Questions to ask at the #Nats Rizzo Hot Stove Session

This coming Saturday, February 6, 2016 the Nationals will be hosting a Hot Stove Session with Mike Rizzo for season ticket holders with a full season plan. Each account holder gets two tickets for the event. Here are the details from the email

The Washington Nationals are excited to present you and a guest with the opportunity to attend an exclusive Hot Stove Session featuring President of Baseball Operations & General Manager Mike Rizzo and Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo. The NATS PLUS Hot Stove Session will take place in the Norfolk Southern Club at Nationals Park on Saturday, February 6 from noon – 1:30 p.m.

Note that while some folks have described this as a luncheon, based on last year it will just include very light snacks (e.g., cookies).

What we would like to do is get your comments about what questions you would like to see asked. Assuming it is similar to last year’s session, there will be time spent on a marketing spiel so only part of the time will be used for questions to Rizzo and Camillo.  During last year’s session Camillo and some of her staff stayed after the sessions and answered questions 1-1. Rizzo did not. So please don’t suggest questions that we all know that Rizzo won’t answer, like:

  1. Are the Nationals negotiating with Bryce Harper to make him a National for life?
  2. Will we see a trade before Opening Day.

And note that in the questions listed below, SusanV (who is planning to attend) has a very carefully worded question about Papelbon that might elicit a response. So if you have one of those questions that Rizzo is not like to answer, try to word it creatively like Susan worded hers.

So here are some questions we have collected so far from comments in previous posts (slightly edited to make them more likely to elicit a response).

From PowerBoater69:

  1. Ask about the reasoning behind the deferred contracts, how the decision is made to make a higher total contract offer with deferred money vs a more standard contract for less money.
  2. How much input does the manager have in the roster decisions? Dusty requested speed. Can you describe how you build the best roster you can that takes into account Dusty Baker and his style?
  3. If MLB decides to implement the robo ump to call balls and strikes, does Rizzo have any thoughts on whether that would provide more benefit to the pitchers or hitters?
  4. Have the Nats benefited more from advanced analytics by improving game strategy or scouting?

From SusanV:

  1. It’s well known that there are season ticket holders who have chosen not to renew or are waiting because they object to [Papelbaboon’s] presence; I know some personally. They feel that it makes your previous statements about the importance of character and that his behavior would not be tolerated nothing but empty words. What would you say to these people?

From legnatsfan

  1. Why no more baseball cards in the programs? NOTE: This question can perhaps be asked to Camillo 1-1 after the session.

From Ghost:

  1. There has been speculation about sign and trade deals for free agents with QOs. Supposedly they are allowed if the FA agrees as part of signing. What are your thoughts on this?
  2. Since the current CBA expires Dec 1, do you expect the current QO process to be in place all of next offseason? And if not, what do you think will happen?

From DonH, aka zmunchkin

  1. What are your thoughts on the long-term future of the DH in the National League? Will it be necessary to come up with some sort of compromise position so the late game strategy of when to replace the pitcher is not lost?

From ehay2k:

  1. What are the things that are tell you when a player is ready to (or needs to) move up in the minors, and is there a different evaluation that occurs when assessing their readiness for the major leagues?

From rayvil01:

  1. How’s your back healing?

From nataddicted:

  1. Can you describe a couple ways the new training and medical staff be proactive in addressing, to get and keep the players healthy and productive throughout the long months of spring training, then regular season, and hopefully beyond that?

From Faraway:

  1. Is the medical staff in contact with players regarding their offseason fitness plans? Do they recommend customized plans for each player?
  2. How many Nats spend time at the Boras sports gym during the offseason?

UPDATE Feb 4 9:05am: The list has been updated to include suggested questions in the comments. A poll of the questions so you can vote on the questions (multiple choices allowed) has been added. Note that the text in the poll is a very short version of the questions – listed in the same order as in the article.

As of now, the following folks have indicated they plan/hope to attend.

  1. DonH, aka zmunchkin
  2. SusanV
  3. Laura Peebles
  4. Section222
  5. kgwcoach

We will update this list to include others who indicated they plan to attend.

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