Tuesday, November 03, 2009

No Old Boys Network Any Longer

Since the 2009 baseball Season came to a close for Our Washington Nationals, General Manager Mike Rizzo has been quite the busy person. Slowly and methodically, he's been rebuilding, reorganizing and transforming D.C.'s Baseball team--from the top side down. Today, more moves in the front office with the hiring of a well-respected baseball mind as Special Advisor, and the promoting a tireless background scout of the past three seasons to a new position of Director of Professional Scouting.

Ron Schueler becomes one of "Riz's" new right hand men. And Bill Singer upgrades from Special Assignment Scout and Pacific Rim Coordinator. Coming on the heels of three major baseball operations hires on October 15th and the subsequent additions of Casey McKeon as Director of Player Procurement and Jay Robertson as a special assistant to the GM last week--it's clear that Mike Rizzo's reach is throughout the game.

And he's using that to Washington's advantage.

Our New GM seems to have, not only pull, but the conviction to convince other talent evaluators in baseball that what Our Washington Nationals are attempting to accomplish at this point is time--is worth coming on board and being a part of. That's a good thing because in just a short period of time in charge, Mike Rizzo clearly has determined who on his acquired staff needed to be maintained--and who should not--while understanding there are better folks out there to serve Washington's many needs.

Sohna and I love the fact that Rizzo's not playing the Old Boys Network. The hiring of old friends and associates (think Cincinnati here). He is legitimately looking throughout the game for top judges of baseball skills--not just those looking for a paycheck. Clearly, many new hires, promotions and pink slips come when a new boss takes a new job. But it's also important for the top guy to set a new tone and move Our Franchise in a positive direction.

Certainly, Mike Rizzo knows all these folks personally he's recently added to his Baseball Operations office, but none of those coming over from other ball clubs has Mike ever work under--or for.

Big, Big, Difference.

It would be hard to dispute the maneuvers committed to by Mike Rizzo over the past month. What once appeared to be a patchwork organization clearly has a more defined structure now. The new system being installed for finding and working with baseball talent--both on the amateur level and in the professional game--is nearing it's front office makeover conclusion. The results of which will hopefully build stronger roots--providing the foundation every franchise needs--to win consistently for years and years and years to come.

No Old Boys Network Any Longer.

How Refreshing.

And you know Our New Manager's Decision is coming next, followed by roster moves. The determining of whether players currently on the 40-Man Roster should be resigned, offered arbitration or non-tendered. The opening salvos to the upcoming GM & Winter Meetings when The Hot Stove League truly comes to life and the horse swapping of talent between teams sets into full swing. The time of year when any organization must know what cards they have and which should be played. Understanding what you got and can get, honest evaluations that Washington should better be able to handle this off-season, thanks to the six new front office additions and two promotions handed out since October 15th by Mike Rizzo.

Here is the complete press release from the team:


The Washington Nationals today named Ron Schueler Special Advisor to the General Manager. The Nationals also promoted Bill Singer to Director of Professional Scouting. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

A 42-year baseball veteran, Schueler joins the Nationals after serving the previous two seasons as Senior Advisor of Player Personnel for the San Francisco Giants. Schueler is perhaps best known for an 11-year stint (1990-2000) as General Manager of the Chicago White Sox, during which his clubs compiled an 817-734 record and a .527 winning percentage while finishing first or second in the AL Central or West eight times, including a pair of division titles in 1993 and 2000.

In 2000, his final season as General Manager, Schueler’s White Sox were named “Organization of the Year” by Baseball America.

In addition to his tenure as White Sox General Manager, Schueler has served in various special assistant capacities with the Cubs, Cardinals and Athletics, earning World Championship rings with St. Louis in 2006 and Oakland in 1989. He was also a pitching coach with the White Sox (1979-81), Athletics (1982-84) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1986). Schueler pitched for eight big league seasons (1972-79) with the Braves, Phillies, Twins and White Sox.

Singer’s new duties will include coordinating, scheduling and administering all Nationals major league, minor league and winter league scouting efforts. He most recently served the Nationals as a Special Assignment Scout and Coordinator/Pacific Rim Operations.

Singer joined the Nationals in 2006 after a three-year stay with the Arizona Diamondbacks as Major League Scout, where he worked under Rizzo. Singer was a two-time All-Star during his playing career, which included a pair of 20-win seasons (with the Dodgers 1969 and Angels in ‘73) and 118 wins. He has well over 30 years of professional experience as a player, area scout, national crosschecker, professional scout and international scout.

Rizzo/Strasburg Picture Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved


3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

imagine if MLB didn't destroy the Expos those few years they owned the club?

we'd be along even further now

Screech's Best Friend said...

3rdStoneFromTheSun: There is a lot of truth to that statement. Sohna and I were just talking about how good the Expos were at finding and developing talent. All lost first due to poor ownership in Montreal, then MLB's stewardship.