Riggleman: A Beggar Who Thought He Was a Chooser

When Jim Riggleman fired himself last week after winning 11 of his last 12 games with the Nationals, it was weird at first and only got weirder the more you thought about it. Jim Riggleman isn’t a great manager. His career record is 662-824. As Tom Boswell has written, he has “the worst record in baseball history of any 12-year manager.” Some analysts suggested that Riggleman didn’t want to resign, he just wanted to bluff Mike Rizzo into picking up his option year. But Jim Riggleman is a mediocre manager of bad baseball teams. He is not a man with a great deal of leverage: he is a beggar who thought he was a chooser. And unless another team boss makes a decision as foolish as Riggleman’s, he will never manage in the major leagues again.

According to GM Mike Rizzo, Riggleman gave an ultimatum: if he wasn’t given an extension before the team left for Chicago, he wasn’t getting on the bus. When Riggleman didn’t get his extension, he explained to reporters that the reason he quit was that his one-year contract was intolerable, and “I’m too old to be disrespected.” Riggleman’s hometown newspaper, the Washington Post, spent the next several days trying to come up with an explanation for why he did what he did. They couldn’t. Dave Sheinin and Adam Kilgore quoted an unnamed acquaintance of Riggleman’s as saying, “I can’t think of a single way in which Jim’s life is going to be better because of this… And I can think of a hundred ways it will be worse.”

Riggleman apparently had been chafing under his one-year contract for quite some time; he believed that the fact that he had no job security past 2011 was a sign of disrespect. And there is no doubt that it was: Rizzo clearly did not believe that Riggleman was the Nationals’ manager of the future, as no general manager in his right mind would ever think of Riggleman as anything other than a placeholder. The man is 162 games under .500 in his career. He has never finished first. He has only finished second once. He has only finished third twice — but the first time came during his first managerial stint, when he took over the Padres with 12 games to go in the 1992 season, and the team went 4-8 as they limped to third place.

The Padres experience is instructive for the present situation. The Padres went 82-80 in 1992, but they lost 101 games the next year, Riggleman’s first full season as manager. Of course, that was the year of the famous fire sale, when they traded away Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield for prospects. (Most of the players they got back for McGriff and Sheffield never panned out, but in those and other trades, they acquired Trevor Hoffman, Andy Ashby, Brad Ausmus, and Derek Bell.) Riggleman’s team was being dismantled around him, and San Diego management may not have intended to keep him around to reap the benefits of the youth movement.

At the time of the 1994 strike, Riggleman’s Padres were 47-70. Baseball wouldn’t return until April 25, 1995, and Riggleman wouldn’t return to the Padres. He wanted more than a one-year contract, which the Padres wouldn’t give him but the Cubs would, and so he accepted a two-year deal to manage in Chicago. (The Padres offered him a one-year contract with an option year, similar to the contract that Riggleman found disrespectful in Washington.)

Contemporary news accounts indicate that most people within baseball believed he had made the best of a bad situation — but the Padres’ unwillingness to give him a long-term commitment indicates that they didn’t believe he was their manager of the future. When he went to the Cubs, the Padres turned to 39-year old third base coach Bruce Bochy, giving him his first managing job, and Bochy managed the team for the next twelve years. Riggleman spent five years with the Cubs, managing the team to the wild card in 1998 — they beat the San Francisco Giants in a one-game playoff, then got swept by the Braves in the Division Series. It was the only playoff appearance of Riggleman’s career. The following year, the team went in the opposite direction, losing 95 games, and Riggleman was fired at the end of the season. At the time, he said he understood why:

I’ve got nobody to blame. I think everybody has to be accountable. I’m accountable and this is the result of wins and losses… I guarantee you there were a lot of people around baseball who probably said, ‘How in the hell has that guy kept his job as many games as he’s lost?’

Riggleman wouldn’t manage again for nearly a decade, until the Mariners made him a fill-in in 2008, after they fired John McLaren, but they declined to retain Riggleman’s services. So he went to coach for the Nationals, who made him their manager after they fired Manny Acta. Ironically, when Riggleman quit a week ago, John McLaren followed Riggleman as interim manager of the Nationals, before the team finally hired Davey Johnson.

Davey Johnson hasn’t won a league championship since the 1986 Mets, and he hasn’t managed since the 2000 season, but he is widely considered a terrific manager but one who had trouble getting along with management. As of now, that is going to be Riggleman’s reputation too — except that, even though he received credit for making the most of a difficult situation in San Diego (and DMZ at USS Mariner gave him the same credit for his work in 2008), he doesn’t have Johnson’s reputation as a skipper. Johnson’s teams have generally had more money and been better run, while Riggleman’s Padres and Nationals were both young, rebuilding teams with no hopes of sniffing the playoffs, but still — Johnson is 257 games over .500 in his 15-year managerial career, and Riggleman is 162 games under .500 in his 12-year career. That’s a hell of a difference.

Riggleman doesn’t have the track record to back up his self-image, and now he’s given himself the reputation of a troublemaker as well. Managers like Riggleman are always the guys who get one-year contracts. He isn’t a managerial prospect, he’s a managerial stopgap. And because he has a habit of bolting every time he’s on a young team whose prospects may be turning around — San Diego in 1995, Washington in 2011 — no one will ever feel comfortable giving him the chance to take a team to the promised land.

After all, every team is going to have to ask themselves, how in the hell did that guy expect to get another job, as many games as he’s lost?




Print This Post



Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.

122 Responses to “Riggleman: A Beggar Who Thought He Was a Chooser”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Telo says:

    Great title… Riggleman looked awful through this entire ordeal – and for good reason. He gave up the best job in the world because of his ego. Definition of idiot.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 44 says:

      As a Nats fan, I always thought he was a decent manager. Never made many head-scratching moves at all IMO.

      Maybe the fact that he managed for 12 years with that record shows that baseball people thought he was a good manager.

      I am convinced something was going on in that clubhouse, and he didn’t think Rizzo had his back.

      He was wrong to quit on his team, though.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. CircleChange11 says:

    Riggleman could tell that he wasn’t their manager of the future.

    He gets to manage the Nats when they’re bad. Someone else was going to get to manage them when they’re on the upswing.

    He tried to force his way into their future. Not a completely bad move for a bad lameduck manager.

    Essentially he was just in a dead end job and chose to bow out early. Not my preference, but I can see how he felt disrespected. I don’t see where he earned the respect in the first place.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The only way he could have earned the respect would be to keep winning, and keep the team around .500 into the late summer. If they were still playing meaningful games in August, there would be a powerful incentive for Rizzo to keep him on. Right now, there’s essentially no incentive for any executive to ever hire him as manager again, or even to name him as an interim manager, because they don’t need the headache.

      Instead, he gave up a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of salary and all future managerial hopes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Will says:

        1) Riggleman lives in the DC area (Bethesda), has plenty of money, and for him the Nationals’ gig was his dream job. He’s 58 years old, so not getting another chance may not bother him too much.

        2) After giving Werth $126 million over seven years, giving coach $600k to see if he might be the guy would’ve been a reasonable investment.

        3) Rizzo’s account that Riggleman “demanded an extension” probably isn’t true. Riggleman has maintained he simply wanted a conversation about picking up his option for next year, and Rizzo refused to have that discussion.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu says:

        Alex, I liked the article and agree with your analysis of the situation.

        But don’t you think that it’s pretty silly to measure a manager by W-L record? It seems even sillier than measuring a pitcher by it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu, you weren’t the only person to raise that point. See discussion below in the thread.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kick me in the GO NATS says:

        I totally agree. Measuring managers by wins and losses is stupid when they take over real horrible temas.

        The fact is Riggs was actually the best manager in baseball most of the last month and was going to be asked to coach in the All Star game. He utilized his relievers and players better this last season than most managers I have ever seen (25 years). The Nats are a last place team talent wise, but once Riggs started getting creative with his lineups and utilization of players we started to win. He gets all the credit for that 12 of 13 streak from me.

