Mike Rizzo blasts 'shock jock' blogger for 'cowardly' anonymous Harper bashing

Chris Lingebach
June 13, 2018 - 10:18 am
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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo used his weekly radio platform to go off on an anonymous source for bashing Bryce Harper, and the "shock jock" blogger who published the anonymous quotes.

On Monday, Robert Murray of Fan Rag Sports relayed a series of incendiary texts he received from a "top National League executive" about Harper, whom the source called "simply overrated," and "a selfish, losing player."

"He's a losing player," the anonymous source said. "I would not sign him. I would use that money to sign 2-3 winning players."

A seething Rizzo defended Harper before Tuesday's game against the Yankees, dismissing the anonymous quotes as "cowardly," "gutless," and "chicken s***."

"I think it’s just totally unfair on so many levels," Rizzo told The Washington Post. "First of all, the premise is entirely wrong. Bryce Harper is a winner. He’s been a winner his whole life. He’s been a rookie of the year, five-time all-star, an MVP. He’s won more games since he’s been called up to the big leagues than any player in the major leagues."

Rizzo was still admittedly "salty" by Wednesday morning, when he joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan.

"When they're unwarranted attacks on one of your own, a family member and stuff like that, I can't speak for anybody else, but yeah, I get salty," said Rizzo, sponsored by Burke & Herbert Bank. "It pisses me off and I'm not gonna stand idly by and let these clowns make these disparaging remarks about a player they obviously don't know, or they wouldn't have made the remarks."

"You're calling Bryce Harper a loser when he's got the resume of one of the great players of all-time at age 25," he said. "It shows your lack of knowledge of the subject matter. And also, how cowardly are you to hide behind some anonymous quote? So yeah, I was salty."

If Rizzo were able to identify the source, he was asked if he would he call that person directly.

"Of course I would," said Rizzo. "I would call them. I'd ask them what their situation is, what was the basis of the comments. Hey, everyone has their opinions. Bryce is a very polarizing Major League player. Your opinions are fine. I ain't got no problem with that. Put your name on it and we have no problem with it. There's no issues if you want to be that boisterous.

"Those comments were harsh. They were totally inaccurate and no basis to them. Those were infuriating comments. To then hide behind... talking real, real tough, and all that type of stuff, and, 'By the way, this is off the record. Don't use my name.' Come on, man."

"You better have your facts together when you say those kind of comments," he said. "But of course, when you don't put your name to it, there's no ramifications. He's anonymous. He walks around today and nobody knows who he is, and he may smirk and smile about it."

"The easiest thing in the world would have been to let it go," he continued. "It would have faded. But when I saw that MLB Network, then Yahoo Sports picks it up; and in today's age of social media, even these small-time writers, they get attention when they write these inflammatory type of articles about these very, very popular players.

"And Harp is, let's face it, Harp gets you clicks. That's what a lot of these, quote, unquote, 'journalists' are all about. It's not about the substance of the story. It's about be a shock-jock, and how much can I infuriate people to get attention and to get clicks on his blog and stuff like that. I don't know the guy. I wouldn't know him if he walked in this room."

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