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Mike Rizzo

  1. Trying to make sense of a season that made little sense

    Oct 5, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — Take the Nationals’ just-completed season on several individual merits, and the unknowing observer might well have assumed this team had cruised into the playoffs. Bryce Harper posting historic numbers that made him a potentially unanimous MVP choice? Max Scherzer throwing two no-hitters, plus a 16-strikeout 1-hitter, with a 276-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio that…

  2. Rizzo: Personnel decisions will come soon

    Oct 4, 2015, 3:02 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he plans to meet Monday with top club officials and doesn’t expect to waste any time determining the fates of manager Matt Williams, his coaching staff and other front office personnel. “We’re going to evaluate each aspect of the organization,” Rizzo said Sunday afternoon prior to…

  3. Williams: “Nobody’s spoken to me … at this point”

    Oct 3, 2015, 12:07 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    NEW YORK — In the wake of a report he’ll be fired at season’s end, Nationals manager Matt Williams said he has not yet been informed by club officials of any change in his status and that he intends to continue performing his job through this weekend’s final series before learning his fate. “Nobody’s spoken…

  4. Williams on criticism: “All of the facts aren’t out there”

    Sep 30, 2015, 6:18 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    ATLANTA — Matt Williams defended himself Wednesday against a new round of harsh criticism levied at him, saying “all of the facts aren’t out there” but declining to go into more detail at this point, with five games still remaining on the Nationals’ schedule. Responding to a question about a Washington Post expose detailing the…

  5. Rizzo defends Williams, himself

    Sep 29, 2015, 12:18 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    With the team he constructed fresh off being eliminated from playoff contention, with his manager under fire and his team in the national spotlight for a public brawl featuring the best player in baseball, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo took the podium after Monday’s game to a barrage of camera flashes, ready to answer as…

  6. Papelbon’s long-term future after incident is murky

    Sep 29, 2015, 6:06 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals took swift action Monday to address Jonathan Papelbon’s short-term future with the organization, suspending the volatile closer for the remainder of the season after his dugout attack on Bryce Harper the previous afternoon. The organization’s long-term plan for Papelbon, though, remains quite murky. Papelbon is under contract for another season; that was among…

  7. Rizzo gives his side of Papelbon/Harper punishments

    Sep 28, 2015, 7:44 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Mike Rizzo further justified the Nationals’ decision to suspend Jonathan Papelbon four games and bench Bryce Harper one game Monday evening, citing the disparity in punishments between the two players as “equitable” given their roles in Sunday’s dugout fight. “You could see, by the type of discipline we placed on both players, which we thought…

  8. Ross moving to bullpen, Roark taking rotation spot

    Sep 8, 2015, 5:56 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Joe Ross won’t start another game for the Nationals this season, but he’ll still get opportunities to pitch out of the bullpen over the next four weeks while Tanner Roark takes his spot in the rotation. Sensing their rookie right-hander was showing signs of fatigue as his innings count built up beyond levels from his…

  9. Time for leaders to emerge

    Aug 18, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    If it feels like you’ve been watching the Nationals’ worst stretch of baseball in a long time … well, you’re absolutely right. This team has gone 4-13 over the last 2 1/2 weeks, the franchise’s worst 17-game stretch since 2011. That’s also the last time the Nats finished with a losing record, a fact that…

  10. Key to trade isn’t Papelbon, it’s Storen

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Take the names and reputations out of the equation and consider for a moment the basic facts of what happened yesterday: The Nationals acquired one of baseball’s best closers of the last decade, a 6-time All-Star and World Series champion in the midst of a dominant season, giving up only a second-tier prospect while convincing…

  11. Despite injuries, Nats feel good heading into second half

    Jul 17, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today

    In first place in the NL East with a two-game lead on the New York Mets, the Nationals are where many predicted they would be at the midway point of the 2015 season. That is despite an inordinate amount of injuries up and down their roster that began in spring training and persist as the…

  12. Do the Nats need to acquire another bat?

    Jul 9, 2015, 11:38 AM EST

    AP

    Had they not been rained out Wednesday night, the Nationals would have fielded a lineup boasting only two projected members of their Opening Day lineup: Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond. And when they return to the field Friday night in Baltimore, the Nationals probably won’t have more than four regulars available: Harper and Desmond, plus…

  13. Nats make first significant international signing in years

    Jul 2, 2015, 11:17 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have signed Dominican outfielder Juan Soto to a $1.5 million bonus, the organization’s first international signing of any significant consequence since the notorious Esmailyn Gonzalez fiasco nearly a decade ago. The signing has not been formally announced yet, but it was confirmed by a club source. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez first reported the deal.…

