Is there some friction between Mike Rizzo and the Nats’ owner?

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Adam Kilgore has an interesting article up about the job status of Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.  The Nats just extended him per the terms of his current deal, so sure, that’s a vote of confidence. But there is some weirdness afoot too:

In April, Mark Lerner, the Nationals’ principal owner, told the Washington Times that the team had begun talks to sign Rizzo to a multiyear deal. Those talks, according to people familiar with the situation, have not happened.

And when is a contract extension not the most welcome thing in the world? Maybe when you’re riding high and believe you deserve a new deal altogether that ups your salary more significantly.

Palace intrigue and Kremlinology isn’t the most important thing in baseball, but it is kinda interesting.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.