Who is Mike Rizzo?

Stan Kasten decided not to name a new GM, an official acting GM or even an interim GM. But it seems that he did decide that Mike Rizzo will be, let’s call it, the New Acting Interim GM. Chico Harlan at the Washington Post got to interview him today, you can scroll past the Kasten speech (which includes the unfortunate news of Stan’s mother passing away – my sympathies to the Kasten family).

What’s he gotta do? Well, hopefully he’s working on signing Zimmerman to an extension, maybe trading some of their older players, trading some younger guys that might be overvalued, and scouting for the summer draft. It’s a busy time, and we’ll get a chance to see what he can do. Which is probably why he hasn’t been officially named – Stan wants to see what he can do as well.

Mike Rizzo Bio

Rizzo is currently the Assistant GM. He recently was given three days to revamp the Dominican Republic camp, and apparently succeeded at that. He’s a scouting guy, which may be what this team needs, but his little Dominican project probably gave Kasten heart that he can do more than just scout.

Here is what I wrote last week about Mike Rizzo:

He isn’t a Bowden protege, so it is not like replacing one guy with someone very similar. Mr. Rizzo was the Director of Scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2000-2006. He had alot of success with producing major league talent there, drafting and signing Brandon Webb (2000 round 8)  and Justin Upton (2005 round 1, #1). And Carlos Quentin (2003 round 1, #29) and Conor Jackson (2003 round 1, #19). And Mark Reynolds (2004 round 16), Chris Snyder (2002 round 2) and Micah Owings (2005 round 3). Nice group. Maybe 3 or 4 potential All Stars in addition to Quentin and Webb, who have already made it. Webb also has a little thing called a Cy Young award. For those of you who are paying attention to the youngsters, Rizzo was also responsible for drafting future stud Max Scherzer. He seems like the kind of guy you want around if you are building an organization from the ground up. And if you’re curious what direction their going to go under him, the DBacks drafted a ton of college players in the high rounds. Regardless of beliefs, this should change this year with the #1 pick, as Strasburg is a college player.

Rizzo came here a year after he was passed up for the Diamondbacks GM position. He wasn’t passed up for a no name, it was for Josh Byrnes. Byrnes was the assistant GM under Theo Epstein in Boston, and was there when they won their first World Series. Byrnes is a young guy, only 39 this year, and the Diamondbacks probably saw him as their future GM in perpetuity. While I’m not sure how old Rizzo is, I know he’s been in baseball close to 30 years. Unless he’s Bill Veeck, I doubt he’s only 39 after that time in the league. He was one of the final names for the Pirates GM job recently, and is very highly regarded in the league. I am guessing he’ll be named GM soon, but you never know, they may decide to seriously look outside the organization. Regardless, the Nats will soon have their second GM ever.

Also, he looks kinda like Billy Joel.

mike-rizzobilly_joel

It’s probably just in this picture, I don’t think the resemblance is normally there. However, I’m taking submissions for Rizzo’s nickname. So far I’ve come up with PECOTA Man and Uptown GM. I didn’t say they were good nicknames.

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