  14. State of the Nats: 2015 draft preview

    Jun 8, 2015, 11:01 AM EST

    iApr 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo on the field before the game between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Top storylines: MLB Draft begins tonight – The 2015 MLB Draft starts on Monday night at 7 p.m. on MLB Network and MLB.com. The Nationals do not pick until 58th overall due to the signing of Max Scherzer this offseason, so if you plan on waiting up for their selection it could be a long night. A…

  15. Scherzer on his start, chocolate sauce and comparing Harper to Miggy

    May 21, 2015, 12:02 PM EST

    May 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Through his first eight games as a Washington National, Max Scherzer is off to the best start of his career by several measures. His ERA is a pristine 1.75, good for fourth in the National League. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 8.25, over double his career average of 3.49. He’s tied for third in the majors…

  16. UPDATED: Nats sign reliever Valverde to minor-league deal

    Apr 29, 2015, 6:06 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 6:06 p.m. ATLANTA — Seeking some experienced help for a bullpen that has struggled through the season’s first three weeks, the Nationals have signed veteran Jose Valverde to a minor-league contract, general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed Wednesday evening. Valverde, 37, has been at the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Fla., for about…

  17. Taylor hopes to develop consistency at Syracuse

    Apr 19, 2015, 1:29 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    When the Nationals gave rookie centerfielder Michael Taylor a chance to show what he could do in Denard Span’s absence, they were hoping the 24-year-old could show flashes of the everyday player they expect him to be down the road. For 12 games, he did just that. Though far from a finished product, Taylor demonstrated enough…

  18. Nats rank 6th in MLB with $163 million payroll

    Apr 8, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals opened the 2015 season with a club-record $163 million payroll, sixth-highest in Major League Baseball. The Associated Press, in its annual calculations of Opening Day salaries, pegged the Nationals’ exact payroll at $163,264,559. That figure includes the salaries and prorated bonuses given to everyone on the 25-man roster and major-league disabled list. The…

  19. Uggla confident as he awaits decision

    Apr 4, 2015, 6:40 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals have all but decided their Opening Day roster, though the team plans to make an official announcement on Sunday. And despite their unwillingness to confirm it, veteran Dan Uggla is almost certain to make the team. Uggla himself has not been told either way, but is simply happy with the way the last few…

  20. Rizzo not looking for outside help despite injuries

    Mar 29, 2015, 5:51 PM EST

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Though it appears his team will be forced to open the season without any of its 1-2-3 hitters, projected fourth outfielder or possibly its top setup man, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday he’s not looking outside the organization right now for roster reinforcements. “We’re satisfied with what we have,” Rizzo…

  21. Taking a stab at the 25-man roster

    Mar 25, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    AP

    JUPITER, Fla. — We have officially reached the home stretch of spring training, with 10 remaining exhibition games (nine in Florida, one in D.C.) over the next 12 days before the 2015 season begins for real at Nationals Park. Which means it’s finally time to start trying to figure out who exactly is going to…

  22. Williams sets the tone on Day 1

    Feb 27, 2015, 10:18 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Matt Williams likes to post a “Quote of the Day” each morning at the top of the workout schedule that hangs in the Nationals’ spring training clubhouse. Sometimes they’re inspirational sayings, sometimes they’re relayed to baseball, sometimes they’re not. The quote that was posted Thursday, on the morning of the Nationals’ first…

  23. Spring storyline No. 5: Last shot at contract negotiations?

    Feb 14, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We begin today with No. 5: Perhaps the last opportunity for GM Mike Rizzo to negotiate long-term contracts with several prominent pending free agents… This was a story…

  24. Final thoughts on the Scherzer signing

    Jan 27, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    So, anything interesting happen while I was on vacation the last 10 days? The third week of January usually is pretty quiet, so I can’t imagine the Nationals made any real significant news. They certainly didn’t give out $210 million to a prominent free agent pitcher. Wait, what? OK, so yeah, looks like I picked…

  25. VIDEO: Big decisions to make for Nats

    Jan 23, 2015, 4:08 PM EST

    Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.04.49 PM

    After signing Max Scherzer, the Nationals have some big decisions to make over the next four weeks in regards to their rotation. Do they make a trade involving Jordan Zimmermann or Doug Fister, or roll into 2015 with all six of their starting pitchers on the roster? I discussed what happens next for the Nationals…

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ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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