A Letter To Mike Rizzo

Dear Mikey,

I can call you, Mikey, right? Are we on that level yet? I hope so. Lord knows over the years we’ve called you many things on this blog. We’ve made cracks about your Tommy Bahama addiction, questioned if you are colorblind and as recently as this week we commented on your choice of sweater vests, a fashion you probably haven’t worn since your frat days at Lambda Lambda Lambda. We’ve pasted your head on to Mr. Freeze, the Lord Marshall from Chronicles of Riddick and made public callings for any photos real or otherwise of you dressed as an Oompa-Loompa. Hey, it happens to the best of us really. Especially if you look like Oswald Cobblepot.

But all that is in the past. Today I want to cross the river on a bunch of submerged rocks, meet you in the middle and shake your hand. Thank you, Mikey, thank you. Thank you for what you have done with this team. I don’t know how you did it. I don’t know how you took this used condom of a team and made it into the stud it is today. I’m sure you’ll go off on the dummy card answers of “building a good farm system” and surrounding yourself with the right people and players. Whatever. How did you really do it, Mike? How many virgins did you have to sacrifice?

No, don’t tell me. I understand. You have to keep some trade secrets to yourself. It made you the peacock of a man you are today and today I can see your plumage is in full bloom and rightfully so. You are the General Manager of the NL East Division Champions. Man, I can only imagine what that feels like and in such relatively short time too.

Do you remember the first time we met, Mikey? Do you remember that day? The first day I ever met you I think was back on a Bloggers Day at Nationals back in either 2008 or 2009. Stan Kasten was still with the team and he made a grand entrance into the blogger’s press box with you two or three steps behind probably silently wondering if any of the bloggers had any sort of communicable diseases. Teddy was in the box too and I remember thinking at the time you looked like a member of the Lollipop Guild standing next to the big cartoony brute. Kasten played the salesman of course. Any sort of technical info he handed over to you and you answered it with speed, charisma and intelligence. Everyone in that box quickly got the feeling that while Kasten owned the circus, it was actually your show.

But we both know talking the talk is different from walking the walk. So when you were hired as GM supreme, I found the move rather lackluster because at the time I felt the Nationals needed someone who wasn’t a cowboy (JimBo) but someone who could light a fire under the team’s ass. Face it, they were crap back then.

You’ve made mistakes. Admit it, you have. Nyjer Morgan. Matt Stairs. Brad Lidge. Yunesky Maya. Most likely Chien-Ming Wang. But you’ve had victories, small on the great scale of things, but when put together they created a formidable team, the first formidable team since what? The 1930s?

You’ve done good, Mikey. I just want you to know that. While we give you a bunch of guff on this blog (and we will continue to do so) we are pulling for you and hoping you know what you are doing. So far, it looks like you do and we appreciate your hard work.

However, don’t let this all go to your head. You still have work to do, this season and beyond. Right now we might be massaging your ego and sending you flowers, but you know baseball fans are a fickle bunch and you have to keep showing results and progress.

How quickly one can go from wearing the Nature Boy’s robes to having your head fitted to Jabba The Hutt. Just keep that in mind, Rizz. Congratulations again. I owe you a beer.

Sincerely with love and affection,

The NQ

Nats Falling In Standings Faster Than Tranquilized Bear

I promised you a bear this morning and I think the NQ has properly delivered.

Like bacon, bears are awesome and the only thing really stopping us from completely enjoying these epically delightful creatures (and this Internet sensation) is the elephant in the room and that elephant is the fact the Nats just got swept by the L.A. Dodgers, are on a four game losing streak and as you can see, the Nats have lost control of the NL East.

Hey, it is a long season. These things happen and it won’t be the last time the Nats will be on a losing streak, but damn if one thing doesn’t just jut out like a pool cue into your eye:

The sins of GM Mike Rizzo have finally caught up with the team.

The Bible says “Thou shall build a rotation worthy of His glory,” but at the same time it also says, “Thou shall not completely ignore the offense in the off season.” Obviously you have never read the Bible if you don’t already know this. It is in there. I promise.

I’ve been preaching this for quite some time.

There was simply no way the Nationals were going to be able to keep up that hot offensive force, especially with the likes of Mark DeRosa and Xavier Nady constantly being in your starting nine. When players like that are starting, you know the team has problems. Aside from a few pieces off the scrap heap and some recent rookie call ups, this line up is basically the same as the 2011 line up which had major problems putting the ball in play.

