Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was ejected from Sunday's game in Atlanta for yelling at umpires from his luxury suite. The incident occurred when the Nationals, who are in last place in the NL East, were losing to the Atlanta Braves by six runs. When Rizzo was yelling at the umpires, crew chief Joe West said "enough is enough."
"I wouldn't take that from a player. I wouldn't take that from a manager," West told The Associated Press. "If it was Donald Trump, I’d eject him, too. But I'd still vote for him." West also said Rizzo was yelling at the umpires on Friday. “We informed the office that if it continued we’d stop it," West said. "And we did."
Umpire Joe West called security to apparently eject Nationals GM Mike Rizzo for not wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/9fCYJOWJaI— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 7, 2020
Rizzo was ejected after Braves pitcher Chris Martin threw a pitch to Eric Thames with two outs. Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt then stepped away from the plate, turned to the stands and yelled "You're out." Rizzo was seen yelling towards the field without a mask. He was saying, 'you’re brutal' and other things," West said. "We're in a pandemic situation, you can hear everything."
It's clear Rizzo is frustrated with how the season is going for the Nationals. With less than a month remaining in the 2020 season, the Nationals, who won the World Series last year, have a lot of work to do if they want to defend their title. As of Monday, the team is 9.5 games out of first place in the NL East, which is currently held by the Braves. But even if the Nationals don't make the playoffs this year, the team still believes in Rizzo as he recently signed a three-year contract extension.
"We are thrilled that Mike will continue to lead our club," Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said in a statement. "He guided us through the early years of building this franchise into what it is today - a perennial contender that brought a World Series championship home to Washington, D.C., last season."
Rizzo, 59, joined the Nationals in 2006 and took over baseball operations in 2009. During his tenure in Washington, the team has posted a 951-867 record, the seventh-best in the majors, according to ESPN. Since 2012, Nationals have baseball's third-best record at 743-590, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees.