Good Job, Rizzo, Please Leave

After pulling off a great trade with the Pirates, unloading some of the veteran talent and signing some pitcher, Mike Rizzo is reportedly being canned. Whaaaaaaa? Seems to me like if that you do everything that everyone expects of you, your job shouldn’t be in jeopardy. My first reaction is one of surprise and disappointment. After all, this just seems like more bumbling from a bumbling organization. But taking a step back, I realize that this decision was probably already made a few days ago, and the Strasburg signing wasn’t going to affect it either way. Additionally, I didn’t get to sit in those interview rooms, I don’t know what these guys are like, heck, I don’t even know what a GM in this organization is expected to do every day. So for me to say that Rizzo was the RIGHT hire and Dipito is the WRONG one is me going out of my element.

On the other hand, I am pretty bummed for Rizzo. He did all that was expected and more, which is alot for a Nats GM. He was classy, intelligent and a good representative for the franchise. I have a feeling he won’t have trouble finding work in baseball after his performance the last few months. He did alot more than just trade a few guys and sign a few others. He cleaned up the organization inside and made it a functioning one. It is amazing that his reward for all the work, regardless of the Strasburg deal, is walking papers. Then again, the Nats may have always seen him as a cleaner, not a permanent replacement, so I can’t say that this is completely insane.

Meanwhile, Who Is Jerry Dipito?

He’s possibly the new Nats GM, that’s who. dipotoActually, it shouldn’t come as a total shock if they hired him, since he was reported to be the frontrunner for the job just 4 days ago. Dipoto started out like the rest of us, as a baseball player, only he kept playing after he was 16 years old. He played relatively locally at VCU, then was drafted by Cleveland and played there as well as the Mets and the Rockies, and pitched for 8 seasons, retiring n 2001.

His baseball executive career is relatively short. He was with the Red Sox, working in the scouting department, from 2003-2004. From there he went to the Rockies as the Director of Player Personnel. When Josh Byrnes left Boston to be the GM in Arizona, he hired Dipito as the Director of Scouting Personnel. This year he was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel, his job was to oversee “all aspects of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pro scouting, including the evaluation of Major and Minor League talent.” So he knows baseball, and he knows players. Neither sounds like a bad thing. Working for organizations like Boston and people like Josh Byrnes isn’t a bad thing on your resume either.

My Reaction

What I don’t get is why everyone is so up in arms about this. I have seen reactions, and pretty much across the board, at least in blogs and people I have talked to, they think it’s insane. But really, what do we know about what these guys can do? Rizzo has done good work here, and that is worth something. Howver, maybe they see in Dipoto someone who can do great work. Again, I think it’s important to remember that if this is the decision, it was probably made well before the deadline signing of Strasburg.

I’m not saying Rizzo doesn’t deserve a chance , but this is, after all, a business. Like the Yankees shouldn’t roll Jeter out at SS when he’s 50 just because everyone likes him, and Boston shouldn’t bat Big Papi 4th in the lineup in perpetuity, the Nats don’t need to keep their front office in tact because of sympathy and good will.

Rizzo gets alot of sympathy from fans, and from me. Anyone with any competency would, after Bowden. Being honest and a class act helps that as well. But let’s not get carried away. He didn’t do anything too remarkable, not that he had the time, so to lament over his loss is a lament over potential, not the loss of someone who has already done great things. And I have no idea if Rizzo’s potential is any better or worse than Dipoto’s. So if he stays, and the rumors are false, I’ll be happy to give him a shot at continuing what he started and building a great team. If he goes, I’ll appreciate what he did and look forward to seeing the new guy in action.

That is why I am somewhat indifferent to the news. My gut tells me Rizzo should get the shot, if I was in charge I wouldn’t think to get rid of him. However, if the ownership of this team sees a superstar in Dipito, then I can’t argue with that. Loyalty is important, but not to the point of sacrifice, not when the goal should be winning a championship.

In other words, as an outsider looking in, I’d hire Rizzo full time, but I’m not going to begrudge this franchise if they don’t go that direction. Mostly, whatever end up happening, I’ll welcome the stability of having a full time guy.

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