Citing being "a fan of continuity", Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten today announced that Assistant GM Mike Rizzo will assume the duties of General Manager of the Washington Nationals, while not actually being named General Manager of the Washington Nationals.

Kasten indicated that there was no timetable in naming a permanent successor to Jim Bowden, ousted last weekend from the position.

"But Mike is a guy that I have a lot of confidence in, our owners have a lot of confidence in, and at some point I have to do a search and a search will progress, but I don't feel in any rush at all.

There's no particular urgency or timetable for that. I will tell you guys, the surest way to know somebody is a candidate is to not read his name anywhere. If you see someone's name, you know he is not a candidate. I'll let you all figure that out.

But I don't have a timetable on this. As I said, don't feel any urgency. Because especially this week, we've seen it move so smoothly, work so well with the rest of the staff, be so comfortable for the rest of the staff, and a little bit of calming, rather than more change now, is what we need best. --Stan Kasten, via Nationals Journal

According to Kasten, Rizzo will be the point person for the organization with regards to trades, personnel and scouting, with Kasten and ownership as the last say on all matters. And of course, Kasten had to get one more jab in there about rumors of candidates names.

Does this amount to a try out? Kasten indicated that Rizzo would be "the face" to the rest of the GMs in baseball, but also said that ownership would look to Kasten himself for "final decisions".

So it looks like a certain amount of dysfunction will be associated with the day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future, but it beats what the Nats had previously.

Hopefully Kasten's search will result in the right person being hired for the position sooner than later, and if it's Rizzo, great. And I know that Kasten is doing all he can to circle the wagons and get everyone on the same page, which I think is great. But I know I'll be a little more comfortable once the decision on the GM is final.

During the press conference, Kasten announced that his mother passed away this morning from Alzheimer's. Nationals News Network wishes to express our most sincere condolences to Mr. Kasten and the rest of his family.


  1. Anonymous // March 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

    "So it looks like a certain amount of dysfunction will be associated with the day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future"

    Only if you think a strict chain-of-command structure is ever at play in any major league front office, which it isn't. Kasten pretty much confirmed that in his answer to the question about whether Rizzo would have full approval authority when he said that all GMs have to get approval from club owners/presidents all the time. Thus, if the current setup of the Nats FO works the way Kasten laid it out today, it's not dysfunctional. This is MLB, not the military.

  2. Dave Nichols // March 4, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

    granted, but it's still a less-than-ideal situation with Rizzo doing the work, but not having the title or authority, of GM.

    thanks for the comment, anon.