Monday, January 28, 2013

VIDEO: Rizzo one-on-one



Mark caught up with Mike Rizzo on Saturday at NatsFest in a one-on-one interview about the state of the Nationals as they head into the 2013 season. Rizzo is happy with the roster as it stands and is glad to be back around the players for the first time since the fall.

76 comments:

baseballswami said...

Rizzo never lacks confidence, does he?

Tony said...

Rizzo clearly lacks confidence when he goes clothes shopping. Perhaps he should be going to the Men's Wearhouse.

MicheleS said...

In Rizzo we trust. Good stuff Mark!

UnkyD said...

Tony... The Nats Rapture Snark

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Regarding the discussion of medical support from the prior thread, it may be of merit to note that the NFL is now being sued by 3400 former players for health related issues from injuries / traumas suffered as part of their employment as players. Art Monk is one of the plaintiffs.

A key part of their complaint is inadequate and/or faulty medical diagnoses and treatment of on field injuries, leading to permanent damage. There are some who think the proliferation those suits could eventually bankrupt the NFL. After the current flood of litigation is resolved, the next generation of traumatized players will file their own suits.

What recourse does a baseball player have now if improper medical treatment leads to a permanent inability to play, or permanent physical damage? One of these days a baseball player is going to make that case.

The Fox said...

Just saw this on Yahoo,

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/rule-change-third-first-fake-pickoff-move-now-033809715--mlb.html

Rule Change! Third-to-first fake pickoff is now officially a balk

Now I'm not a great fan of this fake and it rarely works but it isn't used so often that I think making it illegal will speed up the game so I'm trying to figure out why MLB decided to do this?

I know that technically a pitcher is not suppose to deceive a base runner but trying to pick a guy off base always has to have some deception? Will the make a fake throw to second illegal? There are plenty of examples of deception by the defense. I don't think it will make that much of a difference I just don't know why they decided to do it?

NatsLady said...

good to see someone is worried about Rizzo's fashion statement. Whew!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Like Peter Gammons says, "it's a maneuver intended to deceive which is the description of a balk. Now it is officially a balk".

It's a maneuver that has never been available to left handers. Now it's the same for both.

JD said...


Laddie,

They won't bankrupt the NFL but they are forcing the NFL to take more and more steps to show that it's trying to reduce injury risk which will eventually make it a flag football league and turn off the fans. Also as more data is brought forward the less likely parents are to let their kids play football at a young age. This is not something that will happen in a year or so but I think that the golden era of football is about to enter is golden years.

We've already come a long way from the days of 'jacked up' and other TV spots which glorified violent hits; the harder the better.

The Fox said...

NJ,

I guess, but unless they make the pitcher say "hey I'm throwing to first base" before he does his "move" is deceptive. In face that is what most announcers say about a pitcher who has a good move, He has a deceptive move.

I didn't know there was an outcry for making this play illegal? Usually, the fake is used to see if the runner on first is going to try and steal second its not to pick off the third base runner, yea deception again, but the game has plenty of deception and I rather not take it out of the game.

Hard to say how its going to be enforced? What would happen if a pitcher intended to throw to third and any other base runner broke for another bag? I guess the pitcher has to throw to third first now or it would be a balk, even if the guy on third breaks home because the rule says "a pitchers can no longer fake a pick-off throw to third base". Who is going to determine what a fake throw is. If the pitcher pulls back his arm and looks at third does he have to throw?

I guess we will see how it's enforced? I just don't see why they felt they needed to do this?

NatsLady said...

Good to know we have someone worried about Rizzo's fashion statements. Most people seem worried about Rizzo's trades and signings, but, whatever.

The Fox said...

Thinking about it more, It now seems that a fast base stealing runner on third with a LH pitcher on the mound, that would always have to throw to third and not home if he looked back the runner, would get a clear advantage, making stealing home a much better risk ratio than before.

For the rule to be fare the pitcher would always have to throw to first and never try and deceive the runner on first by throwing to another base. Why did third base become sacred?

I don't get it, I must be missing something?

Tony said...

A fake throw is when the pitcher makes a move but doesn't throw the ball. If the pitcher makes a move toward third and a runner breaks from another base, of course he can turn and complete the throw. The only time it's a balk is if he fakes the throw to third and then turns and throws or fakes a throw to first. The balk rule is designed to keep pitchers from deceiving runners and picking them off, not to keep them from trying to throw out runners who are attempting a steal.

Gonat said...

Clubhouse Confidential doing a great case for platooning players. They did a great analysis of John Jaso LH and Derek Norris RH in a platoon makes the combo a top offensive catcher.

