Tag Archives: Mike Rizzo

Nats headline pun watch: Black has bottomed out, Dusty trending up

Now that the chronic impending disaster of the Washington Nationals television rights situation1 has been addressed, albeit in a post that’s more about what the indoor red, white and blue DC teams are doing on TV, we can get to other matters at hand.

I’ve been openly against Dusty Baker since the Matt Williams error ended (if not in a literal sense, but a figurative sense) and was relieved that Bud Black got the job. The knock on Baker (who let’s face it, has a likable name and will henceforth be known as Dusty) is an anti-OBP, pitcher-killer. It’s probably not completely wrong, but he’s shown himself to regularly manage teams that win 90 games or more, sometimes even their division and one time, even a pennant. Ask Russ Ortiz how that went?2

Of course, Black, who had a good reputation with pitchers, didn’t sign — he may have been selected, but the Nats may have low-balled him. It figures, a DC-beat writer breaks the story and it all goes to hell.

Tough break, Wags.

Distinguished Senators, which triumphantly came back in this past season that was the antonym of triumph, had typically strong takes on the situation when Black was “hired”3 and not hired.


ugh, MASN’s feed, I hope there aren’t any ads

Dusty is here and he won the press conference. He brought in Mike Maddux as pitching coach, because ironically, the front office ownership of the Texas Rangers low-balled him.4 His reputation is strong, though that’s all I know about him other than his brother was a pretty solid pitcher for the late 1980s Chicago Cubs.

Keeping with the mid-2000s theme that Distinguished Senators embraced, Davey Lopes is back in the 1st base coaches box. His magical ability to clap and say “let’s go Alfonso” seemed to have worked the last time around and he does wear a Phillies World Championship ring for his first-post Nats position. Perhaps the incredibly-shrinking Barry Bonds can come aboard as hitting coach, though not nutritionist, as well.

The 2015 Nats should have won 90 games just by showing up, but were so poorly managed5 that they barely broke .500 despite having a historical season from Bryce Harper, who by the way, Dusty, doesn’t need humbling. Dusty gets the challenge of getting the back end of the bullpen to remove their heads from their posteriors and focus on pitching well instead of policing their teammates or sulking. I don’t know if Dusty can do it, but at least the press conferences should be better than the “Jim Riggleman with an on-field pedigree” we were getting the last two seasons.

1Modifier “television rights situation” is surely extraneous

2Actually, ask the relievers who blew that series more than Ortiz, but nobody remembers their names as they weren’t given the ball by Dusty.

3How 2005 DCist. Though it was a good pull.

4Technically speaking they have Washingnton Senators 2.0 DNA

5The 2015 New York Mets are forever grateful, though when Matty said “we concede” they were like, “naw, we’ll just take it ourselves.”

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Redskins will be #1 team in D.C. for a long time; Nats & Caps currently jockeying for #2

DC team pennants
Mike Rizzo: D.C. could become ‘primarily a baseball town’ – DC Sports Bog, The Post
I think that every professional sports team ought to be “aspirational” in everything they do. An example is trying to be the #1 team in a market. Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo seems to think so too:

“I think that Washington D.C. could become primarily a baseball town, with the Redskins always being right there in the picture also,” he continued.

That’s the right thing to say, but I doubt he believes it. The Redskins 75 years in D.C. and the overall popularity of the NFL are too much to overcome. The Nats, Capitals, Wizards and DC United are all fighting to be the second most popular team in the area. My guess is the current overall ranking looks like this:

1. Redskins
2. Capitals
3. Nationals
4. Wizards
5. DC United

I think the slumping Caps are just hanging onto the #2 spot and will probably be surpassed by the Nats this spring if they haven’t been already. The Nats are certainly in the best position to win D.C.’s next major championship, a spot the Caps occupied for about 5 years.

My personal rankings look like this:

1. Nationals
2. Redskins
3. Capitals
4. DC United
5. Wizards

With me, everybody is fighting to be #2 too — the Nats are my favorite D.C. team even during extended periods of awful seasons. Prior to last fall, I’d have put the Caps at #2, but a few things changed:

As I mentioned recently, I am holding back until I know DC United are staying in the area. I also like hockey more than soccer. DCU has a great hardcore fanbase, it just isn’t very large.

