Panel discussion – Mark Lerner, Mike Rizzo, Tom Boswell, & Charlie Slowes. Night At The Newseum

On this off-day, an enjoyable evening for a group of invited guests at the Newseum to listen to a moderated discussion on the Washington Nationals and current topics in baseball.

Seated L to R, the Moderator Frank Bond, Mark Lerner, Mike Rizzo, Tom Boswell, and Charlie Slowes.  In the crowd, was Mr. Ted Lerner and his wife and Valerie Camillo, who is the Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer for the Washington Nationals Baseball, as well as other people from the ownership group and Nats front office.


There were a few moments to remember in the evening like when Boz told a story of the day each year when scouts contracts expire and the aggressive teams jump on the opportunity to hire scouts before the other teams make their calls, and he said that Kasten or Rizzo phoned him to talk about their haul, and Rizzo turned to Boz and said “I’ve never called you”.  Some of the crowd laughed, and some seemed stunned.  The group I was with looked at each other and didn’t see anything funny rather Rizzo set the record straight that he has never called Boswell.

In the Q&A, there were some off-topic questions like the Metrorail issue on closing early, fireworks after games, then questions on instant replay, pace of play, and Charlie Slowes coining the phrase about the “Curly W”, and a question that Mike Rizzo has answered before on clubhouse leadership, and to paraphrase how “Werth is the vocal leader and Ryan Zimmerman leads by example”.  Rizzo said he didn’t want a 154 game season because the lower revenues would cut into his budget on signing players which was met with laughter and applause.  Rizzo was also asked about new contracts for his pending Free Agents, and Rizzo said “it takes 2 to tango” and said that they’ve reached out to all 5 Free Agents; however, he didn’t give much details and changed the subject quickly.  Very unanimous that nobody on the panel likes the DH.  Rizzo was also asked about “where are the players” from that Gulf Coast championship team of 2 years ago which got Mike thinking of where they are, and he talked about Robles and Serverino and a few other players.

There was a good discussion on how social media has changed the way athletes approach their lives off the field.

“Social media has changed how we run baseball operations, the player’s lives…the entire landscape.” — Mike Rizzo

“We have 41 games left, and we’re ready to roll.”  —  Mike Rizzo

A lesson in math to Mike Rizzo that the Nats have played 123 games so far and the season is 162 games which leaves………….39 games.  That’s okay, I’m a stats geek and a numbers guy.

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