Tony said...

Also, it's not a balk if the pitcher throws or fakes a throw to third and then proceeds to toe the rubber and starts to come set for a pitch. It's only a balk if he fakes to third and then fakes or throws to first.

MicheleS said...

Did anyone see the reports that Vasquez had to get his knee fixed? I thought I saw report that he needed minor surgery???

Gonat said...

Turn on Clubhouse Confidential as they cover whether this years Braves outfield is better than last years.

MicheleS said...

Ex Nat news: Nick the Stick is retiring

Jay Jaffe‏@jay_jaffe

bummed to hear about Nick Johnson retiring. .280/.408/.460 with Nats from 2005-2009 showed what he could do when healthy

Gonat said...

Michele, Vazquez had arthroscopic procedure and will be back to pitching in 3 weeks.

Gonat said...

Michele, probably the best for Nick. Lets hope the Nats snag him as an alumni to come back for NatsFest.

MicheleS said...

Gonat, just sad for him, that collision with Kearns just killed his career. Nick was the first autograph the degenerate nephew got..

Gonat said...

The analyst agrees that the Braves outfield on paper is not as good as last year but thinks that the potential is greater.

I'd agree and I think that's what some were saying that losing Bourn and Prado and replacing with the 2 Uptons is a drop in WAR and going from Chipper to Johnson is a big drop in WAR.

The Fox said...

Tony,

So the pitcher can still look at third pull his arm back spin and make a throw to first, that is what you think the rule says?

As written in the Yahoo article which may not be correct says, "pitchers can no longer fake a pickoff throw to third base." To me that would mean he would have to throw, maybe it means his arm just can't come forward? It should still give the runner on third a half step because if the arm comes forward and the pitcher is not facing home completely I would argue a balk.

Also please explain why the pitcher can fake a throw to second and then throw to first and that is not a balk. Why is third base so special?

Gonat said...

Clubhouse Confidential rates Jayson Werth 7th best of all righfielders in the Majors! Giancarlo Stanton was their #1

natsfan1a said...

Once more for me and my Chicago baseball buddy: Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiick...

MicheleS said...

Ex Nat news: Nick the Stick is retiring

Jay Jaffe‏@jay_jaffe

bummed to hear about Nick Johnson retiring. .280/.408/.460 with Nats from 2005-2009 showed what he could do when healthy
January 28, 2013 5:47 PM

natsfan1a said...

We often saw Nick and Jamey signing autographs for kids at RFK. Chad and Tex as well.

NatsJack in Florida said...

A pitcher can fake a throw to first or third base AFTER STEPPING OFF THE RUBBER SLAB.

Any fake to either of these bases while engaged with the rubber is a balk.

JaneB said...

Thank you to Nick Johnson for so many happy memories and hoarse throats.

The Fox said...

NJ,

That is the point, there already was a balk rule. Why did they need to make an extra balk rule for third base?

MLB has told the umpires to call the balk rule more but when they did fans got upset so the umpires stopped calling it as much.

Umpires could of called the fake third base play a balk if they had wanted to they just didn't, why?

I actually think there is some value in the play but if MLB didn't like it they had a rule in place. By singling out third base it now makes it different than all the other bases. It really depends on what an umpire thinks a fake throw is?

We will see it this makes any difference or not. It just wasn't needed and it sort of makes balks at first and second different than balks at third.

Not an argument just an observation.

MicheleS said...

For all the garbage with give him. Cutter Dykstra is engaged to Jamie Lynn Sigler. What happened to Turtle?

MicheleS said...

And for those on twitter here is Nick's account:

Nick Johnson‏@sexyfeet24

Tony said...

I believe the new thing in the balk rule is this: If a pitcher steps off the rubber, fakes to third and then turns and fakes or throws to first (i.e. that move that never, ever works) that is now a balk. I had always heard that this move is called from the bench, so how soon until a manager forgets and calls it and the pitcher forgets and does it?

Gonat said...

MicheleS said...
For all the garbage with give him. Cutter Dykstra is engaged to Jamie Lynn Sigler. What happened to Turtle?
___________________________________

Quite the find for Cutter Dykstra. We know what he makes which isn't much.

NCNatsie said...

I've long been in favor of simply eliminating the balk. Reasons: 1. nobody knows what it is anyway, including umpires. Who can explain it? Nobody I've ever heard, and this threat is just more evidence. 2. Because umpires don't know what a balk is, there is absolutely no consistency in the calls. 3. As others have mentioned, the very concept is a contradiction in terms. Of COURSE pitchers want to fool the runners as to what they plan to do.