The Wizards are underachievers both on the court and in the hearts and minds of D.C. fans. There are plenty of basketball fans in the area, but the franchise has been so lackluster for so long that they haven’t been able to sustain a significant fanbase. Plus, during the Susan O’Malley era, she marketed the visiting teams and not the Bullets/Wizards.

So, try to be #1 Nats, but don’t me mad when you never get past being #2. This is big market and there is room for everybody.

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UPDATED: Nats: Strasburg’s surgeon not consulted on shutdown story denied

Stephen Strasburg’s surgeon on Nationals shutdown: ‘I wasn’t asked’L.A. Times
UPDATE: The story has changed, or so they say. Here is the original report:
Remember that #strasburgopinons contest The Post did? Seems an important one was missed…

So, Washington Nationals general manager never consulted with Stephen Strasburg‘s elbow surgeon, Lewis Yocum in making the shutdown decision?

OF COURSE HE DIDN’T! (or maybe he did)

Wow, just wow.

So, Rizzo has some explaining to do. He basically got caught not doing his homework, outright lying, just being Scott Boras’ puppet or probably some of all three. Amazing.

I feel really badly for Strasburg he’s having to deal with this B.S. I’ve been on-board with shutting him down too, but whiskey-tango-foxtrot Rizzo. I expect Boras to have his own agenda, but my concerns that some of this is “LOOK AT ME, I AM SO IN CHARGE” behavior by Rizzo is completely valid.

Being a D.C. sports fan is pretty interesting. I’m too dumbfounded to be upset.

UPDATE

Stephen Strasburg surgeon clarifies role in pitcher’s shutdownL.A. Times

Dr. Lewis Yocum had told the Los Angeles Times that he “wasn’t asked” by the Nationals about whether to shut down Strasburg and had not discussed the subject with General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year.

On Thursday, Yocum clarified his comments by saying he and the Nationals — as well as Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras — had agreed last year that the team would limit Strasburg’s innings this season. Over the course of this year, Yocum said, he has spoken with Rizzo and the Nationals’ medical staff but has left to the team the decisions about how and when to shut down Strasburg.

Yocum and Rizzo spoke on Aug. 13, as Strasburg approached his innings limit. The Nationals ended Strasburg’s season after his Sept. 7 start.

Okay. Weird story, somebody isn’t being honest I don’t think.

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Nats lose Marlins series, Strasburg shutdown, rookies hazed

We interrupt the beginning of the Redskins march to the Super Bowl to bring you the weekend that was for the Washington Nationals.

FRIDAY

Stephen Strasburg, perhaps feeling the burden of the looming shutdown and overanalaysis of it, couldn’t get it done against the Miami Marlins again. The Nats came back though and took the game to extra innings, but Tyler Clippard gave up three runs. The Nats got one back and had the winning run at the plate but kept striking out.

SATURDAY

Davey Johnson
announced Saturday morning that Strasburg was shut down for good which probably makes sense. Strasburg wasn’t happy, which is what anybody could expect. Frankly, the thought of him being a little angry on the mound next year isn’t heartbreaking. I may have more to say on it.

Another subpar outing for a Nats starter (Ross Detwiler) puts the Nats in a 6-2 deficit, but some timely homers brought the Nats within one before that big Saturday storm caused a 2+ hours rain delay.

Bryce Harper’s homer (if Bryce Harper does anything, it gets the instantly embeddable setting from MLB video):

Jayson Werth tied it up in the first at bat in the bottom of the ninth after the rain delay:

The Nats finished off the Marlins in the bottom of the 10th, snatching victory from the jaws of the defeat.



SUNDAY

Ricky Nolasco continued to dominate the Nats, shutting them out. Edwin Jackson couldn’t get it done on his birthday, losing his 10th game in 19 decisions. If there is ever a day to lose 8-0, it is the day of a rookie QB leading the Redskins to a season-opening victory.

THEN THERE WAS THE HAZING

For their final trip to New York, the Nats rookies were dressed as the USA Women’s Gymnastics team.

I was certain they’d be dressed as clowns.

No word on if McKayla Maroney is impressed.

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