There's always someone who wants to turn nothing into something, and it seems to be going on now with the Nationals' announcement of a promotion and a five-year contract extension for GM Mike Rizzo.
Some apparently feel it's too long of a commitment; that if the club hasn't turned the W-L corner by 2013 then they shouldn't have locked themselves into a deal that runs for an extra two years beyond that.
Others are telling themselves that giving Rizzo some additional responsibilities that were previously handled by Stan Kasten is a sign of thrift, that the club doesn't want to spend money on a new team president in the wake of Stan's departure.
First of all, Stan's exit was pre-planned. There was nothing spontaneous about it.
Second, Mike Rizzo was hired by Stan, plucked from the Arizona Diamondbacks based on Stan's impression that Mike had the right stuff to be a GM. That he was prevented from doing so right away is one of Kasten's regrets, I assure you.
Mike Rizzo reminded Stan of someone he'd known before: John Schuerholz. I only know Schuerholz slightly, but I recognize the similarities. Highly intelligent. Well respected. Exceptionally thorough. An extensive scouting background. Straight shooter. Schuerholz first became a GM - in Kansas City - when he was 42, after serving as farm director and scouting director. He'd worked for that franchise from its inception in 1969. He built the club that won the 1985 World Series, and left the Royals for the Braves in 1990, just in time to ride the crest of success in Atlanta that began in 1991, maintaining that degree of dominance thanks to a combination of smarts and stability.
Mike Rizzo - the son of veteran scout Phil Rizzo - played minor league baseball for four years before becoming a scout himself. He helped get the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise off the ground from their inception in 1998, and became their scouting director in 2000. He was hired by Kasten as Assistant GM/Director of Baseball Operations, and took over as GM when Jim Bowden resigned in March 2009.
The parallels with Schuerholz are many, and one can only assume that Kasten has projected a similar track for Rizzo. There's no hidden agenda in that five-year extension, unless you consider establishing stability and consistency in the front office a bad thing.
If you're anxious about the lack of someone with the specific title "president," chill out. Someone will likely end up with that on their business card sooner or later.