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MLB investigating ump incident with Rizzo

May 20, 2011, 2:13 AM EDT

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball will review a report filed by umpire Phil Cuzzi alleging a verbal altercation with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo following Thursday's game at Citi Field.

An MLB spokesman confirmed newly hired vice president of on-field operations Joe Torre will review the report filed by Cuzzi. The New York Daily News first reported the incident and subsequent complaint.

The issue stems from a call Cuzzi missed in the ninth inning of Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Mets. With one out and a man on second, the Nationals' Jayson Werth hit a sharp grounder down the third-base line, then appeared to beat Justin Turner's wide throw to first. Even if the throw was on time, New York first baseman Daniel Murphy's foot came off the bag before he caught the ball.

"He was safe when the guy got off the bag, and he was safe because he beat the throw," right-hander Livan Hernandez said. "I think he made a big mistake, the umpire there, because it's not about his foot is off the bag. It's safe because he beat the throw. He was safe twoRead more »

  1. SCNatsFan - May 20, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    I applaud Rizzo yelling at the ump as long he went into the locker room and yelled longer louder at the players who got shut out by one of the worst teams in baseball two games in a row. Maybe he had just enough voice left to yell at Eckstein and ask him why he should be cashing a paycheck as a hitting coach.

  2. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    The ump squealed? In the NBA, the ref would just challenge him to a brawl in the tunnel: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2840587

  3. raymitten - May 20, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Good for Rizzo. We've come a long way from Manny Acta just standing there watching the Nats get hosed.

  4. Doc - May 20, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    I'm with Rizzo on this one. Sure he's frustrated, as all of us are. But that call on Werth was pure amateur. If I were Rizzo, I would have beaten Scuzzi to the Comish's Office with a complaint about the lousy call!Go Mike! Gooooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!

  5. masnstinks - May 20, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Marlins got similarly hosed tonight. So the umpire is being a big , whiny, baby , huh? Maybe he should have manned up and admitted he blew the call. I guess "frustration is peaking" everywhere – I never recall Rizzo acting out.Maybe if they get uncomfortable enough, something will change – Matt Stairs can be the first thing to change.

  6. Manassas Nats Fan - May 20, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    MY biggest complaint (until Jim Joyce manned last summer) is that umpires do not have to face the press like players and managers do after a game. I would love to hear Phil Cuzzi's story on how on earth he could see an out that didn't exist. May I assume Mark that the umps are sequestered from the press (or am I wrong about that and the press can go after them for some honesty, and just don't) Bravo for Rizzo. Torre won't have the nerve to discipline the ump though. They can be terrible and get away with it because no one makes them accountable. (Most are accountable, but when they aren't they all cover for each other (and the press won';t hold their feet to the fire)).

  7. john.kilroy - May 20, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Maybe they could spend some money and get some hitting.

  8. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    It was just a weird day in Nats Land.It ends with the GM arguing with an umpire. If there is a greater way for the franchise to diminish itself, please say so.In the middle of the day, the lifeless Washington offense–a pathetic, moribund, enervated group of eunuchs–did nothing in support of Livan for the third straight time. Is our GM saying, in effect, that except for the umpires, we could've won with less than zero runs? Does anyone–anyone–on this august board believe that if Werth had been called safe, the Nats would've scored? I do not.In the middle of the day, I left work for an hour to listen to the Nats on radio, and found that "the flagship of the Washington Nationals" (FM 106.7, The Fan) did not even cover the game. Instead, Arrington was talking for the 64th straight day about the right guard of a team that doesn't even start their season for 4 months.In the middle of the day, I checked two restaurants and bars in the affluent Arlington area, and found that none were showing the Nationals on television, even though it was a regularly-scheduled game.In the middle of the day, I found the Nats Insider game thread most energized when trying to figure out the identity of anonymous posters. On this topic, they showed a confusion and lifelessness rivaled only by the Kleenex-Lite bats of the Nationals themselves.At the beginning of the day, I read a column on the Nationals' site describing how delighted Jason Werth is with his ballclub.And all of this is prelude to the epic battle of rivals between Washington and Baltimore. As Dylan said, "The whole world is watching"….not.Just a strange day in Nats Land.

