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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo has opinions on the Astros; the Nats’ third base options + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news which featured a lot of Mike Rizzo opinions...

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MLB: Washington Nationals-Workouts Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Say it! Say you “cheated”! Say it! Mike Rizzo has no time for the Houston Astros’ half-a$$ed apologies. It doesn’t count unless you actually admit the wrongdoing in the GM’s mind. It’s not the only thing Rizzo talked about when he met with reporters in West Palm Beach, FL yesterday...

Go read your Rizzo-filled links...


Rizzo has thoughts:

Mike Rizzo tries for avoidance before opting for defiance when discussing Astros - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Two things stirred Mike Rizzo on Friday when sitting on the patio adjacent to the Nationals’ side of their shared spring training facility."

Rizzo on Astros, WS: 'We did it the right way' - (
"Though the Astros have apologized for stealing signs in 2017, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo wants to hear more. One more word, in particular."

Mike Rizzo on the Astros: ‘Somebody’s gotta say the words over there, cheated’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
“'Somebody’s gotta say the words over there, cheated,' Rizzo said. 'That’s important to me. For the sport to move on, which is what I’m most concerned about, we have ton make sure that all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed on this investigation before we end it.'"

Rizzo won't be satisfied until Astros admit they "cheated" - (MASN)
“'I have no proof of what, if anything, they did in 2019,' Rizzo said. 'We assumed they were, and we prepared diligently for it.'"

'They cheated': Nats GM Rizzo unsatisfied by Astros' apology - (Washington Times)
"Count Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo among those not impressed or satisfied by the Houston Astros‘ attempts to apologize for — and put behind them — their sign-stealing scandal."

Mike Rizzo wants to hear the Astros say that they cheated - (WaPost)
"Mike Rizzo read the stories, watched the videos, sifted through the Houston Astros’ entire response Thursday and came to this conclusion: The Astros never once admitted to 'cheating.'"

Kieboom’s Time:

Kieboom at 3B? 'He'll get every opportunity' - (
"The Nationals believe their 2020 starting third baseman is already in the organization, and they won’t need to look outside to fill the role."

Mike Rizzo says Nationals have no plans to trade for starting third baseman - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals may not have found an obvious replacement for Anthony Rendon at third base this offseason, but general manager Mike Rizzo feels comfortable giving top prospect Carter Kieboom an opportunity to earn the job in spring training..."

With no trade in works, third base job is Kieboom's to lose - (MASN)
"The Nationals have a plan and a backup plan to replace Anthony Rendon at third base this season."

Other Nats Stories:

Baseball America Nats No. 5 prospect: LHP Tim Cate - (MASN)
"The 22-year-old Cate went a combined 11-9 with a 3.07 ERA in 26 starts with one complete game. In 195 2/3 innings, Cate fired 184 strikeouts with just 48 walks. Harrisburg appears to be his next challenge."

Notes: Strasburg on track, Rizzo on contract, Hellickson retires - (MASN)
"If you’re among those who buy into the narrative that the Nationals pitching staff is going to suffer this year from the heavy workload it experienced during its World Series run, Scherzer and Strasburg are here to tell you it won’t be true."

Nationals take first steps to protects arms which won them World Series - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The pitchers agree on two ideas: they were beat at the end of the World Series; they feel better now."


Rosenthal: How Dave Martinez used positive vibes to save his job and guide a spectacular turnaround – (The Athletic)
"One more week of losing baseball last May, and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would have gone to ownership and discussed alternatives to Dave Martinez as manager."

Nationals' Mike Rizzo hints at baseball world's Astros hate - (NY Post)
"Rizzo’s comments give a peek into how much the Astros are hated by opponents because of their willingness to cheat that cost GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch their jobs."

Nationals, World Series champs, are plenty miffed at 'cheating' Astros - (USA TODAY)
"They were warned by peers and opponents they vanquished just how slippery the Astros were, and thus turned the paranoia into productivity, designing an elaborate system of signs between pitcher and catcher to throw the Astros off their tail."

Des Moines' Jeremy Hellickson retires from Major League Baseball - (Des Moines Register)
"After 10 seasons, five teams and more than 200 games in Major League Baseball, Iowa native Jeremy Hellickson is calling it a career."

What can we expect from the Nationals in 2020? - (The Good Phight)
"Today, we take a peek into the defending World Series Champions — the Washington Nationals. (Man, that feels weird to say…)"

New rules to help prevent electronic sign stealing are being discussed; Max Scherzer weighs in – (The Athletic)
“'We need to come up with rules now that limit how many cameras we can have on the field, how much replay we can actually have,' Scherzer said. 'We’re trying to decide how much access players should have to that during the game.'"

2020 Fantasy Baseball: Washington Nationals Team Preview - (Sports Illustrated)
"The Nationals have been knocking on the World Series door since 2012, leading to five postseason appearances over eight years."



MacPhail: Phils would trade CBT for Wild Card - (
"President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail knows people will think what they want to think about the Phillies. They will form their own opinions."

Mets' Robert Gsellman seeking bounce-back year now that he's healthy - (NY Post)
"Before the Mets signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello in the offseason to bolster the rotation, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen had floated the idea that Gsellman or Seth Lugo could be moved to the rotation. Gsellman admits he was intrigued by the possibility."

Notes: Boxberger's feat; prospects take mound - (
"[Brad] Boxberger, who pitched for the Royals last year and was in the Minors with the Nationals and the Reds, had his fastball reach 96 mph in workouts for clubs this offseason."

Will Smith makes himself right at home as new Braves late-inning guy - (
"The whims of baseball have blown Will Smith all over the map. He’s been a Cedar Rapids Kernel, a Rancho Cucamonga Quake, a Northwest Arkansas Natural."