What awful consequences would result if there was no rule against "balking" whatever it is?

NCNatsie said...

"thread", not "threat."

peric said...

sjm308,

Lots of questions about my cycling ... after yours? Very interesting coincidence ...

Yes, it is beautiful cycling here ... and surfing if you have a wet suit. I'm training to take my Surly Trucker Deluxe to the Abruzzi region.

Lots of cycling groups come through all the time hundreds of cyclists lots of $20,000 dollar bikes ...

The Fox said...

The Chicago Tribune has a story on it and I found it interesting that the players didn't want to change the rule and last year they vetoed it but this year there were enough managers to over rule it.

I do agree with Jeff Nelson who said the new rule could give the guy on first base a small advantage.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-27/sports/chi-mlb-balk-rules-20130127_1_rule-change-pitchers-runner

I don't want to beat a dead horse it just seemed unnecessary to make a new rule.

I did find out that the balk rule does not let a pitcher fake a throw to first, which surprised me. I did know you could not fake a throw home so now second base is it the only base you can fake a throw to as long as it is not considered deceiving the runner.

As for balks you should not be allowed to fake a throw home, that would piss off camera men. Otherwise I would get rid of it as long as there were no strange circus throws like throwing to fist and the ball somehow flies to third.

Section 222 said...

Ok, I'll try NCNatsie. Do you think it would be fine if a pitcher went through his whole motion, stepped toward the plate, faked his pitch to home, then immediately turned and threw to first, catching the runner off base who had taken his secondary lead? Wouldn't the game completely change if that were legal?

It may be a difficult call to make and there may be some inconsistency, but it's simply not true that the umps don't know what a balk is. There's a specific rule and they do alot of training and studying to understand it and apply it.

If you haven't watched/read this hilarious Baseball Prospectus piece on the FTTTTF (Fake To Third, Throw to First), it's worth your time. Very funny. RIP

Section 222 said...

Another thought on the balk rule. Getting rid of balks altogether would completely change the running game in baseball. Under the current rules, baserunners are taught to watch for certain cues, certain movements where they can be sure that the pitcher is going to pitch, not make a move to first. And there are certain movements that mean, "he going to first, get back!". All that would change if the balk rule was eliminated.

Section 3, my sofa said...

I played on a team in HS with a kid, right handed, who could make a perfectly normal-looking move toward the plate, and, without looking toward first at all, sidearm a perfect strike. Best natural athlete I ever knew. That move would pick off anybody. Total balk, obviously. He used to do it once in a while anyhow, just because he could. Bit of a head case, that guy. He also had a great slap shot.

The Fox said...

Section 222,

Thanks for posting the Baseball Prospectus FTTTTF piece. While it was not usually successful I will miss it. It's one of those strange plays that you learn from watching baseball for years and its cool to pass it down to new baseball fans.

The balk rule has always been a little arbitrary because it states the pitcher can't deliberately deceive the base runner.

What is the pitcher trying to due when he picks off the runner?

Baseball has plenty of deception in it why when trying to pick off a runner do we expect the pitcher to turn in to a perfect gentleman?

Sure you need some type of rule but when it becomes explicit that you can't fake a throw well most people can guess what that is but when it is deliberately deceiving the base runner that is a little more arbitrary. I liked it the old way better.

UnkyD said...

The balk isn't going anywhere... I'll bet there are sites and videos that will help you understand the rule, and it's attendant strategies. You may think you have a handle on it, but suggesting it be eliminated, and thinking the game of baseball would survive, in some recognizable form, indicates otherwise. Please take no offense, at my comment, I can see how the balk can be enormously confusing, and to be sure, it is one of the most subtle elements of the game. You may find your enjoyment greatly increased, with a little study on this subject...

#4 said...

A couple of thoughts on the balk rule:

1. This will make if easier to run a suicide squeeze v. a RHP.
2. This definitely gives an advantage to the offense in first and third situations. Under the old rule, the runner was forced to hesitate just a bit on his jump which in turn gave the catcher an extra instant to peek at the runner at ird before releasing the throw to second. That's all eliminated with this rule change.
3. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA and the National High School Fedration follow suit. This play is run with more success particularly on the HS level.

One thought on the line up. With a legitimate base stealer batting lead off, the #2 hitter should be a fast ball hitter with some pop. With Span on first and a threat to steal, catchers will call more fastballs. LaRussa did it with Larry Walker. Werth might be the right choice or Harper.

UnkyD said...