  9. Crash - May 20, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    Millie: Mike must have called him a [blah-blahblah].Annie: How romantic.

  10. Manassas Nats Fan - May 20, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    I don't understand the Flagship radio station crap at all. No one seems to be able to explain that to my satisfaction. I could care less about the Redskins in May. The Problem with the Nats is I do care about winning baseball.

  11. Grandstander - May 20, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    Some might say it's amateurish and immature for the GM to start a fight with an ump. But sometimes, you need to start lighting a fire.I agree with SCNatsFan. I hope Rizzo yelled at that ump for being an idiot and went straight into the clubhouse and turned tables over and asked anyone who didn't want to be here to leave. We'll mail them their check and find someone who wants to play.We've been through all the excuses, all the reasons, all the handwringing. It's no longer just a slow start. It's no longer just waiting for the weather to get warmer, it's no longer just having a good bat out of the lineup. At some point, someone has to take responsibility and start changing things. Randy was fired to send a message. Now, I wish Eckstein all the best, I think he's a great guy, but I also think his head needs to roll to send a message. I think LaRoche needs to start batting 7th. I think from now until the ASG this team needs to be imbued with some sense of accountability.In a lot of ways, this season is more frustrating than the last two because everything is being done to win except getting runs. It's shocking how close we are to a really good team and yet these ML veterans can't string together 2 hits to get a run in 18 innings.Shameful.

  12. Manassas Nats Fan - May 20, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Can Rizzo DFA Cuzzi?

  13. Rob Dibble's Ghost - May 20, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    I don't understand the Flagship radio station crap at all. No one seems to be able to explain that to my satisfaction. I could care less about the Redskins in May. *******************************************For the last two or three years (maybe more), every game was on 1500AM. This year, every game is on 1500AM. Previously, that was our excuse for a flagship station. Now, they are an affiliate and 106.7 is the flagship. After dark, 1500 does not penetrate into the western suburbs at all. When this new radio deal was announced, it was noted that 106.7 would carry all games except weekday day games. In these cases, you can tune to 1580, or better yet, the stronger 1500. No, it's not quite perfect, but there's no reason to bitch about this radio deal as it's light years better than any one this team has had before.

  14. Sec3MySofa - May 20, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Still, it's not as good/bad as the time George McPhee went into the Blackhawks' locker room, alone, a few years ago, to get into somebody's face about something. Nearly had to shoot his way out. Hockey players dig that [stuff]. I still believe that's half the reason he still has a job.

  15. Manassas Nats Fan - May 20, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    1500 is pathetic at night. 1580 doesn't come in at all. 106.7 comes in great. I appreciate the night action.However why are they so into talking about the Redskins in May? Good grief it is baseball season lets talk baseball.

  16. Sec3MySofa - May 20, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Durocher: What the [RF] was that call?? You gotta be [AB] blind!Blue: What did you say?Durocher: OMG You're deaf, too??

  17. Mark Zuckerman - May 20, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Manassas Nats Fan said…My biggest complaint (until Jim Joyce manned last summer) is that umpires do not have to face the press like players and managers do after a game.I would love to hear Phil Cuzzi's story on how on earth he could see an out that didn't exist.May I assume Mark that the umps are sequestered from the press (or am I wrong about that and the press can go after them for some honesty, and just don't)Here's how it works: We can send a pool reporter or two (usually one representing each team) to request an interview with umpires after a game. It's then up to the umps whether they want to talk. Generally, you only attempt to talk to them when there's something that needs clarification or explanation, not for straight judgment calls (out or safe, ball or strike).I've been the pool reporter several times over the years, including the night in Anaheim when Frank Robinson got Brendan Donnelly ejected for having pine tar on his glove and the game at Citi Field a couple years ago when there was a disputed home run call.Cuzzi's call today wouldn't generally have justified an attempted interview, because it was simply a blown safe-out call. A reporter from the NY Daily News, though, did attempt to track him down to ask about the Rizzo incident. Cuzzi declined to comment, other than saying the report had been filed to MLB offices.

  18. 3 Questions - May 20, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    Didn't the collapse start about this time last year? Didn't Carpenter blame it all on a bad check-swing call in Houston?Why do I have a feeling that this will become the new root cause of all problems?

