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Washington Nationals News: Bobby Valentine, Mike Rizzo, Dana Brown?

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• I was just about to kick off the "Bobby/2010" campaign here at Federal Baseball.com in an attempt to lure Bobby Valentine away from ESPN to manage the Washington Nationals when I came across FOXSports.com writer Ken Rosenthal's Sunday article entitled,"Sources: Valentine could return to Japan", wherein Mr. Rosenthal reported that the, "Yokohama Bay Stars of the Japanese Central League are making 'concentrated effort' to hire Valentine," the 59-year-old former Texas Rangers', NY Mets' and Chiba Lotte Marines' manager, while the Cleveland Indians had Valentine on their "short list", and the Florida Marlins had flirted with the idea of bringing Valentine in, but decided against it. What about Washington you ask? Valentine, according to Mr. Rosenthal's sources, "...is not aggressively pursuing the Nationals' opening and is not believed to be a serious candidate for the Astros." So does that mean Mr. Valentine is "passively" pursuing the Nationals' job? Or "unaggressively"? Or not at all?

• And while we're talking anonymous sources, I'm still not sure what to make of ESPN.com's Peter Gammons writing, a month or so back, in a 9/5/09 blog post entitled, "NL West is better than you think", that, "Washington ownership mentioned Bobby Valentine in every GM interview, so don't count Bobby V. out of that job." And what about SI.com's Jon Heyman's National League source who said Valentine was a candidate to replace Manny Acta before he'd even been fired back in late June. Does anyone keep a batting average-esque statistic for writer's sources?

BACKPAGE:

• Baseball America's Best Player And Pitcher Awards For Washington.

• Mike Rizzo Cleans House, Dana Brown Departs.

• The Washington Nationals named Derek Norris Minor League Player of the Year and right-handed starter Brad Meyers Minor League Pitcher of the Year back in the first week of September, and in the most recent newsstand edition of Baseball America's magazine, Washington Nationals correspondent Lacy Lusk agrees with Washington on the selection of Norris as the top player, but labels Meyers as a player to, "Keep An Eye On", while giving the "Best Pitcher" nod to the Nationals' 2nd 1st Round pick of 2009, Stanford Cardinal righty Drew Storen, who, Mr. Lusk writes, "...looked nearly major-league ready as he dominated at three levels," and Mr. Lusk's "Organization Report" quotes DC GM Mike Rizzo describing what's special about Storen:

"It's not only the way he pitches during the games, but the way he goes after his training and the way he warms up, the way he lights up when he crosses the line and gets to the mound--that was really the litmus test of how we think he's a back-end-of-the-bullpen guy."

The Housecleaning Continues:

According to two recent blog posts by MLB.com's Bill Ladson, one entitled, "Nationals dismiss Cedeno, Gale and Stearns", and another entitled, "Dana Brown leaving Nats, Moose Stubing let go", Mike Rizzo is continuing to open up jobs for the incoming Rizzo Regime, dismissing John Kearns, (who managed the Double-A Harrisburg Senators), Rich Gale, (who served as the Syracuse Chiefs' pitching coach after Steve McCatty replaced Randy St. Claire), and Cesar Cedeno, (who coached the Gulf Coast Nationals to a League Title, but was, according to Mr. Ladson, hired, "...on the recommendation of former Nationals Manager Manny Acta,") last Thursday and then parting ways with Moose Stubing, a special assistant to the General Manager, and Dana Brown, the Nationals' Amateur Scouting Director, late Sunday. Mr. Ladson writes that, "Kris Kline, who is currently the assistant scouting director, most likely will get a promotion" to Dana Brown's old job, while Brown heads back to the great white north to Toronto, where he'll become a special assistant to new Blue Jays' GM Alexander Anthopolous, who he's known since both worked for the Montreal Expos...BTW: The Nationals, Mr. Ladson confirms in the latest blog post, "...are also talking to Braves scouting director Roy Clark," about joining Washington's Front Office, just like FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported this weekend. 

More Rumors and Anonymous Sources when they become available...