The news broke as expected that Mike Rizzo was extended through 2020 and this was likely a done deal that they had been sitting on. Home sweet home is what the Washington Nationals hope as they will work to get back to winning ways in Nationals Park. The Nationals will have play the home opener today against the New York Mets with a day-off tomorrow and will continue games on Saturday and Sunday.
Stephen Strasburg will get the honor of pitching this home opener amidst the pomp and circumstance that comes with pitching on Opening Day. The Mets are scheduled to pitch Jacob deGrom. As expected, the Mets activated Michael Conforto from the DL a few weeks ahead of some of the estimates.
On Opening Day in Cincinnati, Bryce Harper unveiled a Louis Vuitton Supreme inspired pair of Under Armour cleats designed by Marcus of Soles By Sir. All season, Marcus’ designs will be unveiled in special games and since today is a special game Marcus told us that he has shipped Bryce Harper a special pair of cleats for today. You can see some of Marcus’ other cleats plus the “White Glove Treatment” Rawlings glove that Bryce has been sporting in rightfield this season in this article.
“I have ten pairs of [Under Armour] cleats to customize with Bryce,” Marcus said. “This has been so much fun working and sharing ideas back and forth with Bryce who is active in the design process.
“When I did the Las Vegas cleats [after the Las Vegas shootings] it was a request that Bryce had and needed them immediately. I worked through the night to get them done. I was happy to do it.”
When Mike Rizzo purchased his home in Washington, D.C., as we wrote then it seemed to signal he was staying. While nothing is 100%, that home purchase seemed to foreshadow that Rizzo wanted to stay in D.C. as he has made it his home since 2006 although as a renter. Why the sudden change to own a home? The deal is reportedly a 2-year deal that will take Rizzo through 2020 — the same as manager Dave Martinez. Rizzo’s tenure as a front office executive began as the first hire the Lerner’s made after purchasing the team in 2006 which makes Rizzo on this new deal a total of 15 seasons at least with the Nationals and as such is one of the longest consecutive deals in baseball.
The Lerners and Mike Rizzo both have made pre-written statements on the extension.
“Mike’s commitment to our shared goal of bringing a world championship to Washington, D.C. makes this an exciting day for our family and the Washington Nationals,” Ted Lerner, managing principal owner wrote. “Mike and his staff have built quite a team — one that brings excitement to our ballpark every night and gives our city something to be proud of.”
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in Washington, D.C., building the Nationals from nearly expansion status into one of the winningest clubs in Major League Baseball,” Mike Rizzo wrote in a statement. “I appreciate the Lerner family for giving me the continued opportunity to see what we can accomplish in the future.”
There are not many teams that have had the continuity the Nationals have had with Mike Rizzo. He is the 5th longest tenured general manager in the Majors. In fact, there are only three general managers who have been with their current teams longer, and they are Brian Cashman, Jon Daniels, and Dayton Moore. When Dayton Moore joined the Royals, it was only a month before Rizzo was official with the Nationals, and Jon Daniels joined the Rangers about 9 months earlier.
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market, MLB Network (out-of-market)
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: