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By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Mike Rizzo
Washington has its top four starters on board for the next two seasons, a luxury few teams in the majors can boast. And with prices for even competent free-agent pitchers sky-high, that affords the Nats a nice weapon: financial flexibility.
The Nationals made a bold trade to boost their rotation, acquiring Doug Fister from Detroit for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray.
The Nationals signed right-hander Daniel Stange, who was originally drafted by Mike Rizzo in Arizona, to a minor-league contract.
Mike Rizzo announced several changes to his front office, including promotions for top aides Doug Harris and Kris Kline.
So desperate is Washington for a consistent winner that the cycle is predictable. Build up a team. Paper over the flaws. Suck the marrow from every bit of success and forget, if only for a moment, that the good times may be more illusion than reality. That the bad old days of struggle may not be as distant as hoped.
When the Washington Nationals tabbed Matt Williams as their new manager earlier this month, the club joined a growing trend among Major League Baseball teams: Hiring someone with extremely limited or no managerial experience at any level to run a team.
When he was earning Gold Gloves and making All-Star appearances and winning a World Series as a player, new Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams certainly made an impression on Jayson Werth.
Matt Williams was a player for 17 years with three different teams and reached a World Series with all of them, winning one. He was a high draft pick, No. 3 overall in 1986. He has served as a broadcaster and, for the past four seasons, as a coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks. What he has not actually done is managed, a qualification that didn't deter Washington general manager Mike Rizzo from hiring him.
More than a decade ago, when Matt Williams was still a third baseman, and Mike Rizzo was still climbing the front-office rungs, the future general manager thought he noticed the makings of a future skipper.
If you are looking for signs of hope, the Nationals hiring Matt Williams is one of them – the players don't make the decisions. Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo does, and this one may be the most important of his tenure so far.
Matt Williams will be the next manager of the Nationals. Several outlets are reporting that general manager Mike Rizzo has settled on Williams to replace Davey Johnson.
Nats GM Mike Rizzo does not expect to run the decision by his players. What he might find if he asked, though, is a group that already has a pretty good idea of who they'd like to lead them.
The Nats figure to be a contender again next season. The right manager can lead them back to the playoffs. The wrong manager? He can make a mess out of a team that needs to come back strong from this disappointing season. This team can win and it needs to do it next year.
The 2013 season is a warning to the organization that acted as if last season's 98 wins and division title were the first of many such postseason runs. That, somehow, landing one strike away from advancing to the NLCS in 2012 meant those October opportunities will always be there in Washington.
Their loss clinched the National League East title for the Atlanta Braves, who were in the midst of a victory over the Chicago Cubs. And as the Cincinnati Reds took the series from the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 11-3 victory, both NL Central teams' magic number to eliminate the Nationals from wild card contention dropped to two.
"It's comforting to know that you've got good quality starting pitchers that you control," Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said. "It doesn't stop you from having a long-term outlook on your roster. You always have to be looking ahead and looking forward. And I think we do a good job of that. You can't be complacent. You have to constantly be thinking. You have to be creative."
"This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals," general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "We feel we've added a talented, young veteran to our starting pitching corps. Doug is battle-tested through playoff experiences, and the depth he brings to our staff is exceptional. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard."