Nats GM Rizzo denies he's under investigation

Last Updated: Sun, May 22, 2011 20:10 hrs

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says he is not under investigation for verbally confronting umpires underneath the stands following a controversial call.

Rizzo said he contacted Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's vice president of operations, immediately after Thursday's game in New York, which concluded with players and staff on the Nationals bench jawing at the departing umpires following a crucial ninth-inning call that went against them.

"Despite a lot of the reports in the media, this by no means is an investigation against Mike Rizzo," Rizzo said before the Nationals played an interleague game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

But the Nationals GM refused divulge specifics about his conversation with Torre. He said only that MLB was conducting an investigation, but that it had nothing to do with an apparent blown call in the Nationals 1-0 to the New York Mets.

"This is an investigation of what happened last night after the game," Rizzo said.

Asked what he spoke to Torre about, Rizzo cut off a question and told reporters he could not talk about the conversation because "it's an ongoing investigation."

The Nationals were upset by a ninth-inning call at first base by umpire Phil Cuzzi, who ruled Washington's Jayson Werth out on a close play. Replays showed first baseman Daniel Murphy's foot came off the bag and the next batter, Adam LaRoche, grounded out for the game's final out with the potential tying run at third base.

Following the game, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, catcher Ivan Rodriguez and third-base coach Bo Porter were on the field hollering at the umpires as they departed.

Speaking at Yankee Stadium, Torre acknowledged talking with Rizzo and said he expected to have a resolution soon.

"We're still gathering information on the incident," Torre said. "We'll probably have something in the next few days."

Rizzo said he was sticking up for his team.

"My job is to stick up for the whole organization," he said. "I've always got the manager's, the coaches' and the players' back. Whenever I need to put myself on the line to do so, that's my job, so I'm willing to do it."


AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed from New York.

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