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, okay sec307, I was playing devil's advocate when I mentioned Nyjer regressing to the mean, but you take it too far. Morgan's streak now is CERTAINLY not his long-term performance, the question is merely how much he dips back down.

Given a career .300 average thus far, I would expect him to be somewhere in the .280 - .310 range ultimately. His OBP isn't great for a leadoff man and probably never will be much higher - he just doesn't take that many walks, average, but not as much as you would dream of for your #1 - but his speed will always be a factor. Even as it decreases - and it is decreasing every day at this point in his life - he will always swipe at least 25 a year and be enough to bother pitchers. And he's assuredly got half a dozen years of 40+ left.

The loss of speed will similarly bring his fielding back down to mortal levels, but he's so far ahead that it's not going to be a factor for awhile. The question is really how much does he have to slow down before some of his misplays become troublesome? I would predict quite a bit. But it remains that balls over his head that hit up against the wall, in particular, are a weakness for him.

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Belliard killed Elvis.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 11, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Kasten doesn't have a "deal." He's a part owner of the team, and the one owner who the rest of them are content to have be the public face of ownership. He's not going anywhere.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@506, I don't think it works like that. I think if they put in a claim, then they put it in, not "well, IF we put in a claim, who'd you want?"
There'd be no reason to put a claim in, in the first place, if they were just going to go around it like that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

So one possibility is that we get a management structure that includes both Rizzo and one of the others. For example, Rizzo (GM) and DiPoto (Assistant GM) or vice versa.

I'm not a big fan of the two-headed monster, but with appropriate clearly defined job separattion it could be a useful thing to have both. Hiring from another team probably requires a promotion but its not clear to me if VP - Player Personnel is above, below, or beside the GM title.

I like Rizzo. I don't know the others so I hope Rizzo is retained. But whoever gets the job will need to be given the authority and autonomy to get the job done.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 11, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think that Rizzo deserves the chance, based on what he has done. I worry about importing a guy from the Red Sox, because they have NO budget constraints on drafting and even if we assume the best from the Lerners, they are going to be like the other 26 or so teams, and not the heavy spenders.

I think that Rizzo, given the opportunity, will build an organization from ground up, based on defense, ground ball pitchers and making sure that only the superstars are pompous jerks. That works for me and his scouting and drafting chops in place.

My vote is for Rizzo.

Posted by: RedBee | August 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not a big fan of the two-headed monster, but with appropriate clearly defined job separattion it could be a useful thing to have both."

Whether they give Rizzo the job or not, they still need to hire one person, since Bowden's workload was taken over by Rizzo in addition to his previous workload. Also, there are several Bowden cronies still in the FO who may be let go once the new GM is named. Their workload will also need to be taken on by new hires. This is the main reason I suspect some of these names being bandied about in the media have probably been interviewed, but not necessarily for the GM job.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me if this has already been said, but does Nyjer Morgan remind anyone else of Mickey Rivers - similar skill set: fast, L/L, a weak arm but covers lots of ground. Mickey also had a tendency to be sort of flamboyant. Remember the bat twirl he used to do after he swung and missed? Same sort of ambling, bouncy gait when walking around. The one area where Nyjer seems to be ahead of Mickey is in the brains department. Another is plate discipline. Mickey didn't walk much. Anyway the '77 and '78 Yanks did pretty well with Mickey batting #1.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Not that my opinion really counts, especially because I know nothing about what Hoyer and Dipoto could do -- but Rizzo has been pitch-perfect so far. Even with the musical chairs bullpen, he hasn't really made any missteps. I know most bloggers think they could do a better job that real GMs, but in Rizzo's case I have to admit he's doing a bang-up job. Hard to see how you can replace someone who is doing so well.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

apologies to Boswell, but I believe this is what we are after next year...

CF Manjer Morman
SS Christman Guzman
3B Ryman Zimmanman
1B Aman Dumann
LF Joshman Willingman
RF Eliman Dukman
CA Hombre Floreman
2B Ormando Hudson?

SP Lamanman

Manager: Riggelman

Posted by: longterm | August 11, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

One should not discount the power of a name like NAPS.

You could say use the name for a team in New Jersey or say Cicero Ill and call them the DIRT NAPS.

Posted by: CBinDC | August 11, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Re: Morgan and the 'mean'

Boz points out that Morgan has gotten better every year. As his speed declines so will his play, but I don't think he's reached his ceiling yet - I don't think his 'mean' has been established. I don't expect any decline in play or speed in the next three year, at least, and at that point he'll be in his arbitration years. But he's twice as good as the next OF, according to Fangraphs.com, in the field, so even some regression due to loss of speed (which I don't fully accept) would still leave him far and away the best defender in the game. It's no coincidence that the team ERA has fallen with him trolling center.

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I do not sure that Rizzo has the charisma to carry off the gig. He needs to be more media savvy and he needs to be able to negotiate. Having an eye for talent is not a problem for the guy, reportedly. But he did not handle the St. Claire firing well at all and he has looked overmatched even in one on one interviews with the press. Maybe he can polish his act, but I am not sure. And at the end of the day, he is essentially a Bowden guy. Not sure that should or would work against him.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

HA. Longterm, please explain the origin of that lineup.

