Tag:Phil Cuzzi
Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:16 pm

Rizzo disciplined; Rodriguez fined

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike RizzoMajor League Baseball has disciplined Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and fined catcher Ivan Rodriguez for their role in an altercation with an umpiring crew last week, the Washington Post reports.

According to the report, the league considers the manner "closed." Rodriguez has been fined "an undisclosed amount."

Rodriguez was many of Nationals to confront umpires after Phil Cuzzi erroneously called Jayson Werth out on a close play at first base in a loss to the Mets.

According to a report (denyed by Rizzo), umpires called security after Rizzo confronted them outside their dressing room. Later, Rizzo said his confrontation with the umpires had nothing to do with the play in the ninth. Either way, neither the umpires nor MLB appreciated it.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 7:09 pm

Rizzo says he's not under investigation by MLB

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike RizzoNationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters he called Joe Torre immediately after Thursday's incident with umpire Phil Cuzzi and was told he's not the "focus" of an investigation.

Rizzo was one of many Nationals to take shots at Cuzzi following his blown call in the ninth inning (here's what happened) of Thursday's game against the Mets and later there was a report the MLB was investigating Rizzo's actions and that the umpires called Mets security about Rizzo.

"I contacted Joe Torre immediately after the incident with the umpires, and he assured me that despite a lot of the reports in the media, this is by no means an investigation against Mike Rizzo," Rizzo told reporters, including CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman. "This is an investigation of what happened after the game."

Jayson Werth, who was called out on the play, first base coach Dan Radison and manager Jim Riggleman all argued with Cuzzi on the field after the play, while Riggleman also argued with home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez. Several players were also seen yelling at the umpires as they left the field.

Rizzo said the complaints weren't solely based on Cuzzi's blown call.

"What happened last night postgame had absolutely nothing to do with arguing, or anything to do with the play that happened at first base," Rizzo said, declining to elaborate.

Rizzo repeatedly declined to explain what happened after the game.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:23 pm

Report: Umpires file complaint against Nats GM

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike RizzoI already wrote about the controversy over Phil Cuzzi's call -- but now there's more. The umpiring crew has filed a report against Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo over a verbal altercation as the crew was leaving the field, the New York Daily News reports.

According to the report, one of the umpires told Mets security guards outside their dressing room to "find the guy in the suit," referring to Rizzo.

Cuzzi wouldn't comment on his call, but said he has filed a report with Joe Torre, MLB's vice president of on-field operations.

The Daily News contacted Torre, who said he hasn't been briefed yet, but said, "I'm looking forward to an interesting morning (Friday)."

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 8:37 pm

Bad call costs Nationals

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Phil CuzziAnother day, another blown call controversy.

Today's episode of bad umpiring comes courtesy of Phil Cuzzi, who called Jayson Werth out at first for the second out of the ninth inning in the Nationals' 1-0 loss to the Mets. Werth may have not only beat the throw from third baseman Jacob Turner, but first baseman Daniel Murphy also pulled his foot off the bag. (See the play here.)

Had the play been called correctly, the Nationals would have had runners at first and third with one out and in position to tie the game. Instead, with two outs, Adam LaRoche grounded out to end the game.

After the game, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reported one Nationals player saying, "I want to be an umpire when I grow up -- no responsibility, no accountability."

Several Nationals argued with umpires as they walked off the field, but only starter Livan Hernandez would go on record.

"What did I see? He was safe. He beat him two times," Hernandez said. "He was safe when the guy got off the bag and he was safe because he beat the throw. I think he made a big mistake, the umpire there, because it's not about his foot is off the bag, it's safe because he beat the throw. He was safe two times."

Nationals manger Jim Riggleman appealed to home plate umpire Manny Gonzaelz, but he refused to offer an opinion. Looking at the replay, Gonzalez was watching the play, but he was outside of the baseline, behind the plate, so he may have been blocked by Werth from his angle.

"I wanted to see if, from his angle he could see better maybe that the first baseman came off the base," Riggleman said. "He's got a good look at that. … Maybe the home plate umpire can get a better look. He just refused to do that."

To be clear, this wasn't a Jorge Orta/Don Denkinger level bad call, it took some super slo-mo and HD cameras to tell that Murphy's foot was indeed off the bag. In the past, it would have been maybe too close to tell, but now we do know better. Technology has improved so much that we can see for sure when the umpires err.

Many people complain about umpiring (and, well, a lot of times it's justified -- cough, Joe West, cough, Bob Davidson, cough), but the more you watch, I think it's amazing how much the umpires get it right. And that's why I'm for replay on a limited basis -- these guys are so good at what they do (for the most part), they should be able to finish a game and know they got them all right. Ask Denkinger or Jim Joyce how much their missed calls bother them, and you'll hear from someone who is bothered by it more than any Cardinal fan or Armando Galarraga. The ego of the umpire may not want instant replay, but their conscious just may. In the end, it's about getting the calls right -- that should be the goal of any umpire and it should be done by any means necessary.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com