Recapping Mike Rizzo’s Facebook Q&A
Tuesday night, as part of the Washington Nationals’ first Social Fan Event of the season, Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo took some time to answer questions from the team’s most loyal Facebook fans. In the third inning of the Nationals’ 5-0 victory over the Miami Marlins, Rizzo answered several queries.
Here’s a recap of the Facebook Q&A:
Ralph Thompson Jr.: Here are two – how does the GM see the farm system going forward? Are there lots of prospects in the lower minors?
Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations & GM Mike Rizzo: Thanks for the question, Ralph Thompson Jr. We feel good about our entire Minor League system. We believe our last couple of drafts have been very successful. We’ve got a lot of power arms coming and some exciting position players also.
Ben Gerow: Do you like to watch every game or have someone tell you about it (a la Moneyball)?
MR: Hi, Ben Gerow. I watch every game, in person, home and away.
Stacey Cottrell: What’s your opinion on instant replay? Do you believe it should be in the MLB and if so to what extent.
MR: Thanks for the question, Stacey Cottrell. I believe that the Major League umpires do the best job of any of the professional sports. With that said, it makes sense — with the technology that we have — to get each and every call right, so we are proponents of it.
Kristen Hottle: What’s your favorite, or best, experience with the Washington Nationals so far?
MR: That’s a tough question, Kristen Hottle. Probably the day that we clinched the National League East title.
Nathan Marquez: Who opened the first “door” to the Front Office for you? And why did they open it for you instead of the others wanting a shot?
MR: Thanks for the question, Nathan Marquez. I would have to say Joe Garagiola Jr. gave me my first opportunity in the front office. He hired me to be the Director of Scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks and my time in Arizona was extremely valuable.
Stefany Needel Meyer: Which off-season transaction was he the most proud of (or which was the most difficult deal to get done)?
MR: Thanks for writing in Stefany Needel Meyer. I think the most important one was the hiring of Matt Williams as our manager at the outset of the offseason.
Nancy Edwards: What is your personal dream for the Nationals Baseball Youth Academy?
MR: Hi, Nancy Edwards. Thanks for asking about the Youth Baseball Academy. We are very excited about it. We have a vision of helping all underprivileged children in Washington D.C. by giving them a strong foundation — a place to be, where they can learn skills not only for baseball but for life, and a good safe place they can come after school and improve themselves.
Steven Graves: What is the situation with (Ryan) Zimmerman? Go Nats!
MR: Hi, Steven Graves. Thanks for the question. Ryan Zimmerman is very important to all of us. We feel that he’s had this soreness in his shoulder before. He knows that we know how to handle it, and we’re just going to manage it throughout the rest of the season.
Aaron Thackery: Mike, A+ thank you for building a respectable ball club. Here’s my Q: have you ever considered switching (Jordan Zimmermann) and Strasburg in their rotation positions?
MR: Hi, Aaron Thackery. Interesting suggestion. But the way the rotation sets up is really only the way it goes the first couple of times through the rotation. After that, with days off and that kind of thing, it’s whoever is available and whatever time their number comes up.
Clark Townsend: Seems like after the 2015 season will be a big decision year for you. Has Mr. Lerner given you a blank checkbook to get (Wilson) Ramos, (Ian) Desmond and (Jordan Zimmermann) extensions done?
MR: Thanks for writing in, Clark Townsend. Ownership has given us all of the resources that we need to put together a quality baseball team, and a quality franchise, and will continue to do so.
Dena Olyaie: If you could have a walk out song, what’d it be?
MR: Haha, Dena Olyaie. I guess it would have to be the theme from Rocky.
Nancy Edwards: What do you see as role of social media for the Nats organization?
MR: Good question, Nancy Edwards. I think Social Media is a great way for the Nationals to get our message out. It’s a great way to engage with fans and connect them more to our team and our game. It also helps us call attention to the many wonderful off-field things the organization does.
Washington Nationals: Thanks, everyone for the questions. That’s all the time Nationals President of Baseball Operations & GM Mike Rizzo has tonight. We hope you enjoyed it!