Bowden's Gone! Who Will Be Washington's Next GM?
Peter Gammons on Baseball Tonight:
"...my guess is that [Asst. GM] Mike Rizzo will probably end up with the job, just cause it's hard for Stan Kasten to go interview 20 guys between now and the beginnining of the season, I mean he has Tony LaCava, works for Toronto, worked for him in Atlanta, he was rumored to be getting the job, but there's a long interview process, he can just make Rizzo the interim."
Mike Rizzo, described by the outgoing GM Jim Bowden in a July '06 article by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Nationals hire Rizzo as assistant GM", as someone who was "very aggressive...has a great work ethic" and is, "...tremendous on pitchers, hitters," as well as, "...tremendous on make up and character", was asked by a reporter yesterday, as quoted in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's article entitled, "Bowden Saga Continues", "...about his role with the organization", as Mr. Harlan frames it, and Mr. Rizzo responded by stating clearly:
"'I don't want to comment on my profile. I'm part of the Washington Nationals organization, and we sink and swim together, and I'm happy where I'm at in my career. At this time, I think we have to be about 'we' instead of 'me.'"
Baseball Prospectus writer John Perrotto wrote last week about the Nationals' desire, "according to multiple industry sources", to replace Mr. Bowden with Toronto Blue Jays' Assistant GM Tony LaCava, who is described by Mr. Perrotto as being, "highly regarded inside the game," confirming the "whispers" I'd been hearing for about twenty-four hours before Mr. Perrotto's article went into print, but Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, doing his due diligence Sunday, (after Bowden's resignation), contacted, "a few ballclubs that have prospective GM candidates," and found that, "...so far none of them, including the Toronto Blue Jays have been contacted by the Nationals."
ESPN.com's Buster Olney touched on both of the candidates rumored to be in consideration for the job in his blog post on Bowden's resignation entitled, "Bowden's run with Nationals was a mess", where Mr. Olney wrote:
"Mike Rizzo, a Nationals' assistant GM, has become much more visible in recent days, and it may be that he will be asked to take over for Bowden, or perhaps assume a greater role..."
...But, Mr. Olney continues:
"The Nationals will still have to go through the MLB-mandated hiring process, and consider a diverse range of candidates. Tony LaCava, a highly respected member of Toronto's front office, already has been mentioned as a possibility."
Which could explain Nationals' President Stan Kasten's comments Sunday, as recorded by Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling in an article entitled, "Bowden announces resignation", where Mr. Kasten said that, "...he would not comment on the 'next steps' until later in the week," before cautioning the media, "I think you'd all be unwise to speculate about what's going on..." Mr. Goessling doesn't "speculate" on what will happen, but does offer the opinion that, "Rizzo would be the most logical replacement for Bowden, at least on an interim basis."
?'s For the DC Faithful...
1) Has anyone heard even one other name as a possible GM option? (ed. note - "mlbtraderumors.com's Tim Dierkes threw Daric Ladnier's name into the mix last week in a post entitled, "Nationals considering GM Change". Ladnier's been a special assistant to the GM since October, after having been hired by DC following his dismissal from Kansas City's Front Office.")
2) If you were in charge of the search, are there any other candidates you'd want to interview?
3) If Mike Rizzo's not the next GM, will he remain in his position?
4) Will the other MLB teams grant the Nationals permission to interview their employees at this late date?
In actual baseball news, Sunday afternoon, DC lefty Scott Olsen threw two scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and striking out 2 in his debut as a National, and Nick Johnson stroked his first HR of the Spring which also happened to be the first Nationals' HR of the Spring...and Johnson's first hit...but Washington lost 7-5 to Baltimore, who got three runs off Tyler Clippard in the third on two hits and two walks, a run off Terrell Young on three hits, and two off Garrett Mock, on two hits and a free pass. On the offensive end, Adam Dunn doubled in the first, Justin Maxwell, who got the start in center, was 1 for 4 with a run scored, and Cristian Guzman and Elijah Dukes each ended the game 1 for 3. Washington's off until Tuesday, when they face the Mike Piazza-coached Italy entry in the WBC...(ed. note - "With all this stuff going on, I completely forgot that he WBC was coming up...I'm throwing my support behind Pinch Hittin' Pete Orr and the Canadian squad...what? I cheer for Canada's team in the World Cup of Hockey too...they just play a better game...and the Russians...what skills...back later with some DY news...Maybe?")
Adam Dunn in WBC? Is This A Good Idea? Washington Post's Chico Harlan's "Dunn To Participate In WBC"
Flores Injured? Please no? Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling, "Manny on Bowden, Flores to have MRI"