  19. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Phil Cuzzi should've been ~ so ~ embarrassed that he offered MLB his resignation and dropped mud in his pants. What a botched called. Eat a clam, Phil.

  20. CBinDC - May 20, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    The flagship station in the afternoon deal is a puzzle to me also …..and one thing that I notice is how some of the hosts on the station resent the Nationals being on at all. You would think that covering all the sports in town would be your objective and the ones you air would deserve the greatest attention instead you get discussions on the Top Ten Redskin sinus infections of all time. Before the game Saturday the pregame host slurs the Nationals, 10 minutes before he is to talk to Rizzo….I expect this on Danjazzera but not the Fan

  21. CBinDC - May 20, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Didn't the collapse start about this time last year?YES it did !!! Didn't Carpenter blame it all on a bad check-swing call in Houston?He was not the only one but it also was a game they had a huge can lose lead Why do I have a feeling that this will become the new root cause of all problems?Spooky is it not and they went from 5 over to 10 down in less then 3 weeks Also they blew 3 leads in Baltimore Hmmmmm

  22. Sec3MySofa - May 20, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    CB, that was all Strasburg's fault last year. They were doing fine until the Strasmas hype started. They lost a 1-0 game to a horrible KC team, and then went to Ba … hey, wait a minute…It's HARPER's fault!

  23. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - May 20, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    Cuzzi, Torre., Rizzo…couldn't they just have a sit-down over steaks and drinks at the Bada-Bing to hammer this out?

  24. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    The Nats get bad calls on a regular basis. The umps seem to favor other team since they think that the Nats don't deserve honest calls. This is a either a classic call to support that…or a serious lack of professionalism on the umps part. Replays show that it was VERY clear that Werth was safe. Would it have made a diffence in the outcome of the game? Nobody knows. But it may have.I'm just happy to see Riggs show some fire and to have the other players forcefully support him. Go Pudge!!!

  25. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    Rizo can't no more with his bad team…I repeat The Nats are a big bluff… two times Livan had a tremendous work in the mound and not body hit nothing in this line up my goodness …Listen Jason Werth 125 millons for what?… They dont have heart man bla bla bla this team really lost 3 of 4 again Frisco Rougriders AA rigth now beleve me Please forgive me my bad english I cant speak well but thats what I mind This team is a big BLUFF

  26. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    It is pathetic how much umpires have become to much part of the game. They are there to give thier unbiased opinion by calling balls, strikes, fouls, and outs. I can understand the human error thing. But until there is accountability and I mean the accountability were everyone sees not just behind closed doors it will never end. The umpires need to check their egos at the door and stop being mad that they are not playing the game and instead of officiating it.

  27. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    Livan broke the no-no jajajajajaja oh my what a team

  28. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    The umpire no….. the team they are gangs.. jajajajajaja

  29. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    This franchise must be in AAA rigth now and there they lost a lot of games with scranton , durham, etc…. they are loosers…. poor Livan Listen the Yanks with Bartolo and the ruin fredy garcia the yanks pay money for Livan yes …the Yanks will pay if they sell

  30. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    if Livan will be in the Filis Atlanta or Boston he will be 7-8 wins rigth now ….but the Nats pay him 1 million what can he do? …only wait for the 162 games over and the nightmare too.

  31. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Please tell Maya to stay there in Syracuse …would be best for him the psychiatrists are very expensive in united states jajajajajaja

  32. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    Poor Rizo was easier to catch bin Laden to win a game with the nats

  33. JayB - May 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Missing from Marks story but in his comment….."A reporter from the NY Daily News, though, did attempt to track him down to ask about the Rizzo incident. Cuzzi declined to comment, other than saying the report had been filed to MLB offices."Hello…that is what reporters do….As I posted last thread…IN NYC….amazing that none of out reporters bothered to see or follow up on what happened right in front of Fans, players, coaches, trainers, ushers at the end of the game….

  34. dale - May 20, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    If the ump was supposed to be listening to the sound of the ball hitting the glove while watching for the runner's foot to touch the bag, then you have to wonder what Cuzzi was watching. Can an umpire be both blind and deaf?Joyce's game calling last week was an example of ego over ability as well.

  35. JayB - May 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Oh and read the Times link to the NY Post story…plenty of detail on what happened and how the Umps requested Media guides to ID Rizzo ….first hand quotes…good read.

