Thanks for nothing, Rizzo.
Apparently signing the biggest prospect in years to a deal that's below what anyone really though possible isn't enough. The Nationals are about to dump the interim tag from GM Mike Rizzo -- but they're also going to take those initials away, too. The team is on the verge of hiring Jerry Dipoto as their GM, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Dipoto is currently the Arizona Diamondbacks director of player personnel, which somewhat ironically, was Mike Rizzo's old job. Most people, though, remember Dipoto as a major league reliever before retiring with a neck problem after the 2000 season.
Dippy (who went to Virginia Commonwealth) joined the Red Sox as a scout before moving on to Colorado and then to Arizona, where he rapidly climbed the ladder. He's highly regarded and always shows up in articles on future GMs. He's clearly qualified.
But why dump Rizzo? Didn't he turn the team around and isn't he responsible for getting Strasburg done on time and on budget?
All valid points, but Rizzo seems to be benefiting a bit from a halo effect with his time here. Because he's not Bowden, it's easy to single him out as being a good GM.
So it's especially important to isolate the actual things he's done from the emotions involved with the former failed GM.
He remade the bullpen, but some of the arms he brought in initially failed.
He's badmouthed his players. That plays well with the fans, but ripping Stephen Shell's aura or staying that he was "tired of watching" Danny Cabrera pitch (even if it's exactly what we were all thinking) isn't really professional.
Rizzo deserves credit for the Nyjer Morgan trade, but he's also benefiting greatly from the hottest hot streak of Morgan's career (all the while over-blowing the trade's importance and driving the phrase 'hockey mentality' to the ground.)
Rizzo shouldn't simply be handed the job because he's not Bowden and because Strasburg was signed. Rizzo should get the job because, after an exhaustive search, the Nationals have found that he's the best man for the job.
And if the Yahoo! Sports report is correct, the team apparently came to the opposite conclusion.