Jose Rijo Takes "Leave of Absence"

Posted by Dave Nichols | Saturday, February 21, 2009 | , , , | 2 comments »

Jose Rijo, Special Assistant to General Manager Jim Bowden, has taken a leave of absence from the team.

According to team President Stan Kasten, "With all the questions swirling and all the work being done still on this matter, we felt it would be a good time [for Rijo] to be away from here."

Rijo said that he felt like a distraction to the team, and added that his mother was battling liver cancer. "I had better ways to make use of my time."

I don't want to make light of any of this situation. There is a lot of information that is still yet to be uncovered. But if the team (or Rijo) is using his mother's situation to make Rijo invisible during the ongoing investigation, it would be an absolute crime. If Rijo's mother is that ill, what the hell was the "Special Assistant to the General Manager" doing at spring training to begin with? It's not like he's a coach on the field or anything.

Look, here's the thing: Rijo's fingerprints are all over this thing. The kid was discovered at his camp. His childhood friend trained him. He recommended the player to Bowden. And then the Nats threw $1.5 million away. Then the FB-freakin-I and MLB officials investigated the whole shooting match.

The White Sox have already fired scouts that were involved in the bonus-skimming investigation, just to cut ties with them, though no charges were filed. Why won't the Nats do the same thing? They continue to be the laughingstock of the league, finding themselves in these types of situations, and then do nothing to exacerbate or distance themselves from the problem.

I'm all for due process, but the longer this soap opera spirals out of control the more damage it's doing to the organization.

2 comments

  1. Willie the Groundskeeper // February 22, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

    You're right about Rijo. I alsothink that Mr. Bowden isn't pristine in this whole thing either.

  2. An Briosca Mor // February 23, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.