        DJ is nowhere near as good right now, and the team is responding accordingly. We just got swept by a below .500 team after sweeping several above .500 teams during the streak under Riggs. My view is Rizzo really mishandled this and should be fired if the team finishes with 72-74 wins when the season is over.

        Davey Johnson’s previous teams all had issues with extensive steroid and Cocaine use. I hope he does not take a blind eye to anything like that now on the NATs (if any). Gooden and Strawberry could have used a good manager rather than an enabler when they were young.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • johngomes says:

        you guys are right on a bunch of points, but he wore out clippard last year.

        i think rizzo mishandled and had a bad press job of covering up

        i have also heard other gm s view on this and they were extremely relluctant to talk about it.

        rizzo had no right to make this dirty laundry air, and he didnt give an ultimation.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • waynetolleson says:

      “Essentially he was just in a dead end job and chose to bow out early.”

      I think you hit the nail on the head. This obviously isn’t something that happened overnight. He wanted to discuss the possibility of his being extended through 2012, and the upper management wouldn’t even meet with him.

      That must have been a clear signal that they didn’t want him back, and were ready to replace him with someone they wanted more when that guy became available.

      The writing was on the wall. Better to leave during a winning streak than waiting for the axe to fall next time the team hit a losing streak

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Greg says:

      You left out the part where he will never manage in the big leagues again. A dead end job beats no job, especially when it’s a pretty cushy dead end job. And who knows, maybe the Nats don’t find a replacement for 2012 and could have picked up his extension. He cut out that possibility entirely, and for what? I’d be absolutely shocked if he ever gets another managing job.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Paul C. says:

        For you and I, a dead job beats no job. But for a 58-y/o (presumed) millionaire who has been coaching in the major leagues for 12 years? Maybe not so much.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. hunterfan says:

    What’s all this stuff about Riggleman having a god-like image of himself as a manager? There’s an entirely plausible scenario, backed up by some versions of the facts, in which Riggleman was sick of certain aspects of his job, specifically lack of support by ownership and management, and players who refused to listen to him because they thought he was a lame duck.

    He didn’t want to continue under those working conditions (he couldn’t look at himself in the mirror, to paraphrase his quotes about the matter) so he told ownership the only conditions under which he felt he could continue.

    They didn’t want his services under those conditions, so he resigned.

    If his job really was that heinous to him that he felt he couldn’t continue under the current working conditions, then his decision is perfectly justifiable. Assuming a basic ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself, I blame no one for quitting a job that is harming their mental sanity.

    It is rushing to judgement, and more than a tad unfair to Riggleman, to assume Riggleman’s request for an extension was motivated entirely by some kind of god-complex in which he was out of touch with reality rather than untenable working conditions.

    +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Hunterfan, you’re not alone in that interpretation. Tim Keown of ESPN wrote that Riggleman quit because “he could no longer serve as a salesman for the Washington Nationals… When Riggleman decided he was disrespected (damn, almost made it through without that word), he decided he could no longer say the stuff he didn’t believe for a group of people who no longer believed in him.”

      http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=keown-110628

      I don’t know that he has a god-complex, but the reason that I blame him for the way he handled himself is that even if he considered his working conditions intolerable, he could have gone about addressing it in a much different manner. Instead he talked about the “disrespect” of being on a one-year contract — which is simply silly, because, again, he’s Jim Riggleman, and no one is going to give Jim Riggleman a multiyear contract.

      There was no need for him to burn his bridges in the way he did. If he felt the need to leave, he could have said something about wanting to spend more time with his family, and wishing the team all the best. Instead he caused public embarrassment for everyone.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hunterfan says:

        Yes, he could’ve handled the end of the situation much better, doubtless. But I guess what threw me off was the gist of the article (to me, anyway) was that Riggleman was trying to make a calculated move to strong arm ownership into picking up his contract when his record in no way justified that. However, what I am saying is that that interpretation is a tad unfair to Riggleman. It is also entirely possible he is a man who had a job he could no longer take for reasons he perceived were within management’s ability to rectify, and when management refused to rectify it, he snapped.

        The first interpretation paints Riggleman as pompous, self-important opportunist, the second as a poor schmuck in a place a lot of us have been.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) says:

        For the record, I think the story is most likely somewhere in the middle. Riggleman probably does think of himself highly, but not necessarily as high as portrayed. He probably did “try” to have meetings about his contract, though I doubt the Nationals completely blew him off (bad business if they did). Riggleman appeared to be a relatively unhappy man between a rock and a hard place. It sucks, but that’s how it happens sometimes. He should have handled his exit better, I especially condone the family exit (though the bar pics would’ve made him appear to be a liar), and moved on. I have all the empathy in the world for a man with bad luck, but I think he probably created more bad luck with his exit than before.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Telo says:

      “untenable working conditions.”

      lol.

      Cut through all the crap you just said – your thesis is that he was miserable as the manager of a major league baseball team. That’s called being clinically depressed. And if he’s actually sane… well, that’s called being a pu$$y. Arg, you’re managing the Nats! Tough break. Too bad it’s not the Yankees. Go kill yourself. It’s the only option left.

      He had two very clear choices:

      - Give the ultimatum, knowing you are probably going to have to quit

      or

      - Keep managering an MLB baseball team, assumedly his life goal after his playing dreams were over, making 7 figures, not worrying about winning or losing since you are done after this year anyway – and that’s the worst case scenario. Best case, the Nats keep winning and he increases his chance of coaching in the future.

      So dumb.

      -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hunterfan says:

        I’ve been there, sadly. I had what I thought was my dream job and was miserable, every f-ing day. I was literally sick and shaking before I went to work. When I got home from work, I couldn’t relax because all I could think about was about having to go to work the next day. I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and have to go to work.

        When you’re in a place like that you think less than logically because all you can think about is how miserable your job makes you.

        Maybe that’s depression, maybe that’s being a pussy but if that’s what truly happened to Riggleman, he has my sympathy.

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Telo says:

        Um, then it wasn’t your dream job. And yes, it sounds like there was something wrong with you. If he was actually depressed and hated being a manager, he would have just quit. Why would he risk continuing that hellish existence?! O the agony!

        -21 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JohnnyComeLately says:

        Plus, it’s not like he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. He’d been a manager many times before.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) says:

        @Telo: Keep preaching ignorance.
        @JohnnyComeLately: A management position in any organization will vary between each organization as the front office is handled differently in each organization. Or have you not noticed that Boston, New York, Toronto, Florida, and in fact every team handles their players, funds, and farms differently?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Yirmiyahu says:

        “If he was actually depressed and hated being a manager, he would have just quit. Why would he risk continuing that hellish existence?”

        Telo, that’s exactly what he did. And if you can’t imagine someone in a prominent, high-powered position being unhappy and hating their job, I don’t know what to say.

        And it’s not like being an MLB manager is a low-stress, cushy job where you can make your own hours and come home to your family every afternoon.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kick me in the GO NATS says:

        Telo that is the dumbest post you have ever written. Being a MLB manager is a very tough and stressful job. I do not know if you have ever had a stressful and tough job, but without having the feeling your working together as a unit it totally sucks. So if Riggs did not matter to management, then it would be absolutely one of the worst jobs ever to have except for the pay. But, he was the lowest paid guy by a fairly substantial amount, so I would think it was impossible to work under those conditions.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        “Plus, it’s not like he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. He’d been a manager many times before”

        Do you really think holding the same position for a different company is exactly the same?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Hurtlocker says:

    You can count on one hand how many managers actually seen to have bargaining power these days. Riggleman was foolish to think he was one of them and even more foolish to “poison the well” on himself for the future.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • richie says:

      By quitting, he did what he had to do. If you listen to the interview with WFAN, he says he went to management on a few occasions and was rebuffed of a sit down. He even let them know that it would result in his in season resignation. You have to respect that.
      I don’t really get how he did anything out of line. Again, you can not manage in the big leagues with a one year deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Trotter76 says:

        I don’t understand your statement “you can not manage in the big leagues with a one year deal.” Are you saying players won’t listen to a guy who’s not signed through the following year? That’s nonsensical.

        Riggleman was the boss of that clubhouse, and made the decisions about who played each day. Furthermore, they were winning, which in and of itself earns one some leeway with your players (who bitches during a winning streak?). The players would have no idea if he would be retained during the offseason, so they wouldn’t risk getting cut or benched by disrespecting their manager. There have been lots of managers on one-year deals and even interim managers who WIN SOME GAMES and keep the job. It’s pretty easy calculus.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • blwfish says:

        > you can not manage in the big leagues with a one year deal.

        We have an existence proof to the contrary. There’s a guy named Walter Alston who always worked on a one-year contract. Twenty three of them, in fact. There are those who would claim that he was successful, with seven pennants and four Would Series titles.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. richie says:

    You can’t manage in the big leagues with a one year deal. Period.

    He’s won 44 percent of his games with shitty teams, so questioning his skill level is not really fair.

    In my opinion.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Of course you can manage in the big leagues with a one year deal. Walter Alston did it for 23 consecutive years with the Dodgers.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Are you familiar with the saying, “the exception that proves the rule”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Aren says:

        That’s not what the phrase means. “Proof” in that phrase is intended to be used the way scientists use it; a lab “proof” is a test.

        “The exception that tests the rule” being the more appropriate phrase, it should maybe be asked whether there was something exceptional about Alston’s case that allowed him to be successful under that contract situation.

        That is, perhaps “You can’t manage with a one year contract unless Condition X is met,” where Condition X applied to Alston is correct. Or maybe the one year contract thing is bunk.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I can only assume that’s a yes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Alston case isn’t really comparable; the labor situation in Major League Baseball was obviously vastly different in the 1950s (when Alston began to manage the Dodgers) than it is today.

        But Alston’s success disproves the contention that “You can’t manage in the big leagues with a one year deal. Period.”

        Of course you can. Having no job security is stressful, but it doesn’t prevent a manager from doing his job.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • rich says:

        Walt did it but you are talking about a different era altogether. I was just referring to being a manager today, with today’s modern athlete. I wasn’t making a definitive scientific statement of fact. In my opinion, giving a manager back to back one year deals is not in the best interest of the manager, the team, or the clubhouse environment.. This has nothing to do with my opinion of Jim as a manager. It’s just that if the guy has been with you for 2-1/2 years, and has been a company guy for all this time, then don’t you think if he calls up Mike Rizzo and asks for a sit down, that he should at least get that? It’s hard to make a judgment without all the facts.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Of course, he deserved a sit-down. At that point, you just have to get granular with the he-said he-said between Riggleman and Rizzo. But your statement contained no nuance whatsoever: you simply wrote, “You can’t manage in the big leagues with a one year deal. Period.” And that’s not true. Of course a manager can manage with a one year deal. He might not like it, but he can do it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Chair says:

    Am I really supposed to care about manager wins and losses? It’s even more detached than pitcher wins and losses… Give me a real reason to think he’s a bad manager, then we can talk.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hunterfan says:

      Great point. That’s like saying Jamie Moyer should be in the HoF because he has 270+ wins. Riggleman’s actual W/L should be immaterial, what should matter is if his team over or underperformed in the years he coached them. If he had a bunch of AA guys playing at the major league level and coached them into a 50 win season, then that’s obviously a success, despite the fact his W/L record would look poor.