Also, per Tracee's article, the Nats being 3rd in runs since the acquisition of Morgan can't all be attributed to just Morgan, right? It means that the middle and bottom of the order have been doing their job too (mainly, hitting the ball to drive Morgan in). No matter, Nyjer just flat out makes the team better. Period.

Posted by: NatMeg | August 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

But, sec307, he's already a career .302 hitter. Do you think he will be career .340? Do you think he will beat Teddy Ballgame one of these seasons?

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Also, my Red Sox trade scenario was a flop of a joke, the key being that Rizzo would only trade Guzzie if Hoyer wouldn't take his job, continuing on the season-long riff of things you can't trade. It failed, clearly.

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I think you could argue that Morgan IS the difference. He's distracting at the bases (maybe why Guzzie's so much better in the 2 hole?) and he takes pitches, so that the other guys get to see more of the opposing pitcher. There are many intangibles that he brings in addition to getting on base, stealing second and then scoring on a base hit.

Maybe a better question would be - what are the reasons for the increased scoring other than T Plush?

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Belliard was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963."

Yeah, but he was only chasing after a ball that took a bad hop between his legs.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | August 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, 307, it might be argued that they haven't increased that much, they started out hot, got depressed when they saw a lot of 12-11 losses, and perked back up to "normal" when there was an attitude shift.
Just arguing the other side; personally, I think TPlush had a lot to do with it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

#4: Absolutely. If I recall, Mick also flicked with his wrists and directed the ball where he desired, seemingly the way Nyjer sometimes "swings". Nyjer does not have a hitch in his walk/trot the way Rivers had one, and it looks as if Nyjer is more disciplined at the plate. I think Mick was one of Billy's favorites.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 11, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Just causing trouble here, but wouldn't it be funny to find some Atlanta bloggers and get them to go over the the Marlins' guy, too?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Sec3,

One could also argue that Morgan's clubhouse presence is the spark that has changed the team's attitude, if that is the case.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: sec307 | August 11, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, he's no Rickey, but fwiw:
www.mickeyrivers.com/quotes_baseball.shtml

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo should get the job because he has proven to be a good judge of talent. If Kasten, Lerner, et al. want a "quant" guy they should authorize Rizzo to hire one. They should not bring in a "quant" guy who has not proven to be a good judge of talent to be GM. It doesn't make sense.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | August 11, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

hey, who ARE the Marlins playing now? Maybe we could get this started.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

> And at the end of the day, he is essentially a Bowden guy.

No he's not. He never worked under Bowden until he got here. He was hired by Kasten, not by Bowden.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Marlins are playing Houston. I bet we could find a worthy Astros blogger to get on board with this...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, he wasn't taking outfield practice, that's for sure.
***************
"Belliard was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963."
Yeah, but he was only chasing after a ball that took a bad hop between his legs.
Posted by: MikeH0714 | August 11, 2009 3:18 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

All these people claiming that Rizzo has made no missteps are a bit premature in the analysis, no? I mean, Nyjer Morgan has been great for us, but he is by no means some lock to be an All Star caliber lead off man at this point. Trading Beimel and Johnson were no-brainers and who knows if we got anything good for those deals. Patching the bull pen with chicken wire was ncie, but in a very small sample size (we're talking about a total of something like 25 games of work) it is not some grand work of art either.

Rizzo was on board the ship when Bowden was here so seemingly disasterously, but he takes no blame for any of that work? Actually, the fact is that Bowden was a lot better than we thought in that he landed a lot of talent (Zim, Lannan, Dukes, Wilingham, Dunn, Flores, etc.) for little money and he gave away no player that turned out to be anything more than average to get it. There is not one ugly contract on this club -- sure, bash Guzman (the multi-hit game ground ball booting machine that he is) all anyone wants, but a 1 yr $8M commitment is nothing (Eric Byrnes, Barry Zito, Gary Matthews, Aaron Rowand, Todd Helton, Carlos Silva, Alfonso Soriano, Eric Chavez . . . THOSE are some ugly contracts!).

The Nats have revenue and payroll felxibility like no one out there and they actually have a decent core of players to start with for next year. The new GM, whomever it is, is going to be in a nice position. The club will be active in the FA market and there is only one way for the club to go at this point -- UP (I hope).

Posted by: dfh21 | August 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I almost went there, jd, but decided not to. Great minds think alike?

---

"Belliard was on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Marlins are playing Houston. I bet we could find a worthy Astros blogger to get on board with this...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

____________________________________________

FWIW, I think we are giving that d-bag more than his fifteen minutes. I still think it is some 16 year old running it out his parents' basement...

Posted by: TimDz | August 11, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, you know, there *is* a comments section for the Braves-related article that Chico linked to this a.m. I haven't read through them, but it has 76 comments at the moment...

("Trouble" is my middle name. Not really, but I do like saying that.)

