Mike Rizzo probably needs a vacation right about now.

The general manager – along with numerous other perfunctory titles – of the Washington Nationals claimed that phase two of the Nats plan to success was firmly in place when he signed Jayson Werth.

“Phase one was scouting and player development, building the farm system. … Now it’s the time to go to the second phase and really compete for division titles and championships,” Rizzo said in December.

It’s not exactly Christmas in July for Washington.

Laboring in last place and lingering 16 games behind the best team in baseball, Rizzo can’t escape Werth’s performance on the field.

Year one of a 7-year deal worth $126 million looks hopeless near the end of July.

Werth’s batting .215 with 11 homers and 35 RBI. He’s doing this as the clean-up hitter in a somewhat hitter friendly park.

It’s his worst season in baseball.

Rizzo has other reasons to be worried. He rushed ace Stephen Strasburg up so quickly that the youngster threw out his arm. He lost a manager after a walk-off win. Oh, and nobody goes to Nationals Park.

At one point in the season, the Washington Nationals legitimately entered a cluttered pennant chase.  Then July happened.  Washington now turns its attention to the Redskins and what high-priced veteran they can overpay.

No one does it better than our nation’s capital. You want to balance the budget? Don’t pay $18 million to a guy hitting around the Mendoza line.

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