The Nationals' new GM overhauls their Latin American presence
In late February, Mike Rizzo, the Washington Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of baseball operations, was sent to the Dominican Republic to completely revamp the team's Latin American presence. Only a week prior, the Nationals were devastated to find out that top prospect Esmailyn Gonzalez, who had received $1.4 million from the team in 2006, was actually Carlos Alvarez and was several years older than first believed. Jose Rijo, who not only ran the team's academy in the Dominican but also owned the actual land and building, had been a point man on the Gonzalez deal. In a span of less than three days, Rizzo fired Rijo, found a new home for the Nats in the Dominican and hired a brand new staff, which included naming Fernando Ravelo as the team's new Latin American coordinator. In early March, after general manager Jim Bowden resigned, Rizzo was named the team's interim GM. Recently, Rizzo spent a few moments with La Esquina to talk about the team's future presence in the Dominican.