Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Rizzo Q&A

Bill Ladson had a Q&A with Mike Rizzo yesterday, and he certainly spouted plenty of GM-y cliches, but between those he actually kind of shared some information.

Asked whether the team was going to trade an outfielder, he kind of babbled cliches for a bit, but then wound up with this: "We are going to be smart. We are going to do our due diligence and get a player who is going to impact us this year and throughout the next few years." I'll take that as a yes.

Asked about the bullpen, he said: "I think we are going to explore all of those possibilities. I do think we have in-house candidates to put together a good bullpen. There is a possibility that we go out and get an established bullpen guy." Good. Will Ohman or Joe Beimel would fit nicely, thank you.

Asked what he likes about the current team, he blabbed about some clubhouse chemistry pablum, and then said, "I like the core group of guys that we have. We don't have issues that we had in the past -- guys that are bringing us down in the clubhouse." Oh yeah! Punked! I'm looking at you FLop and PLod!

Then right at the end, he said, "We are looking to change the culture in Washington, D.C. We want to be a well-respected, well-run, functional organization." Yikes--change the culture to functional? Maybe a little too honest there, Rizz.

The thing I didn't like in this interview was this answer to a question about how he interacts with Stan: "I want to get to the position where he gets to do the job that he is supposed to do as the president of the team. I want to get to the point where he trusts that I'm handling the day-to-day activities in a great manner." If Rizzo doesn't feel Stan trusts him, we're in trouble. I'm sure that's not how he meant it, but I just don't like the sound of this quote.


Positively Half St. said...

I hope he remains open, but you are right that he is going to have to develop a bit more political awareness in his speech. You can't embarrass your boss, even if he is used to his GM doing just that.

Joel said...

In regards to the quote at the end, to be fair, Rizzo has only had the day-to-day job of running the team for like 6 minutes; it takes a little longer than that to earn the, "okay this guy isn't going to screw everything up," trust level of your superior.

Even at McDonald's the new cashier has someone standing over their shoulder making sure they get it right for the first couple days.

Hendo said...

Gee, the poor guy just can't win. Which do we want -- candor or "GM-y cliches"?

I'll take the candor -- which, like you, I don't think was meant to embarrass Kasten, but rather was intended to be an honest recognition of his need to continue to help the team put forth a better organizational front and more effective effort. Where the candor would go over the line is if he were speaking on his own rather than as a member of the management team, and I don't detect that. (Cf. Bowden, and also Larry Lucchino and Dan Duquette in their more candid moments.)

The reference to due diligence especially resonates with me. If the team can avoid more Majewskiesque farces, that's a huge win right there.

estuartj said...

I think you're reading too much into this, regarding trades I think he's saying we're not goinng to just dump a player, but they are looking at possibilities and will make a move IF it's for a quality player who will be part of the long term plan.

As for the trust issue, all he is saying is that he's working hard to make sure Kasten has faith in him and can trust him. He didn't say he doesn't have it, only that he needs to do good work to earn that trust.

Remember these are baseball guys, not professional press officers in the White House or Capitol Hill.

Sky said...

Did you get my email, Steven, about your availability for a live chat tomorrow? Just making sure it didn't go straight to spam. Send me an email...