---

Just causing trouble here, but wouldn't it be funny to find some Atlanta bloggers and get them to go over the the Marlins' guy, too?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 11, 2009 3:23 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Good point, TimDz. Are people still posting over there?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Belliard was on board during the crash of 1947 in Roswell.

Posted by: ImWithStupid | August 11, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo will win the job for certain once Teddy wins one of the damn Presidents races.

Posted by: sec404 | August 11, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sec3:

Thanks for the Mickey Rivers' quotes. He was Rickey before there was a Rickey. His give and take with Reggie Jackson was some of the best stuff during the Bronx Zoo era of the Yankees.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 11, 2009 4:07 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.

Prediction:

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 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 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

hclark1 is really just Ronnie Belliard trying to give Nats fans heartburn.

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Belliard helped cause the great fires in Chicago and San Francisco. Used to work for a guy named "Scratch".

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/remember-when/baseball/25things.html?eref=T1

Youppi lore. Screech has a lot of things to learn...

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 11, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Scratch's" lineup:

CF Nyjer Morgalliardo
SS Cristan Guzalliardez
3B Ryan Zimmerilliard
1B Adam Dunnalliardus
LF Josh Willinghalliarde
RF Elijah Dukelliardum
C Josh Bardilliard
2B Ronnie Belliard
P John Lannaillaired

Posted by: periculum | August 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Belliard advised Al Gore to make the comment that he invented the internet...

Posted by: TimDz | August 11, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

So, Belliard is the anti-Willie Harris?

Posted by: Section506 | August 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Tank2 - I think your dates are wrong. the theo interregnum was in fall 2005. That was the time of the Beckett / lowell trade for hanley and Sanchez. Lugo and Drew were not signed until '06- '07 offseason. Lugo was kind of a Theo obsession.

The big deal with Fla was probably as much Bill Lajoie as Hoyer. Theo and John Henry were opposed, Lucchino and Lajoie in favor, and Henry did not want to overrule his baseball people while theo was not technically with the team.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | August 11, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

BINGO! Belliard IS the anti-Willie Harris!!

BTW: Does anyone know if Rizzo WANTS the GM job?

Posted by: twinbrook | August 11, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Belliard invented New Coke.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 11, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how much blame to put on Rizzo while he was the Asst. GM.

It could be the case that Rizzo was asked his opinion in some if Jimbo's bad moves and Jimbo disregarded his opinion.

Jimbo did nothing to address the bullpen, and Rizzo signed Beimel on one of his first days on the job. Maybe he and Jimbo saw things differnetly...

It could be the case that Rizzo was responsible for putting together the Willingham deal.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 11, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

hclark/rbelliard must think that this is a Terps blog. Perhaps a better reaction might be gained by posting on the blog of a Maryland team. Just a thought.

Thanks for the link, dclifer. I'm printing out the SI piece to savor later. (Thought they forgot to include Morgan on the stirrups front.)

506, I believe that Belliard is to Harris as Lex Luthor is to Superman. Or perhaps kryptonite. Or perhaps Lois Lane. Nah.

Also, Chico's got a new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Wait - I got it! Clark Kent.

---

506, I believe that Belliard is to Harris as Lex Lut

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 11, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it! What would the reason be to reject Rizzo? Does he want the job or are they promoting him? I think Rizzo did the most important job and that is to bring continuity and sanity to the team after that corrupt Bowden and his fur clad fluzzy wife were chased out of town by the FBI. Strasburg hasn't signed although Steinburg thinks he will.But Storen looks like a pretty good pick. If Rizzo wants the job then he deserves it.

Posted by: firemetalrat | August 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Stick with the Rizza - aside from the merit argument (which should carry the most weight), the team, from a personnel and PR standpoint, needs stability. The fact that an incumbent, albeit "interim" GM has made a few good moves, is respected in the baseball community and has a decent track record (here and AZ) would seem to me to be good reasons to go with Rizzo.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | August 11, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's your "national report" that lists Jerry Dipota as the frontrunner. Pretty weak, if you ask me.

"Arizona director of scouting and player personnel Jerry DiPoto has emerged as a frontrunner for the Washington Nationals general manager job, according to a baseball source."

That's it. And it's dated July 28, or a lifetime ago.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/tom_verducci/07/28/halladay.market/1.html#ixzz0NuXxK5Ud

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

As a Red Sox fan, I'm honestly a little baffled here. Hoyer wouldn't even talk to the Mariners, but now this? Maybe he just doesn't like the West Coast. And it's certainly likely that he's outgrown his current position and is ready to move on. I just don't get why here. Plus, from a selfish perspective, he's a smart guy and I don't want my team losing smart guys. They never really managed to replace Byrnes, Woodfork, and Lajoie after 2005. And he'd probably take others with him, too.

Also, I don't think Rizzo has been given a fair shot. If he's not offered this job on a permanent basis, I doubt he would agree to stay with the organization. He has done his time and deserves more than one season, most of which was tainted by the missteps of the corrupt jerk before him. They are throwing front office talent down the drain for no good reason, and it doesn't exactly grow on trees.

Posted by: harbeh | August 11, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company