A basic explanation:

http://m.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-baseballs-balk-call-and-how-to-avoid.html

UnkyD said...

Happy Birthdsy!!! The balk is 115 years old, this year!!!

sjm308 said...

Peric: hope you appreciate that you can bike probably 300+ days a year while we here on the right coast are limited. Last time I surfed was some 35 years ago in the Virgin Islands. Not great waves but very consistent and we surely did not need a wet suit. Enjoy your activities as I am basically stuck in a gym for the next month or so.

sjm308 said...

UnkyD - while I am totally off topic, head over to the Sundlof guitar site and see the new guitar he just made for my son!! Pickups were wound by hand which apparently is just not done much anymore. Slight problem with the E fret but it should be fixed soon.

The Fox said...

#4,

I agree on the advantage for the offense and the suicide squeeze and on the double steal (first and third) even more so with a LH pitcher who has to worry more about third.

Stealing second puts a man in scoring position and and the rule of thumb is 75% success rate to make it worth it. The success rate for stealing home, especially with 2 outs would be a lot lower. Probably not worth it with one out?

I will have to see how the no fake throw is enforced before I'm sure abut this.

It's a very simple rule change but it will matter on how they enforce it.

sjm308 said...

Balks are all very interesting but my main concern for this season is that our pitchers learn how to hold runners, throw over enough to make them at least cautious about stealing and give our catchers an opportunity. This honestly was a weakness, not just in game 5 last year but pretty much all year long. Strasburg was actually one of the worst in my opinion. I don't know where to find stats on something like that and maybe they don't exist but I think it needs work.

UnkyD - let me know if my email worked.

Doc said...

Watch out Dr. Wiemi when those 2nd base guys start sueing, like NFL players, for rotator cuff injuries that are misdiagnosed as 'bone bruises'!!

peric said...

Watch out Dr. Wiemi when those 2nd base guys start sueing, like NFL players, for rotator cuff injuries that are misdiagnosed as 'bone bruises'!!

No, the real question is why not use contrast dye on all scans from the get-go? I've had enough of them and not one CT-SCAN was done without the silly dye ... yes it is kind of nasty stuff to inject in one's veins ... still you can't really get to the bottom of things without it even with advanced MRI technologies. Why would Rizzo let them get away without doing that? Or perhaps that isn't under his control?

peric said...

Peric: hope you appreciate that you can bike probably 300+ days a year while we here on the right coast are limited.

Having lived for a good bit of time in Savannah/Palm Coast Florida I'd almost have to say you would get more good bike riding weather days there ... yes it would get hot ... and yes its very, very flat which is why it is called the low country. But you could go pretty fast ... I bet I could get from Savannah to Hilton Head in pretty good time ... :)

So, I guess I'd rather cycle around the ocean and mountain of the Abruzzo ... but that's me ... better food. Lots of sunny days. Beautiful scenery. Ancient architecture et al.

peric said...

throw over enough to make them at least cautious about stealing and give our catchers an opportunity.

Apparently Soriano isn't good at this either ...

Scooter said...

I'm sorry I missed the balk discussion. As I understand it, the new rule is very simple: left-handers have never been allowed to fake a throw to first while on the rubber. Now, right-handers cannot fake to third while on the rubber. If the pitcher steps off, he can do whatever he wants -- he's a fielder. (I think that's true. I mean, maybe there's something he's not allowed to do, like strangle a puppy or something.)

I for one welcome the change. That stupid fake throw is incredibly annoying. It's tried hundreds of times a year, and it works one or twice. I remember it working for a Nat a couple-three years ago, and I was [vexed], because that meant now everyone would keep trying the [doggone] thing.

That last is, of course, just my own opinion. You're free to decide for yourself; there's no shame in being wrong.

Scooter said...

Oh, sjm, you should look here; check out the steals against Nats pitchers last year. The stats you want are sort of on the right-hand side of that group of stats. (It starts with the column labeled SBO.) You're right, Strasburg did poorly.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2012-pitching.shtml#players_basesituation_pitching::none

UnkyD said...

sjm: got the email... Gorgeous instrument! Your son now possesses an heirloom. Sadly, I attended a viewing, over the weekend, for a former bandmate, whose pride and joy had been an early Paul Reed Smith, which appreciated wildly, over the 20-25 years he had it... Best of luck to the boy, on his purchase...

Faraz Shaikh said...

Shocked to hear about Gio. I hope it is untrue.

Joe Seamhead said...

uh-oh...hopefully this is unfounded:
http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/

MicheleS said...