      Hasn’t someone come out with a book called “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers”? There must be a better way of saying Riggleman was a good or poor manager besides citing his team’s W/L records.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        “Great point. That’s like saying Jamie Moyer should be in the HoF because he has 270+ wins”

        But we don’t say that. Because we have other, better ways of evaluating pitchers… how else can we evaluate the manager?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        “But we don’t say that. Because we have other, better ways of evaluating pitchers”

        No, the reason we don’t say it because it’s a very stupid thing to say. You don’t have to know a good way to evaluate individual talent to know that W-L records are a very bad one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        “while I agree with you that there is certainly a great deal of noise in managerial wins,it’s not a completely irrelevant stat

        Whatever relevance can be associated with it comes from other contextual data, though (as you just mentioned re: Jaffe’s work). So by itself, yes, wins is a completely irrelevant stat.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • According to Chris Jaffe’s book “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers,” through the 2008 season, Riggleman’s teams were a combined 159 runs below average — the methodology is complicated, but it’s a combination of the performance of individual hitters, individual pitchers, team offense, team pitching, and Pythagenpat.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=I_K8gplq24gC&pg=PA40

      Also, while I agree with you that there is certainly a great deal of noise in managerial wins, more so even than pitcher wins, it’s not a completely irrelevant stat. The fact that Riggleman has the worst record ever for a 12-year manager is still noteworthy, I think.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • joshcohen says:

        “The fact that Riggleman has the worst record ever for a 12-year manager is still noteworthy, I think.”

        Maybe, but what’s more startling to me is that he was afforded the opportunity again and again to compile that record. That fact suggests to me team presidents/GMs think his “true talent” managing ability likely exceeds the ability demonstrated by his W/L record. That’s not to say that there aren’t a myriad of reasons that result in managers getting rehired–great interview skills, a reputation for working well with young hitters, ability to work for a bargain price, be related to the team president, etc etc. But 12 years–in any job in baseball–is noteworthy.

        To compare it to player stats–if you’re a player producing negative WAR, there is a theoretical limit to how negative that number can be for a season because you’ll eventually be taken out of the lineup. Wouldn’t that also be the case for a manager? Wouldn’t he stop getting managerial jobs if his W/L record was a true measure of his talent? His poor managerial W/L spread may actually paradoxically show he’s not *that* bad.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • joshcohen says:

        err, “practical limit”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Chris says:

      I agree, a manager W/L record is useless. Do you have a better way to judge it? Do you have a real reason to think he’s a good manager?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        “No, the reason we don’t say it because it’s a very stupid thing to say. You don’t have to know a good way to evaluate individual talent to know that W-L records are a very bad one”

        Perhaps, but W/L records are relevant here because managers are deemed good or bad based on those records. Rigglemen had a horrible W/L record record, therefore he was being foolish if he expected to be in any kind of barganing position at this stage of the game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bigmouth says:

      Although I agree W/L is an imperfect way of evaluating managers, I don’t agree with the pitcher analogy. The problem with wins and losses is they’re a team stats, and a pitcher doesn’t control his teammates. By contrast, the manager has control over everyone who plays (if not how they play).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Edward says:

    Riggleman reminds me a little of Jim Zorn. The ‘Skins management did everything they could to show Zorn they hated him, but he stayed there and took it. Riggleman wasn’t treated as badly, but it seems pretty clear that he was going to be fired at the end of the season no matter what. Unlike Zorn, he decided that his dignity wasn’t worth the cash (and, apparently, the opportunity to manage in baseball again).

    Seems like a high price, but it’s perhaps understandable.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. BDF says:

    The level of vitriol this situation has occasioned mystifies me. Riggelman did what he thought was in his best interest; the Nats did what they though was in their best interest; the result is that Riggelman no longer manages the Nats. This kind of thing happens tens of thousands of time every day in the labor market. Riggelman may have misjudged the situation–although I doubt that he was unaware of the likelihood that Rizzo would call his bluff and that quitting would seriously negatively affect his future employment chances in OB–but I don’t see how that justifies calling him a pussy or a quitter or a bad guy. It’s just one man’s single misjudgment that has no effect on you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I’m not calling him a pussy or a bad guy. But I think it’s completely justified to say that he quit. He left a team that was successful, and I think his actions will have profoundly negative consequences for himself.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BDF says:

        He definitely quit, I think that’s pretty obviously the best word for it. But you (and many others) are giving it a moral bent that I just can’t understand. People are allowed to quit their jobs. There’s nothing wrong with it.

