Meet the New Boss: Nats Introduce Rizzo as G.M.

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, August 20, 2009 | , , , , | 0 comments »

Screenshot courtesy and Comcast Sportsnet.

From the Press Release:

The Washington Nationals today announced the promotion of Michael A. Rizzo to the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager.

Rizzo, a 26-year veteran of professional baseball, joined the Nationals in 2006. Since March of this year, he has served as the team’s acting General Manager. During that time, the Nationals promoted Jim Riggleman to Manager and successfully signed first round draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen. As Assistant General Manager and Vice President Baseball Operations, the Nationals entire scouting operation fell under his domain, including Major Leagues, professional scouting and international talent.

“Since Mike is one of my favorite people, this is one of the easiest and happiest announcements I’ve ever had to make,” said Stan Kasten, President of the Washington Nationals. “Mike was one of the architects of our plan to be competitive long-term and the last few months have only proven that there’s no one more capable than Mike of continuing our vision for the franchise. This move gives the team organizational continuity and demonstrates to Major League Baseball and our fans in DC that we’re committed to the strategy for building a perennial winner.”

“Without question, Mike Rizzo has proven his capabilities as a talented and effective baseball executive,” said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner. “In every possible respect, he has earned this promotion. Mike’s professionalism during recent negotiations, his steady demeanor day-in and day-out, his intelligent, thoughtful decision making process and consistently positive attitude, make him the obvious and appropriate choice for GM. Mike Rizzo reflects and exemplifies the integrity of our franchise. This is a good day for the Washington Nationals.”

During his remarks at the press conference, Rizzo listed as priorities for the major league club acquiring a veteran starting pitcher, stabilizing an improving bullpen, and acquiring more speed and defense.

Rizzo also stated the team was not in a hurry to name a permanent field manager, saying "We'll address the manager decision after the season." He did complement interim manager Jim Riggleman, but told reporters that he wants to find the "permanent man for the job." Riggleman will be considered for the permanent position.

Team president Stan Kasten remarked that he's known for the "last couple of weeks," that Rizzo was the man for the job, and that the Strasburg signing had no impact on the decision, or the timing. Kasten joked, "Mike bailed me out on Monday," in reference to the timing of the decision.

Both men praised the Lerner family and the organization for providing the tools and resources necessary to build the Nationals into a title contending club.