Of course, having Ryan Zimmerman and a host of others injured, guys like Danny Espinosa striking out faster than Adam Dunn blindfolded and Ian Desmond finally coming back down to earth doesn’t help either. Everyone is looking for the return of Michael Morse as if this will somehow solve all the Nationals offensive problems, but that is IF Morse can actually replicate his 2011 season of which there is no promise.

The 2012 Washington Nationals honeymoon is over. Now it is time to get down to the dirty gritty work of fixing things and working themselves out of their first rough patch of the season. How they respond will tell us plenty about the character of this team. It is easy to play the blame game and trust me, I know there are a lot of culprits (Gorzo, Lidge, Rodriguez, migraines), but if you really want to point the finger, point it at Mike Rizzo for the Nats and fans are only footing the bill Rizzo refused or was unable to pay in the off season.

As for the bear, someone asked why I post about bears so much. Simple. It is a life philosophy of mine that if you include a bear in any situation, life gets much more interesting.

Am I wrong?

Florida Can Be Tacky, Rizzo, But Not That Tacky

I understand. I really do.

You take the off season, do a little working out, get into shape, shed some baby fat and build a respectable Major League Baseball club; I understand wanting to reward yourself. You’re in Florida. You want to show off your new bod and toys.

But Mikey, that doesn’t give you license to wear this absolutely atrocious pink/purple/trout/blue collared shirt and flaunt all around Space Coast Stadium blinding the kids. I mean seriously, if I mated Barney the Dinosaur with a tiger and skinned it’s cub then maybe I would come close to getting a shirt like that. It certainly wasn’t hard to find you today and just because you later put on a Washington Senators hat it didn’t make it any less easy:

Oh and speaking of tacky, I highly suggest you never wear that shirt again. It attracts flies and former Nationals GMs. Yep, that is right, Cowboy Jim Bowden was in the house today and the two yakked it up all game like best friends forever:

I love that photo above simply for Jayson Werth’s head suddenly appearing in the shot. Normally that shirt would get the award for– the shirt of shirts or something– but I think I’m going to give it to this kid who today, whether intentional or not, wore a Kool Aid Man shirt to the game:

Good going, kid. Steal Rizzo’s thunder.

Mike Rizzo Tries To Be Brad Pitt And Signs Mark Teahen

Last week the Washington Nationals shocked the world by signing pitcher Edwin Jackson (who shunned the Pirates to come to the Nats) and then flipped the bird to Philadelphia fans who still can’t understand why no one likes them. Everyone braced for a follow-up this week and it finally arrived Monday afternoon as the next logical step is of course to sign infielder Mark Teahen to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

Yeah, that Mark Teahen. He is still around. Last season, in 27 games with the Toronto Blue Jays Teahen totally Mendoza’d out with a soul crushing .190 batting average. He can play multiple positions however and is viewed as nothing more than another warm body trying to root himself onto the Nationals bench.

Really… Edwin Jackson to Mark Teahen. The Nationals certainly know how to run the gantlet of transactions.

Rumor has it GM Mike Rizzo got this idea after he read some book called “Moneyball” written by Brad Pitt who also recently portrayed himself in the movie of the same name. In the book, Teahen was supposed to become the next Jason Giambi.

This no doubt excited Rizzo and Rizzo looks in the mirror and thinks he looks like Brad Pitt so he put two and two together and waa-la!

We are lions!

Your Nationals Dispatch: Sick Day Make-Up Edition

I’m probably at 90% health right now after a vicious night of fever hallucinations so bare with me.

Actually, don’t. I have enough to catch up on today as is. I could tell you all about all the zombies, butter monsters and how the trees all came alive last night, but you don’t come here for that. Let’s just go straight into–

Your Nationals Dispatch.

The Nats Are Sort Of Number One – Baseball America released its 2012 Prospect Handbook and would you believe it? The Nationals have the #1 Farm System in MLB. The team has made some extraordinary strides in this department considering just five years ago they were ranked dead last. However, the catch is these rankings were made before the Gio Gonzalez trade where they gave up four prospects so they probably rank a little bit lower. Updated farm grades will be released in mid-March.

So the Nats don’t really have the number one farm system and they will fall in the rankings, but I don’t think they’ll fall too far. The 2011 Draft Class was a monster and all they really gave up for Gio was two September Cinderellas, a good catcher and a pitcher that “maybe” will turn into someone someday. I am sure Mike Rizzo’s Tommy Bahamas are bursting at the buttons with pride just the same.

Mike Rizzo Wrote An E-Mail – Not long after the Nationals Farm System was named “Number One” by Baseball America, Nats beat writer Bill Ladson somehow intercepted a top secret, coded communication from Mike Rizzo to various scouts and developmental heads in the organization thanking them for all their hard work. The e-mail comes straight from Rizzo’s bunker hidden deep in the catacombs of Nationals Park.

Actually, he probably just wrote it on his Blackberry or something. I just added all that cloak-and-dagger stuff because it sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is.

Nationals Sign Chad Durbin – Remember when former GM Jim Bowden was accused of doing too many trades with the Cincinnati Reds and former team president Stan Kasten had a hard on for anyone from the Atlanta Braves? It seems Rizzo has a man-crush on anyone who comes from the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals signed reliever Chad Durbin to a minor league deal with Spring Training invite. Durbin appeared in 56 games with a 5.53 ERA for the Cleveland Indians last season.

Rizzo trying to get the 2008 Phillies gang back together? Now when they bus the animals down from the City of Brotherly Puke to Nationals Park it will be like riding in a time machine for them. WEEEEEEEEEE!1.21 GIGAWATTS!!!

John Lannan Wants His Money – The Nationals and starter John Lannan had an arbitration hearing on Wednesday and the results of the meeting won’t be announced until sometime today (Thursday). The Nationals were offering Lannan $5 million while Lannan countered with $5.7 million.

Oh, so a guy gets his nose busted in 2011 by a ball hit right back at his face and suddenly he has delusions and contusions of grandeur. I once broke my nose on my computer monitor after headbutting it after a particularly bad Nationals performance and do I get paid more for it? No. Now that I think on it, it was a John Lannan performance. THAT GUY OWES ME MONEY!

UPDATE: The Nationals defeated John Lannan in arbitration. Lannan will now make a measly $5 million in 2012. Poor, Johnny Boy. How will he ever feed Tiny Tim and the rest of the family?

And that is Your Nationals Dispatch.

Yu FAIL

Adam Kilgore of the Nationals Journal of the Washington Post of Washington D.C. broke the news that we all don’t want to hear, but really in our hearts of hearts knew to be true: the Washington Nationals did not put a bid in on stud Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. Nope, not one bid. Not a single penny. Not even a petty attempt to even insult the guy with a blatant “nothing to lose” bid that had no hope of winning. They didn’t even try. Bill Ladson confirms this.

Absolutely lame.

It isn’t losing Darvish that is so mind-numbing infuriating. Japanese pitchers are hit or miss (mostly miss) and paying over $50 million just to talk to the guy? Would you pay $100 just to give your order at a McDonalds drive-thru? I didn’t think so. No, what really is piss on my boots about all this is the Nationals continued inability to really do anything to remain progressive in the off season into 2012. That September 2011 good will and momentum has already been crushed by stagnation. GM Mike Rizzo preaches that they are open to all ideas and will pay for their needs when they discover them. Well, Nats need a starting pitcher. What was Mark Buerhle? What was Yu Darvish? Why aren’t you paying for your needs, Rizzo?

They didn’t even try so they could pretend they did. The chimps are beginning to throw the poo on the wall for the whole world to see now and they are not even hiding it anymore. If maintaining silence about bidding and the process is seen as some sort of shield from telling other teams what the Nationals are up to and what kind of organization Washington is, then I wonder what they are getting from the Nationals complete lack of seeming to want to do anything but go into 2012 with nearly the same 2011 roster.

But here is some news the Nats and Rizzo hope will make you happy, that will hopefully make up for the disaster this off season has been thus far: they signed reliever Jeff Fulchino to some unique split contract that no one seems to know anything about. Fulchino had a 16.20 ERA last season if I am reading Baseball-Reference right and sometimes has a lush red beard growing.

Perfect signing for these Nationals. Bottom-of-the-barrel signing, cheap and has a possible beard that can be written about constantly with beard updates, probably led by the soon to be created @JFulchsBeard twitter handle.

I can’t wait for Spring Training.

Your Nationals Dispatch: A Night Of Joe Cocker Edition

Wooo! What a night!

Yesterday afternoon the Nationals finished off their final series of the season with the Atlanta Braves and the last home game of 2011 with a 3-0 shutout of the Choking Tribe. The NQ staff and I held a “Nats Irish Wake” where we weren’t sitting around moaning about the end of the season, but we were instead going hard on grilled chicken and cases of beer. It was wild and wonderful night where the frustrations, enlightenment and joy-joy feelings of the 2011 season all burst forth in primal, exaggerated emotions and actions. I captured some of the essence of the night in my most recent Monday Nats Feature over on SB Nation D.C. if you want to go check that out.

The night got damn rowdy after awhile and it was highlighted by my attempt to impersonate John Belushi’s impersonation of Joe Cocker (seen above). Like pickled slobs, arms around each others shoulders, we broke out into Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” and I through myself into a spastic twirl that nearly caused me to faceplant myself. For the rest of the song I just flopped around on the floor like a fish thinking I dislocated something.

Yeah, I totally haven’t been enjoying myself and the Nats season. I think the NQ will now hold a Nats Irish Wake every season on the day of the last home game. I was an epic time, almost as good as–

Your Nationals Dispatch.

Davey Johnson May Work For Food In 2012 – The Nationals will be conducting yet another MLB mandatory manager search in their quest to finally find a skipper that sticks to the bottom of the organizations pan. Names on the list include third base coach Bo Porter and Triple-A Syracuse’s Randy Knorr, but at the top of that short list is none other than the one and only– Davey Johnson!

I know, kind of boring. It reminds me of that Magic’s Secrets Revealed series that took place back in the 90s with a masked magician who did incredible illusions, but when it came time to reveal who he was it was the Magician Valentino, some guy no one had ever heard of and it was totally disappointing. Everyone was hoping it was Blackstone, David Copperfield or Bela Lugosi.

Meanwhile, Bo Porter Will Work For Food – Third base coach Bo Porter interviewed for the vacant 2012 Florida Marlins manager job on Monday. It is the second time Porter has interviewed with Florida and has history with the team as he worked for them from 2005 to 2009. Manager Davey Johnson commented that he hoped the interview went well for Porter, but hopes to keep the band together in 2012.

What is it about Bo Porter? No one can tell me any reason why he should be leading a MLB team other than he is “such a nice guy and deserves a shot.” I remember really early in the season Porter making some boneheaded calls on starting and stopping players on the bases. He has improved, but other than the times he throws himself onto the grass and flails around screaming for a player to slide, I just don’t see the excitement behind the guy. Feel free to educate me.

Mike Rizzo’s Christmas List – GM Mike Rizzo discussed what the Nationals potential needs will be this off season and what he will be asking Santa Claus recently and basically he is just pulling out his old list from 2010: an everyday outfielder w/bat, a front-line starting pitcher and upgrading the bench.

Considering it is the same list as last season and Rizzo is going to try again, you can make the safe guess Rizzo was very naughty last year.

The Nationals Right Field Is A Life And Money Sucking Black Hole – According to Thom Loverro. That also includes current $126 million outfielder Jayson Werth. Interesting read whether you agree with it or not.

Any article is possible gold if you can mention Jose Guillen, Austin Kearns and Jayson Werth all in the same article and not facepalm yourself.

Strasburg Will Be In The Dreaded Plastic Bubble In 2012 – The Washington Nationals will have future ace and total pitching freak Stephen Strasburg on an innings limit in 2012. Oh, we need to go to the tape and get the goods from GM Mike Rizzo himself because he is always in the know:

“I’ve already calculated it, semi-calculated it, in my mind with our medical staff and our pitching people,” general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday. “We’ve already discussed it.”

Rizzo didn’t say what Strasburg’s limit will be.

STORY OF THE YEAR!!!

And that is Your Nationals Dispatch.

NimboSTRAStus Cloud Watch

The rain started about 15 minutes after the Washington Nationals 7-2 spanking of the L.A. Dodgers on Monday. All game the sky threatened and even released a little of God’s juice, but the Nationals completed their pummeling of the Dodgers in fine style. Not long after, Nationals Park nearly disappeared into a torrential downpour.

And it hasn’t stopped. Literally the whole East Coast is having a new ocean dumped on top of it. Earthquakes, hurricanes, biblical storms… hasn’t the Best Coast suffered enough?

Apparently not.

The storms have not relented and with a quick look at the Washington forecast you can see that the chances of “Stephen Strasburg Strikes Again” are very, very slim. Strasburg was scheduled to return to the Majors Tuesday night after spending a year recovering from Tommy John surgery. People, like, really wanted to go to this game….

And they still might have to.

