(AP Photo. Livan Hernandez is apparently the backup plan for Mike Rizzo's backup plan. Or maybe not in Rizzo's plans at all.)
"[My agent and I] sent a proposal. I'm waiting for Rizzo to call me back, so I don't know what's going on. I called him a couple of times, and he never called me back. I want to go back to the Washington Nationals."
(Livan Hernandez, via Natioanls.com, 1/27/2010)
Poor Livo, waiting by the phone.
Rizzo won't call back!
Livan Hernandez wants to return to Washington - but the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual.
Now, we sort of figured all along that Livo would inevitably land back in Washington after all other possibilities had been exhausted. But if Mike Rizzo really isn't even returning his calls...maybe the Nationals really just aren't interested. At all.
About all Livo has going for himself now is his reputation as an innings eater. In his eight starts with the Nats in 2009 after being picked up off the scrap pile, he mostly delivered on that promise, pitching into the 6th inning in six of those eight starts (6, 8, 5, 7.1, 6, 3.2, 6.1, 6.1), for a total of 48.2 IP. But most of those starts were a mixed bag, and several were complete disasters. At the very least, the results (2-4, 5.36 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) were better than Daniel Cabrera. So,maybe Livo can still eat innings, but is it worth it if those innings are garbage? If Rizzo is unwilling or unable to take a chance on the remaining old/tired/injured/ etc. FA arms still hanging around on the market (Smoltz, Washburn, Wang, Bedard, etc.), are the Nats better off just taking a shot with one of the current in house arms for the rotation?
Here's more from Livan from that Nationals.com piece:
"When I call people, I would like them to respond to my phone calls and talk to me. Sometimes, it's very disappointing and frustrating. ... I want to show that I can help the team win. It's better now by signing Ivan and a couple of more guys."
Pick up the phone, Mike. Give Livo a call. Let him down gently if you're just not that into him.