Mike Rizzo (baseball)

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This article is about the baseball executive. For the DJ, see Mike Rizzo.
Mike Rizzo
Rizzo with Silver Slugger.jpg
Born (1960-12-14) December 14, 1960 (age 53)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Alma mater Saint Xavier University
Occupation General Manager/Executive Vice President
Years active 2010–present
Organization Washington Nationals

Michael Anthony Rizzo (born December 14, 1960) is an American baseball front office executive. He is the General Manager and President of Baseball Operations of the Washington Nationals.

After a brief playing career in minor league baseball, Rizzo transitioned into coaching and scouting. He became the director of scouting for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000. Rizzo joined the Nationals in 2007 as an assistant general manager. He succeeded Jim Bowden as the Nationals' general manager in 2009, and was promoted to team president in 2013.

Early life[edit]

Rizzo grew up in Chicago as one of four children. His father, Phil, was a former minor league baseball player who drove a truck for the city and scouted for the California Angels on a part-time basis. The Angels made him a full-time scout, as many of the players he identified reached the majors.[1]

Rizzo attended Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Illinois and Saint Xavier University, where he played college baseball for the Saint Xavier Cougars.[2]

Early career[edit]

The Angels drafted Rizzo in the 22nd round, with the 554th overall selection, in the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft.[1] He played for the Salem Angels (Class A Short Season), Peoria Suns (Class A) and Redwood Pioneers (Class A Advanced) from 1982 to 1984. After the 1984 season, the Angels released Rizzo. His father suggested that he was not skilled enough to reach the major leagues, and advised he attend college.[1]

Rizzo became an assistant coach at the University of Illinois.[1] Larry Himes, the scout who drafted Rizzo, became the general manager of the Chicago White Sox, and he hired Rizzo as a scout for the Upper Midwest region.[1] He also scouted for the Boston Red Sox. Rizzo joined the Arizona Diamondbacks when the franchise was created in 1998, and served as the Director of Scouting for the Diamondbacks from 2000 to 2006.[1][3]

Washington Nationals[edit]

Seeking to replace Joe Garagiola, Jr. as the Diamondbacks' general manager, the team chose Josh Byrnes over Rizzo.[1] As a result, Rizzo joined the Washington Nationals organization, when he was appointed Assistant General Manager/Vice President of Baseball Operations by Jim Bowden on July 24, 2006.[4] This move coincided with the franchise's ownership transfer from Major League Baseball to a Washington, D.C.-based investment group headed by Ted Lerner.[5]

Three days after Bowden's sudden resignation on March 1, 2009,[6] Rizzo was promoted on an interim basis by team president Stan Kasten.[7] He was named the full-time Senior Vice President/General Manager on August 20, 2009.[8] On October 19, 2010 Rizzo got a five-year extension and was promoted to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.[9] The last two years of his contract are club options.[10]

Rizzo decided to shut down ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg late in the 2012 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery from the year before.[11]

The Nationals promoted Rizzo to President of Baseball Operations during the 2013 season.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Rizzo married Sheilah Marie Kenny of Peoria, Illinois, on October 22, 1988 in Chicago. They have two children - Michael Anthony, Jr. (b. 1990) and Mary Kathleen (dec.).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kilgore, Adam (February 25, 2011). "Mike Rizzo, the man who built the Washington Nationals". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Daily Herald | Electronic Archive". Nl.newsbank.com. August 31, 2001. Retrieved November 1, 2013.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Who is Mike Rizzo? « The Nationals Review". Nationalsreview.wordpress.com. March 4, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Nationals name Mike Rizzo Assistant GM and Vice President of Baseball Operations" (Press release). MLB.com. July 24, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lerner Group finalizes purchase of Washington Nationals" (Press release). MLB.com. July 24, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Statement from Jim Bowden" (Press release). MLB.com. March 1, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Rizzo Gets New Duties; Kasten: No Urgency for Search". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Washington Nationals promote Mike Rizzo to Senior Vice President & General Manager" (Press release). MLB.com. August 20, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ Zuckerman, Mark (October 19, 2010). "Nationals Ink Rizzo To 5-Year Extension". CSNwashington.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  10. ^ Kilgore, Adam (September 28, 2012). "Mike Rizzo under contract for one more guaranteed year, two club options". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ Schad, Tom (September 3, 2012). "Johnson, Rizzo weigh in on Stephen Strasburg's shutdown". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ Kilgore, Adam. "Mike Rizzo promoted to team president, given long-term extension". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jim Bowden
Washington Nationals General Manager
2009-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent