Network News

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

Front Office Moves ... And The Decision That Follows

In the first 1-1/2 weeks that followed the conclusion of the Washington Nationals' season, General Manager Mike Rizzo had one priority: Restocking the front office.

"Well you know," Rizzo said, "you're only as good as the lieutenants around you."

As such, the Nationals on Thursday made official a series of front office additions, and though Rizzo isn't necessarily finished with high-level organizational changes, he now feels comfortable turning his attention to the team's managerial opening.

"The [managerial] search is going to begin a little more seriously in the very near future," Rizzo said, "but I wanted to make sure we got these vital hirings in the front office [first]."

In the last few days, the Nationals have added three members to their front office. Roy Clark, the longtime Atlanta Braves scouting director, will serve as vice president of player personnel. (He'll be Rizzo's de facto right-hand man, helping with the 2010 draft, scouting potential free agents, and evaluating the team's own talent.) Johnny DiPuglia, formerly the Red Sox international scouting ace, will take a job as Washington's director of Latin American operations. Lastly, Doug Harris, previously an advance scout with the Cleveland Indians, will serve as Washington's director of player development.

Throw in the other front office change -- Kris Kline was promoted to scouting director after Dana Brown left for Toronto -- and the Nationals have had a busy week ordering new business cards.

Rizzo acknowledged that the front office changes were his "first concern," and the time needed for those moves could delay a decision on the team's next manager until after the postseason.

Speaking about the managerial search, Rizzo said, "We're in the midst of making phone calls and whittling down a longer list to a more manageable list. ... We've got a terrific in-house candidate in Jim Riggleman who's got as good a chance as anybody." Rizzo hinted that the process might also be delayed by the club's interest in speaking with candidates whose teams are still in the postseason.

A few other things to mention here ...

* Clark is very much in the Rizzo mold, with a terrific scouting eye. He's been credited with helping the Braves land Yunel Escobar, Tommy Hanson, Brian McCann and Adam Wainwright. Clark had been with the Braves for exactly 20 years, starting as an area scout. So why did he make the jump? "Well, first of all, I was very very happy in Atlanta, where I've been for a long time," Clark said. "But [Washington] kind of reminds me of the situation in Atlanta, back when I came to work there in October of 89."

* Rizzo still wants to hire a high-level front office member who specializes in the minutia of contract negotiations and transaction legalese.

* Clark echoed Rizzo's sentiments from earlier this month that the No. 1 selection in the 2010 draft "isn't as clear-cut" as it was in 2009, with Stephen Strasburg.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 15, 2009; 4:15 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: And on Day 2 ... [Updated]
Next: Strasburg Q and A

Comments

Glad to hear that Harper is not automatically being annointed as the next sure thing.
Not to say he won't be #1 next year, but I think it is prudent to at the very least see how things shake out in JUCO.

Posted by: TimDz | October 15, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo/Clark are posturing -- Harper will be the pick, barring injury.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 15, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Acta to Cleveland? Please say it ain't so... http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ar9yF7TemQcLm8xNrLXFWoQ5nYcB?slug=ap-indians-managersearch&prov=ap&type=lgns

My poor Indians.

Posted by: MBUSA | October 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, just in case Acta has a career year, it won't be in the National League.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Rizzo acknowledged that the front office changes were his "first concern," and the time needed for those moves could delay a decision on the team's next manager until after the postseason. "

----------------------------------
Don Mattingly or Tony Pena, you cannot go wrong with anyone from the Joe Torre coaching tree!


Posted by: markfd | October 15, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, I can't even describe the injections of good feeling these reports give me.

Rizzo is impressing me more and more every day. Not that I know much about these people he has hired, but they sure don't sound like slouches.

And, I mean wow! We're barely 2 weeks out of the season and he was able to lure away a career Atlanta Brave guy (who was even HAPPY there!?!)plus a slew of others?

Thanks Rizzo. (raises glass) Here's to making our laughingstock status short-lived and soon forgotten.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree (what a shocker) with NatsNut. :-)

Here's to you, Rizzo.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 15, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping that Tim Foli gets a fair shot at the job nothing against Riggleman,but i think Foli deserves serious consideration, good move bringing in Roy Clark, scouting is obviously the key to building a consistent winner. Any thought's on changing the tv side of the broadcast crew(Carpenter&Dibble.)

Posted by: dargregmag | October 15, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the "ASSMAN" car belongs to Jesus Colome... see him anywhere around there?

Posted by: kfisher32 | October 15, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

dargramps: There are a lot of names floating out there for the three MLB Manager jobs (CLE, HOU, WSH) currently open. Who knows what the Nationals' "short list" will look like, but I'll take a stab at six names - Riggleman, Foli, Mattingly, Brenly, Hurdle, Tony Pena. I kind of think Rizzo will lean toward expierence at this point, but your guess is as good as mine.

Posted by: BinM | October 15, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Given this crew I sincerely doubt it will be Harper. One would think its going to be more pitching.

Posted by: periculum | October 15, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the "ASSMAN" car belongs to Jesus Colome... see him anywhere around there?

Posted by: kfisher32 | October 15, 2009 6:45 PM

*******

POD nomination. Kicking myself for not thinking of it.


(lmao)

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

To those out there who think Manny Acta would be lucky to get a greeter job at WalMart after his job of managing the Nationals, looks like Manny is going to have the last laugh on you. Jon Heymann just reported on MLB Network that if Acta does not get the Houston or Cleveland job he has an open offer to return to the Mets as either a base coach or the bench coach, aka manager in waiting for when Jerry Manuel gets fired. Hey, maybe the Nats should interview Manny for their manager opening. If the Astros can re-hire Phil Garner, why not?

Posted by: nunof1 | October 15, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

And even if it is a fielder, you'd think that it's a college person. Rizzo wasn't so hot on HS people.

Posted by: swang30 | October 15, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

swang: I'm not so sure that it's a HS/College thing (Rizzo drafted 3-HS players in the 1st 10 rounds in 2009, signing two). It's more that he honestly hasn't looked at Harper yet (he was in 11th grade in 2009, a high-school junior). His U-20 results this fall & how he does in JuCo next spring will give the scouts something to work with besides hype.

Posted by: BinM | October 15, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

nunof: Acta is just another former MLB manager in the barrel of names "under consideration" for any MLB opening at this point. If Minaya stays on as the Mets' GM, there is some history there, as well as in HOU, where Manny was a MiLB coach/Manager.
He's a smart man - He'll probably get a MLB job somewhere before 2010 kicks into gear.

Posted by: BinM | October 15, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"Rizzo hinted that the process might also be delayed by the club's interest in speaking with candidates whose teams are still in the postseason."
Obviously not a current manager. What Phillies/Dodgers/NYY/LAA coaches would be interested (and don't tell me Davey Lopes, please.)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

although, with Bowden gone, maybe he might consider it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does Clayton Kershaw look an awful lot like Orel Hershheiser?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe like his brother, Anel.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Ancient Dodger jokes -- I never get tired of them!


Even if you all do.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 15, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

"What Phillies/Dodgers/NYY/LAA coaches would be interested (and don't tell me Davey Lopes, please.)"

Don Mattingly, Dodgers hitting coach, is Boswell's pick to click. Some would also advocate Larry Bowa, Nick Johnson's uncle and Dodgers 3b coach.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 15, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

No live updates tonight, but stay tuned for some new posts from down here tomorrow. I'll start with a transcript of Strasburg's press conference. Nothing earth-shattering there but thought you all might enjoy reading it anyway...

Remember there is a streaming feed on mlb.com. The link should be on yesterday's post; also, a shortcut to get there is to go to type "mlbfallball.com" in your browser.

Posted by: traceeh | October 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Bowa would be a good pick at this point in his career, now, if you're going to shoot J.R., Mattingly might be worth some serious consideration.

Posted by: cokedispatch | October 15, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Sec3: "Rizzo hinted that the process might also be delayed by the club's interest in speaking with candidates whose teams are still in the postseason." The key word there is "might"; It might include someone on-staff with the remaining teams (Bowa, Lopes, Mattingly, T.Pena, Perlozzo, Roenicke), somebody from a team recently eliminated (Baylor, Hale, McRae, Runnells), someone either dismissed or interim, but still technically under contract (Cooper, Hurdle, Tracy, Riggleman, Wedge, Valentine), an announcer (Brenly, Martinez, Showalter) or it might not be any of those.

The point is, don't read too much into the words at this juncture. Let it play out over the next couple of weeks - Let's face it, the MLB Manager won't have any pull until the Winter Meetings anyway.

Posted by: BinM | October 15, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Just a little NLCS note: Belliard is doing us proud once again. What a pro. And has anyone commented on the interesting coincidence that former Phils SS Larry Bowa is the Dodgers 1B coach, which former Dodgers 2B Davey Lopes is the Phils' 1B coach? Kind of cool.

Posted by: Section222 | October 15, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

bummer:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/10/aaron-boone-likely-to-retire.html

Posted by: NatsNut | October 15, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

from MLBTR: Byron Kerr of MASN.com doesn't expect Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to name a new manager until at least November. According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, the team will consider Chip Hale, Bobby Valentine, Bob Melvin, and perhaps Dave Duncan (if he's available), in addition to interim skipper Jim Riggleman.


Not that these are the greatest sources (Kerr, in fact, just recently got let go by Metro Networks, the company that provides sports reports for WTOP), but this is what's out there...

Posted by: thepostischeap | October 16, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

So today, needing a fix, I watched on MLB-TV (via the archive function) the Aug. 4 game that I was lucky enough to attend -- knowing full well it was great Nats comeback (6 runs in the 8th against the Marlins) and hoping to see myself in the crowd (no luck).

I had forgotten that Belly had the big hit that got the Nats back in the game (and got him over the Mendoza line, which proves how hot he was when he went to the Dodgers.)

I agree that Foli ought to get consideration for the manager job from Rizzo. I'm against anybody with no managing experience in the minors, just on principle. But honestly, I'll respect Rizzo's decision.

Posted by: nats24 | October 16, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Finally a GM that we can respect!

Posted by: smirkman | October 16, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

It's beginning to look like Manny Acta will have a job lined up for 2010 before the Nationals have addressed their managerial opening, isn't it?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 16, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I saw that NatsNut. If he does retire, he'll have made his [AB]ing mark, at any rate. I was impressed by his comeback from heart surgery this year as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Rumours from NatsTown suggest that they've spoken with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato in preparing their managerial choice.


Acting on that advice, Rizzo has narrowed his choices to either the home bat boy, or the usher for Section 239 in the Pavilion. . . . .

Posted by: mistermuleboy | October 16, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg piece from Tracee:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/15/AR2009101503720.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Tracee, for all your (self) grousing about the timing of your visit and the lack of access, your story this morning sure didn't show it. It was a great read.

Of course, when you're starving a saltine cracker tastes like a ritz.

Just kidding. Your story would definitely be a ritz cracker, even if I were full.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 16, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Devil Dogs for breakfast. Yum!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Rizard will make this team a winning team, and probably faster then we all think.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I am really impressed with the FO personnel Rizzo is bringing in to work with. He is bringing in people A)from all over MLB, both AL and NL, indicating (to me at least) that he has done his homework as opposed to just looking for his drinking pals and B) from organizations with really good scouting systems. The Red Sox need no explanation. Cleveland has been competitive on a small budget for a while (even if they had a bad team this year) because of their ability to scout and develop talent (see: Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia for just 2 recent examples). The Braves, despite their recent struggles, still maintain a deep and talented minor league system. We're pulling a variety of guys from proven, talented systems and that is really encouraging to me. Finally, I love that we are filling thes FO and scouting positions before choosing a manager. It looks like we are setting up a true, competant chain of command. This is quickly looking like an organization that will be able to compete in the long run. Well done Rizzo.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | October 16, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

New post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company