JoeS.. Read the full article, doesn't have a "NickName" like the others. And snot sure if that shot is a PED.

Faraz Shaikh said...

to be honest, there was nothing suspicious with Gio's season. big difference between his career numbers and last season was BB/9. he controlled that which yielded more Ks in result and better overall numbers. I am skeptical of this report. I don't think it is true.

Scooter said...

In case anyone is wondering: certain commenters have decided to move discussion to this post, because the blog's next post is of a rather sensitive nature, and it felt inappropriate to engage in our usual jabber over there.

Nice thought, guys. I just didn't want folks to have to jump back and forth to figure out where the discussion is.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm not going to jump to any conclussions on this current issue.

I will say, however, that I've felt the use of HGH and the subsequent testing will have an effect on alot of MLB players.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, Scooter.

Nor am I, until all the facts are known.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm not going to jump to any conclussions on this current issue.

Theophilus T. S. said...

The capacity of professional athletes for self-destruction, and self-illusion, never ceases to amaze.

I'm unclear whether under the CBA the Commissioner has authority to suspend for anything less than a positive test. Probably not, but somebody could enlighten me on this.

All of the evidence of this, including the written records, is hearsay, so by itself proves nothing. On the other hand, the cumulative hearsay in some cases, e.g., A. Rodriguez, is very persuasive. I'm selfish enough to hope that (A) Gonzalez is given a Scotch verdict ("guilt not proven") and (B) Rodriguez -- after nine years of post-confessional deception -- is determined to never be allowed within 100 miles of Cooperstown. The guy has either (A) an ego the size of Mt. Everest or (B) the IQ of a Brussel sprout.

As a non-baseball aside, the entire U of Miami athletic department should be shut down as a racketeer-influenced organization.

NatsNut said...

The article doesn't really make accusations, it just recounts the entries in notebooks and records. I can't imagine it would be completely fabricated though.
As much as I'd love to believe that none of my team's players could possibly ever stoop to the level of taking "enhancements," I've seen and heard enough in the past few years to know it will always be possible.
It's still super sad and disappointing.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Theo, depending on how you look at it fortunately/unfortunately MLB can suspend with sufficient evidence of delivery to a player of banned substances.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Faraz --

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Gonzalez thought shots would improve his control, he should have been disappointed with the results. For our sakes and the sake of the team, we should hope that -- if he has been verifiably outed -- the shots had absolutely no effect.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Amanda just posted on this issue. There is a real guilt by association thing going on here but there is nothing conclusive. When your name appears with ARod and Melky of course your eyebrow is going to be raised but Gio hasn't had any positive tests.

Who even knows what this Zinc/MIC is? Is it for losing weight?

Who has intel on Aminorip?

original Nats Fan said...

if you google AminoRip, it is a protein powder/ drink good for weight loss programs, among other uses. This would agree with what Gio's father said. let's wait to hear from Gio before we rush to judgment.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

http://aminoripcollagen.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=59

Here's a website for Aminorip. It looks like it is out in the open and could be an allowed supplement with no Anabolic properties or Human Growth properties to it.

MicheleS said...

Chase has put up a new post

Theophilus T. S. said...

Ghost --

Interesting. Speaking from an attorney's perspective, the journal entries regarding Gonzalez don't amount to "proof." "Proof," I think, would require signed receipts (typical credit card payments would not suffice), signed-for deliveries -- and even then there is the issue whether the packages/sales were as represented by the entries in the journals. IF the "chain of custody" claim in Braun's case -- and I have no idea how the chain of custody was in fact broken -- was sufficient to result in "exoneration," then I don't see how a violation in this instance could be "proved." Pending further developments, "murky" is better for Gonzalez and he should keep his trap shut. And work harder on finding the strike zone.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Here's what I found on MIC. It appears to be a weight loss supplement stimulating the liver.

http://www.drscottfox.com/mic-seattle-tacoma.htm

Yes, the guilt by association is not good but from I can see there is nothing Gio has to be worried about but his reputation being listed in conjunction with Bosch who seems to have distributed some questionable supplements.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Lets take this to the new post.

EmDash said...

Man, Gio's the last guy I'd expect it of, if only because - and this is probably a stupid reason - he's just not all that muscular-looking.

This page indicates that nothing in Aminorip is on the MLB-banned list, so it's possible nothing will come of it and that he really wasn't taking anything illicit. If so, I feel bad for the guy - no matter how the investigation turns out, this kind of allegation will linger over his whole career.

natsfan1a said...

That being the bullpen post, specifically.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Lets take this to the new post.
January 29, 2013 10:23 AM

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