Wire Taps: Nationals Give Mike Rizzo A Long-Term Deal; Nats vs Brewers Tonight

Mike Stobe

The Washington Nationals start a three-game set in Milwaukee tonight. Last night the Nats announced that they had given their GM a long-term contract that will keep the 52-year-old executive in the nation's capital for years to come though no details were announced...

The Washington Nationals are 52-56, 11.0 games out of first in the NL East division they won last year and they're 7.5 games out in the Wild Card race. They just optioned their 25-year-old former closer to Triple-A Syracuse. Davey Johnson said that it's looking more like a "Bust" this year than a "World Series" though he hasn't given up hope. Bryce Harper's asking his teammates from the manager on down to have heart and do what they're capable of doing. So, yes, it might seem like an odd time to announce that your GM has been given a promotion and a long-term deal, but the Nationals did just that yesterday, promoting Mike Rizzo to President and signing him to a new long-term contract. The baseball world reacted. He got what he deserved for turning the franchise around. How can you give him a promotion in the midst of a disappointing run? It was one of the big stories of the Nats' off day on Thursday. Tonight the big story is Jordan Zimmermann taking on Milwaukee in his home state of Wisconsin at 8:10 pm EDT. Until then, it's links and lots of them... starting... RIGHT NOW!!:

THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Hall of Fame outfielder Al Kaline said recently that he is fascinated by the way the Nationals' Bryce Harper plays the game of baseball." - "Former teen phenom and Hall of Famer Al Kaline praises young Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• NATS BEAT:

• "Twenty-one of the 25 players on the Nationals’ 2012 National League Division Series roster were acquired, via the amateur draft, free agency or trade, during Rizzo’s tenure." - "Nationals sign GM Mike Rizzo to long-term extension, promote him to president of baseball operations" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Mike] Rizzo, who initially was hired by the Nationals in July 2006 to serve as assistant GM under Jim Bowden, took over top duties in 2009 after Bowden resigned, inheriting a franchise coming off a 102-loss season and with a barren farm system." - "Nats give Rizzo long-term deal, promotion" - Chase Hughes, NatsInsider.com

• "This is the first time that the Nationals have had a team president since when Stan Kasten held the title." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo promoted, signed to contract extension" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "On last night's episode, we talked about the Nationals' disaster of a series in Detroit, Bryce Harper's comments following Wednesday's 14-1 loss..." - "On Harper's comment and Rizzo's contract" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Mike] Rizzo becomes the Nationals’ first team president since Stan Kasten vacated the position in October 2010, although Rizzo’s duties will be different than Kasten’s, who worked more on the business side of the franchise." - "Mike Rizzo promoted to team president, given long-term extension" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Last April, the Nationals picked up [Mike] Rizzo's option for 2014, and he had an option for '15. Rizzo and the Lerner family had been working on a contract extension since then." - "Washington Nationals reward general manager Mike Rizzo with extension, promotion" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Danny Espinosa fully understands why he is in Class AAA Syracuse, but it doesn’t make it any easier." - "Danny Espinosa tweaks swing, continues to grind at Syracuse" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Overall in 29 games at Syracuse this season, Tyler Moore is hitting .307/.396/.535. He's been crushing left-handed pitching, posting a 1.139 OPS against southpaws..." - "Nationals Pastime: No plans to promote Moore for now" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Now, [Tyler] Moore is hitting .400 (26 for 65) with 12 walks and nine extra-base hits, since being optioned to Syracuse on July 10." - "Tyler Moore finds regular playing time, improved timing" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Scheduled Milwaukee starter Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 2.83) is coming off his first win in 15 starts dating to May 7, 2011." - "MLB Preview - Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers" - CBSSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "While Nationals will leave 102.1 FM in Hampton Roads, Redskins will stay" - dailypress.com

• "Of course, things haven’t been as rosy since Strasburg’s controversial shutdown." - "Nationals give extension and promotion to GM Mike Rizzo" - D.J. Short, HardballTalk

• "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has signed a long-term contract extension and been promoted to President of Baseball Operations, the team announced. He retains his GM duties." - "Nationals sign GM Mike Rizzo to long-term contract extension" - Mike Axisa, CBSSports.com

• NATS MINORS:

• GCL Nats: "Right-hander Lucas Giolito had a very good outing for the rookie-level Gulf Coast Nationals, tossing four shutout innings and striking out four, walking none and ..." - "Top prospect Giolito tosses four shutout innings in sixth start for GCL Nats" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Auburn: "The Doubledays (13-31) drove in the game's first run on a RBI double from Bryan Lippincott to plate Isaac Ballou in the first inning." - "Auburn On Wrong End Of Series Sweep" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "With two outs and the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, DH Mike McQuillan hit a triple with 2B Tony Renda standing a first base to put Hagerstown ahead for good." - "Suns open homestand with 4-1 win over Kannapolis" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Potomac CF Michael Taylor and C Adrian Nieto crushed back-to-back jacks. Taylor's bomb was a three-run blast over the batter's eye in dead center and Nieto, a switch hitter, belted his first dinger from the right side of the plate this season..." - "Potomac Sweeps Makeshift Twin Bill with Myrtle Beach" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Friday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

Double-A Harrisburg: "[A.J.] Cole allowed four hits, one unearned run, three walks struck out six for his second straight win. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris is happy with Cole and his progress at Double-A." - "A.J. Cole making progress after two wins to begin Double-A career" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Double-A Harrisburg: "Sens right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns was nominated for Eastern League player-of-the-month honors. Karns posted a 2-1 mark and 2.48 ERA during July. In 36. 1 innings, he struck out 43 and had a WHIP of 0.96." - "Putting up Ks; sitting down the DH; delivering more than one: Senators game notebook" - Dave Sottile, PennLive.com

Double-A Harrisburg: "Justin Bloxom's two-run single put the Harrisburg Senators up early, and they went on to defeat the Trenton Thunder 3-1 in the rubber game of the series at Arm & Hammer Park." - "Senators Take Rubber Game in Trenton 3-1" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum pitched into the seventh inning to earn the win, giving Syracuse a sixth victory in seven games on its 10-game road trip." - "Rosenbaum, Chiefs shut out Bats" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NATSTOWN:

• "Bat Karma: How Can the Nats Exorcise Their Demons?" - Benjamin R. Freed, City Desk

• "Nationals Promote Mike Rizzo" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Remembering 1924 – Tigers 8, Senators 3" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "More Rizzo, more Rizzo, more Rizzo." - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Nats’ July in review: It looks more like a bust" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• NL EAST UPDATES:

WLE: Mets: "Matt Harvey’s leisurely afternoon of hooking Marlins turned into a sixth-inning Sharknado." - "New York Mets lose to Miami Marlins, 3-0" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "One closer was showered with love Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. Another was bombarded by boos." - "Papelbon hears boos as Giants rally past Phillies" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "It would be a stretch to say the Marlins own Matt Harvey. But he certainly doesn’t own them." - "Tom Koehler outduels Matt Harvey as Miami Marlins blank Mets" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "B.J. Upton doubled in each of his first two at-bats while going 3-for-4 Thursday night in the second of three scheduled games in Triple-A Gwinnett..." - "B.J. Upton nearing return; Laird update" - Carroll Rogers, www.ajc.com

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