By: Noah Wright
Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post
Current Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo has been in hot water recently over some of the interactions he’s had with some players, mainly Shawn Kelly and Brandon Kintzler, before sending them off. The first that sprung up was over Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler was overall having a decent season with The Nationals, having a 3.59 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 6.5 K’s/9, and 2.7 walks/9. At the deadline, The Nationals dealt him to The Cubs for pitcher Jhon Romero. After he was dealt, a story arose that an anonymous source criticizing the team was Kintzler. Kintzler admitted to Dave Martinez’s use of the bullpen, but denied saying the clubhouse was a mess.
The next thing that landed Rizzo in some hot water was what just came out recently about what happened after Rizzo informed Shawn Kelly he had been DFA’ed. Kelly, like Kintzler, was also having an ok overall season. He had a 3.34 ERA, 4.55 FIP, 8.9 K/9 rate, and an impressive 1.4 walk rate in 32 and a third innings. Kelly had mostly been useful for The Nationals this season, but his DFA was after Kelly had an outburst on the mound, spiking his glove into the dirt after giving up a homerun in a game that ended 25-4 for The Nationals against The Mets. However Kelly had previously been frustrated with the umps a few pitches before over a potential balk call. This led to Shawn Kelly being DFA’ed, and then traded to The Oakland A’s. But this isn’t where this story ends. According to sources, Kelly and Mike Rizzo got into a heated argument, including raised voices, and it nearly ended with a fight. It got to the point where outfielder Adam Eaton had to step in between the two to prevent any sort of physical altercation.
After these 2 altercations, with the ladder becoming much more heated when Rizzo should have been the bigger man and not let it get to the point where another man had to step in, I wouldn’t be surprised Rizzo’s job could be in jeopardy after the season, even after his recent 2 year extension. He’s shown to be too aggressive, and immature, so in the end, I could definitely see The Nationals outright releasing him from his contract.