GM Mike Rizzo went on the MLB Network not too long ago and said that the decision to postpone the game would not come- until Nationals fans get in their cars, burn some gas, pay for parking, get through the gates in the cold, miserable, wet, buy a hot dog, buy a beer, get a personalized jersey and get to their seats- before totally cancelling the game in their faces. That is right. “The Decision” will be made until 7:05 P.M. game time. On top of it, Rizzo says that if Tuesday’s game is cancelled then Strasburg will be scheduled to pitch in one of the games in a Wednesday doubleheader….

They are just setting themselves up for a public relations sh**storm aren’t they?

UPDATE @ 4:13 P.M. – The dashing, luscious, sunshine on my cloudy day Kelli Johnson from Comcast said that Nationals Manager Davey Johnson told her the grounds crew told him they don’t see a window in this weather where the game could be played. And this grounds crew should know because there hasn’t been a better grounds crew since Bushwood.

UPDATE @ 4:19 P.M. -

And what happens if and when tomorrow’s game(s) are rained out? Smells like another mystery is afoot!

UPDATE @ 6:03 P.M. – Sorry, had to step out for some Belmont BBQ. What? A blogger has to eat too.

Gates to Nationals Park are open as the tarp is off the diamond, but still on the field as grounds crew work some water. No official word yet, but it is known that if there is a delay tonight (or conditions seem intolerable, which chances are they will be) Strasburg will NOT pitch tonight. In his place will be recent call up Brad Peacock which in itself is exciting, but if the Nationals think they aren’t going to have a bunch of raging, pissed off fans because they replaced the rooster with a Peacock, then they have another thing coming.

UPDATE @ 6:18 P.M.According to Jerry Crasnick the tarp is still off the field, there is no rain, but the sky is dark, the wind is blowing, Mike Rizzo has gone into the umpire’s chambers to either discuss what is going on or have a couple of shots of bourbon and chances are the wolves on Capitol Hill are howling. It all makes for the most boring, cliche mystery movie ever made.

UPDATE @ 6:40 P.M. – After ten minutes of pathetically looking at the Nationals dugout steps, Stephen Christburg emerged! Currently he is throwing warm-up pitches in the bullpen which technically all but guarantees that he will throw Tuesday night and the Nationals will have a mess of pissed off fans who didn’t make it and won’t appreciate the Nationals pushing this game through on their dime. The game is slated to start on time. Incredible.

UPDATE @ 6:53 P.M. – STRASBURG IS LONG TOSSING AT NATIONALS PARK! STRASBURG IS LONG TOSSING AT NATIONALS PARK! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHH!!!

UPDATE @ 6:56 P.M. – MASNs Debbie Taylor reports that Strasburg might be pulled from starting even if it begins to “sprinkle.” That Debbie Taylor- sort of a buzzkill, but great legs and smile.

UPDATE @ 7:05 P.M. – Game on as Strasburg gets a standing ovation from the few people that showed up on time. Can’t believe he is out there. It is like looking at the sun…

This concludes the weather watching portion of the blog tonight.

This Is What Happens When The Nuts Run The Nat House

It has been a pretty tough month for Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.

First his Grandfather passed away on May 15th to which the NQ offers our condolences. Then the baseball team he made out of clay and bubble gum stopped hitting. This was followed by him going after some hack job New York umpires who then ratted him out by picking his head shot off the Nationals media guide. Then I called him Baron von Frankenstein on MASNsports.com. To top it all off, Rizzo then had a meeting with Joe Torre (always a good time I’m sure) and then he was “disciplined” for his involvement in the New York thing which could mean any number of strange and horrible things: he probably got told not to do it again and lost his special parking spot for a week.

Now, Ken Rosenthal published an article talking about how the Nationals aren’t looking for scapegoats, which I agree to an extent, so far they aren’t, but the article had the side effect of making the guys who run the team (Rizzo and Manager Jim Riggleman) look completely delusional and lost. You don’t need to read the whole article to laugh (or cry). Here are the important quotes:

“We’re playing terrific baseball except for the fact that we’re struggling with runners in scoring position,” Rizzo says.”

Editors Note: Adam Kilgore from the Nationals Journal later absolutely burned Rizzo by offering up these stats on his Twitter feed not long after: “Mike Rizzo says Nats’ main issue is hitting w/ RISP. Nats totals: .228/.300/.359 w/ RISP: .223/.318/.362.” Word, Kilgore.

The performance level with runners in scoring position hasn’t been good. But it’s not due to any lack of work, caring or trying. It just hasn’t happened yet. But I think we’re getting closer and closer every day.” ~ Jim Riggleman

“I like the way we’re playing. We’re playing clean baseball.” ~ Riggleman

“We’re played good enough baseball to be way better than our record indicates.” ~Riggleman

“They will go through peaks and valleys,” Rizzo says. “But one thing I’ve witnessed: They could easily take their offensive woes to the defensive side, and that hasn’t happened. Quite the opposite has happened. These guys have played very well defensively.” ~Mike Rizzo on Ramos, Espinosa, Desmond

“We still feel very good with our young core of players. They’re getting valuable experience now in the big leagues and we’re going to be better for it.” ~ Rizzo

Anyone who has been paying any attention lately knows how ridiculous this all sounds. It is like someone opened the doors on the nuthouse and they are all running around free, running baseball teams. Either Rizzo and Riggleman are legitimately insane, they are trying to pull a fast one on the fan base or they haven’t been paying attention. It is probably a combination off all of the above. Say and pretend all you want, but the proof is in the product on the field. The NQ sees it. Other blogs and writers see it. The fans see it. Opposing teams see it. The only two people not seeing it are the two guys that really need to wake up and SEE IT and this team and the struggles for what they really are.

It is unfortunate they don’t or refuse to. Ultimately it is hurting the team.

You’ve had a tough month, Rizzo, but it is only going to get tougher down the line. Have a cold one on me tonight, Rizz. Send me the bill.

Mike Rizzo Is Wanted In Connection With Putting Together A Crappy Team

The Washington Nationals were swept by the New York Mets in a two-game mid-week series that saw the Nats lose both games 1-0, leave the Big Apple without scoring any runs and plummeting them back into the NL East cellar.

And before Mets fans (and a certain special Mets fan that visits this blog) get cocky, the Nationals were also screwed over by one of the worst umpiring botch jobs in recent memory and New York fans know that too. I’ll let Bill Ladson put the controversial play into words for me because frankly I am feeling a bit lax after some Jack Daniels. Hey, it is the end of the world tomorrow. Might as well indulge.

“… the controversial play at first base in the ninth inning, when Jayson Werth was called out at first base. Werth hit a smash to third baseman Justin Turner, who made a backhanded play and threw the ball to first baseman Daniel Murphy. Werth clearly beat the throw and Murphy’s foot was not on the bag. However, first-base umpire Phil Cuzzi called Werth out. Manager Jim Riggleman and Werth argued the call.”

That is kind of boring. It’s not like the Nats haven’t been victims of screw jobs before so it is a waste posting it– as long as there isn’t something else to the story. Is there? There is!

It seems that after the game not only did catcher Ivan Rodriguez have to be restrained from getting in the faces of the umpiring crew, but it also seems that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo somehow entered the conflict. He too had words with the umpiring crew and whatever was said must have pissed them off royally because now Mets security and the MLB are looking for a bald guy in a suit to question him about the whole affair:

Immediately after the game, one of the umpires told Mets security guards outside their dressing room to “find the guy in the suit,” apparently referring to Rizzo. Mets security VP Rob Kasdon arrived a few minutes later armed with a Nationals media guide to pore over headshots to identify Rizzo, sources said.

Only the Mets would be so mind-numbingly ridiculous to go running around looking for a media guide to produce head shots of the perp. Fortunately, the NQ satellite caught footage of the man in question and have posted it above.

My God this all sounds so stupid, but I really would love to know what Rizzo said to get the umps fearing for their lives. Rizzo has already spoken to Major League Baseball’s vice president of on-field operation Joe Torre about the incident and is leaving it in his hands. Rizzo has no comment on the matter except the conversations with the umpires had nothing to do with the play on the field…. Oh, come on. Everyone knows that is a lie. What, Rizzo? Did you just happen down on the field right after the game to invite Phil Cuzzi to a game of putt-putt golf? I can’t even fathom it. I can’t picture him doing anything but going down there to deliver a piece of his mind.

And why not? Rizzo’s multi-man mutant baby put together 18-innings of scoreless NY baseball and made him look completely off his nut. The Nationals team that he created was on the ropes and with no cavalry arriving anytime soon, it was only a matter of time before the volcano blew from the pressure. I guess I would want to vent to someone, anyone too. And that is what this is: misused and misdirected anger. The issue is not the blown call. The Nats should have produced runs so they wouldn’t be put in such a position as to have some hack ump make such a terrifically horrific call. The issue isn’t even the umpires.

The problem is what the problem has always been: the Washington Nationals.

The fans are pissed, the team is utterly confused, the coach has no ideas on what to do and the GM can’t reign in his own creation and is lashing out…

Just another night in Natstown.