(ed. note - "I've been collecting these comments, quotes and tweets for the last few weeks as I try to figure out why the Washington Nationals won't give "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo the full-time job, and I wanted to publish them all in one place. While the reports were leaning toward "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo not being named the Nationals' full-time GM a few weeks ago, in recent reports, it seems Rizzo is at the very least, still under consideration for the position...")
Peter Gammons was on ESPN.com's Baseball Tonight, after the loss to the Braves last night, and he brought up the Nationals, saying that "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo is unlikely to stay with Washington. Rizzo is being asked to help sign Stephen Strasburg but then might not be there as GM if he does reel in the Nationals' #1 overall pick, to paraphrase Mr. Gammons, whose comments come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the leaks circulating through the media about the Nationals' GM search. Earlier this week, Boston Globe writer Nick Carfado reported, in an article entitled, "Wild scramble shaping up", that there was, "Lots of chatter among major league sources in Washington," who were saying that:
"Diamondbacks director of scouting and player development Jerry Dipoto is the leading candidate to be Nationals general manager..."
Mr. Dipoto's name, you might remember, is the one SI.com's Tom Verducci's singled out in the "Quick Notes" section of a 7/28/09 article entitled, "Halladay will be traded, and Philly's a perfect fit now", where Mr. Verducci wrote:
"'Arizona director of scouting and player personnel Jerry DiPoto has emerged as a frontrunner for the Washington Nationals general manager job...'"
The Boston Globe's Mr. Carfado continued...
Continued After The JUMP...
The Boston Globe's Mr. Carfado continued, however, noting that Red Sox' Assistant GM Jed Hoyer was also under consideration, while the Nationals' were still, "...considering keeping Mike Rizzo, the interim GM, aboard." A few weeks back, USA Today sports writer Bob Nightengale posted a note on his Twitterfeed, (which has since been suspended?) which called Rizzo "a longshot" to retain the job, while also noting that the decision had come down to, in Mr. Nightengale's words, "two or three" GM candidates.
Washington Post writer Chico Harlan examined the Nationals' GM search in a recent Nationals Journal post entitled, "The Nats' GM Search Narrows", where Mr. Harlan wrote that, "The Nationals...will likely wait until after Monday's deadline for draft pick signings to announce a decision," after which Mr. Harlan cites "industry sources", as opposed to the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado's "major league sources in Washington", who say, in Mr. Harlan's words, that, "Mike Rizzo, Boston assistant GM Jed Hoyer and Arizona player personnel vice president Jerry Dipoto (are) emerging as the primary candidates." Please note Mr. Harlan is not citing, directly at least, Mr. Carfado's article as the source of the names, but rather his own anonymous "industry sources".
Mr. Rizzo's been acting as the GM since the Nationals' first GM, Jim Bowden stepped down at the beginning of March '09. MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in a 7/23/09 interview with Nationals' "principal owner" Mark Lerner, quoted Mr. Lerner explaining that the Nationals were looking at candidates for a full time manager and GM, and, "...a proper search for both positions...may entail going beyond our own gates." In the most recent of the reports, Washington Post's Mr. Harlan writes that, "...team president Stan Kasten and the Lerner family have conducted their search, exploring choices beyond Rizzo," and as Mr. Harlan writes, "One source said that it appears no further interviews will be conducted..."
Mike Rizzo? Jerry Dipoto? Jed Hoyer? The one thing all the sources agree upon is that there are several candidates for the job, and if you remember all the way back, Baseball Prospectus' writer Will Carroll's twitter post, which started a lot of this talk, alleged that the Nationals had already, "offered (the) GM job to someone and got turned down," while remarking, as several of the writers here do, that Mike Rizzo has done all he could to earn the promotion to full time...
Who will be the next DC GM? We might not have to wait long to find out...
(ed. note - "What follows is the first edition of the rumor collection that I published a week or so ago...")
• Mixed Signals About Mike Rizzo...DC GM Rumors Continue...
"Hearing that Nats offered GM job to someone and got turned down. Rizzo should have that job already, but if true, sets up weird winter."
The only mention of Washington's continued search for a full-time GM that I could find at the time was in MLB.com's Bill Ladson's 7/23/09 interview with Nationals' "principal owner" Mark Lerner entitled, "Q&A with Nationals owner Mark Lerner", where Mr. Lerner was quoted stating:
"We have a responsibility to conduct a proper search for both positions, (Manager and GM) and that may entail going beyond our own gates. We will not be rushed or pressured into a decision that so significantly affects our future. In the end, whoever is appointed manager and general manager, they will be the best."
Now, according to SI.com's Tom Verducci's the search is narrowing, as Mr. Verducci writes, in the "Quick Notes" section of an article entitled, "Halladay will be traded, and Philly's a perfect fit now", that an anonymous source tells him:
"Arizona director of scouting and player personnel Jerry DiPoto has emerged as a frontrunner for the Washington Nationals general manager job..."
Wow, that's pretty specific? Mr. DiPoto's name, of course, comes up in any discussion of an open GM position, along with Tony LaCava's and Kim Ng's, so this isn't too much of a surprise, but the timing, considering the franchise should be focused on two important approaching deadlines is certainly odd...Will Mike Rizzo be able to make any deals before Friday? Will the Nationals actually name a new GM mid-season? If not, why are these rumors surfacing now?
And why can't DC just keep Mike Rizzo?
• Rizzo: Still A Longshot For Fulltime? (from 7/31)
No word on whether today's move had any impact on the Nationals' GM search, but while Mr. Rizzo was working on trading Nick Johnson and Joe Beimel away, USA Today Sports writer Bob Nightengale, was reporting, via his twitterfeed, that:
"The Nats meanwhile have narrowed their GM candidates to two or three. Mike Rizzo, unfortunately, appears to be a longshot."
To Be Continued...