Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
The Washington Nationals won the NL East in 2012 with a 98-64 record, earning Davey Johnson the Baseball Writers' Association of America's Manager of the Year Award last week and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo the BBWAA's Executive of the Year this afternoon.
In expressing their admiration for one another this year, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN980's Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro that there should be an investigation if Washington Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson didn't win the Baseball Writers' Association of America's Manager of the Year Award, while Johnson said the story of the Nats' success this season was, "... the Mike Rizzo story." Johnson was named the BBWAA Manager of the Year last week. This afternoon, the GM was named the Executive of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the BBWAA. The Nationals' 69-year-old bench manager called it in late September.
"I think [Rizzo] is definitely the Executive of the Year," Davey Johnson told reporters before the end of the season, "I think he should have been last year, the year before, I mean, the draft and the trades and things he's done. Awfully good baseball man. As I said before there's no question in my mind. We've had, and the proof is in the pudding, we had this year devastating injuries and the young players in the system have done an outstanding job in different roles."
As the Nationals noted in a press release on the BBWAA naming the Nats' 51-year-old GM Executive of the Year after his fourth year at the helm in the nation's capital, Rizzo's Nats, "... have won at least 10 more games than the season prior each of the last three years (59 wins in 2009, 69 in ‘10, 80 in ‘11, 98 in ‘12). The last team to do this was the Boston Red Sox from 1906-09. Thus, Rizzo’s Nationals are the first team in over 100 years to accomplish this feat without the benefit of an artificially deflated win total associated with a work stoppage."
The former scout and scouting director rebuilt the Nationals' front office and the organization through the draft, the press release notes, brought Johnson in as first a consultant and then manager and helped assemble a team that, this past season "... led MLB in victories (98) and run differential (+137) en route to ending D.C.’s 79-year postseason drought."
Previous winners of the BBWAA's Executive of the Year Award include the Rangers' Jon Daniels (2011), the Giants' Brian Sabean (2010) and the Yankees' Brian Cashman (2009).