  36. masnstinks - May 20, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    I think last year we really crashed during inter-league play. Kind of wish we had gotten the Balti-moron pitcher from last night as he must have been throwing up beach balls. Was it last year that a bunch of pitchers got canned all at once? This team is in need of some kind of wake up call – mass dfa's ( and really, who is going to take their places?) or we need to run into another team that is having a worse night than we do. Livo has been masterful, Gorzelanny did well enough to win, too. Maybe some chicken bones to take the hexes off the bats?

  37. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I sure hope the Nats beat writers call Joe Torre and Bud Selig today and ask if Cuzzi is going to be suspended for all of his blown calls. The call today against Werth that helped the Mets win.The call last year against the Giants that won the game for the Mets.And his worst call against the Twins with the Mauer foul ball call where he was standing 15 feet away. Please get comments from MLB on why he is not suspended. He needs to be disciplined. The guy has cajones to whine to MLB after he makes his third horrendous call in a 3 year span.

  38. Tim - May 20, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    We need to get in a Nyjer-esque brawl! Where are the Cardinals when you need em?

  39. natsfan1a - May 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    LOL, Sunshine. Did we learn nothing from Angel Hernandez? Nip it in the bud.

  40. JamesFan - May 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    If you score runs, one bad call is not important. Umps miss them sometimes, and this call isn't exactly on the level of the Jim Joyce call last year. Blaming the umps for losing is bush league. I can understand the team–including Rizzo–getting upset, but get a grip and move on.

  41. masnstinks - May 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    What we need: an opposing pitcher who is struggling, a late inning rally, a walk-off, a really hot batter, some more defensive gems, a dry day and Matt Stairs to retire.

  42. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    This might help: http://tinyurl.com/3rrkf9y Just a suggestion.

  43. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    I know he said he's a non-native speaker, so I'm not criticizing, but that has to be the worcestershire spelling we've had here yet.

  44. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Anonymous said… "I know he said he's a non-native speaker, so I'm not criticizing, but that has to be the worcestershire spelling we've had here yet."I will. Fix his spelling and grammar and his posts are still crap.

  45. phil dunn - May 20, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Cuzzi shoul be fired for incompetence. But, since he has a diability (he's blind), he's a protected species.

  46. Richard - May 20, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Another stellar day in Nats land …

  47. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Cuzzi's blown calls, and there are many, always seem to benefit the Mets and also the Yanks (in post season play). He comes from Newark so he's either a homer or he is crooked.

  48. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    I will. Fix his spelling and grammar and his posts are still crap. May 20, 2011 9:02 AM ==============**Whoosh!** Right on by.

  49. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Anonymous said… "I will. Fix his spelling and grammar and his posts are still crap.May 20, 2011 9:02 AM ==============**Whoosh!** Right on by."Don't worry. I got it.

  50. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Whoosh-ter-shure you did.

  51. not quite Joe Friday - May 20, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    I just sent my complaint to Joe Torre for Phil Cuzzi's mal-practice as an umpire yesterday.

  52. Anonymous - May 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    CB, that was all Strasburg's fault last year. They were doing fine until the Strasmas hype started. They lost a 1-0 game to a horrible KC team, and then went to Ba … hey, wait a minute…It's HARPER's fault!Arrrrgggh you people!? Don't you even read the Post? They just posted a great report on Zombie Awareness Month and how the CBC is going to handle it and Rapture Day. All the ghosties and daemons are out to play and our Nats are targets of opportunity!

  53. the Great Unwashed - May 20, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    What JamesFan said.Calls like this are a good argument for expanded use of instant replay, no? Do it like the NFL: two challenges per game. And no, it won't slow the game down. The mananger coming out to argue a call that won't be reversed slows the game down.

  54. Sec 3, My Sofa - May 20, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Ivan Tuski - May 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Umpires aren't the problem Nat's Bats are

  56. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - May 20, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Good for Rizzo!! He will pay his fine and tell his story to Torre, who then should tell his umps to do beter. I believe the quality of umpiring is down this year.As for you all nay sayers, the pitching is way better than last year and do you really think Werth and LaRouche are done. The hitting will come around and the NATS will win 79 games this year.

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