        As for the negative consequences, only Jim Riggelman knows about that. If he’s happy not managing or working in baseball again, it’s hard to see how there are any negative consequences. Even if that’s not the case, the negative consequences are his and his alone. It’s not like he dumped a bunch of toxic waste in the Potomac, but you (and many others) are making it sound as though those “negative consequences” are somehow felt so widely as to warrant his condemnation. I just don’t see that.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BG says:

        I don’t think what ever happens to him will be profoundly negative.

        The guy is 58 and probably has a decent nest egg of savings.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JamesDaBear says:

        People who quit reasonably don’t sign contracts committing themselves to doing a job. Extortion is not the tactic of a reasonable or laudable person. People are allowed to quit, but they are labeled as such, especially when you correctly consider their method of resigning.

        The only reasons there won’t be negative consequences for the Nationals to Riggleman not meeting the terms of a contract to which he knowingly agreed, is because he’s not a valuable asset at manager to begin with and easily replaceable. Kudos to the Nationals to already having superior candidates in house to replace him and acting quickly to reduce any damage.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Trotter76 says:

      I think a lot of it is because the guy was managing a Major League Baseball team, something a lot, if not most, of the people on this site wish they were doing instead of working at this damn desk. It’s a lot like the Hugh Grant situation in which he cheated on Elizabeth Hurley in the back seat of some car and got busted. It had no affect whatsoever on anyone else’s life, but damn if he didn’t get a bunch of shit for it. “You were with ELIZABETH goddam HURLEY!! Seriously, that’s not enough for you??” Same idea. Riggleman’s gonna say “Take this job and shove it!”? Poor baby feels disrespected? Cry me a river. He’s an idiot. Maybe if he worked a job that doesn’t have 4 months vacation and pays 5 figures like the rest of us.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I’m not mad at Riggleman for leaving his job. But I’m shocked by the manner with which he did so. If he wanted to leave, he could have left with class, instead of guttersniping. Riggleman had potshots for everyone, from GM Mike Rizzo to Washington Post columnist Tom Boswell. And from the comments from Nationals players immediately following his resignation, none of them openly supported his actions. They all expressed surprise, and most of them appeared to support Rizzo.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • evo34 says:

      I agree. Most people quit their jobs while experiencing relative “success.” That does not mean, however, that they think they are being paid or treated fairly, or that they are enjoying what they do. Employment is “at will.” Once one party does not want to continue, it’s over. Big deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Hurtlocker says:

    Doesn’t it make more sense for Riggleman to finish the season, maybe with a good amout of success and then say “hey I did my best and they still fired me” than just quit in the middle? He had a contract, they can’t make him resign, they can just fire him. Either scenario allows him to “save” him future and the positiive feelings toward him over the situation. Now he is just a quitter, cry baby, idiot ect. which I’m sure is not what he really wanted or deserved.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan) says:

      A lot of commentors here agree with you.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JamesDaBear says:

      Actually, if he decided to do the right thing and meet the terms of his contract, he wouldn’t have been fired. They either would have picked up the option on his contract, or not.

      It was completely within the Nationals rights to not have a discussion with Riggleman about the managerial position for 2012. He was not entitled to employment with the Nationals after completion of this year.

      In fact, he signed away all control over this when he agreed to a contract including an option year for next season. At any point they liked, they could have activated their option to retain his services for 2012, and I’m sure they’re glad they didn’t do that now.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BDF says:

        And he was completely in his rights to walk away. The contract could have included financial penalties for his doing so. It didn’t.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JamesDaBear says:

        And we’re completely in our rights to call him a fool and a quitter for doing so, especially in the manner in which he did.

        Don’t equate their sides though. Riggleman’s contract unequivocally states he agreed to manage the team for the duration of the 2011 season. Nowhere in the contract does it state that he’s expected to quit after three months if they don’t want to talk about the option for next year, much less guarantee it or raise his salary. Show me a contract including that provision.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bobby g says:

        And I’m sure if the Nats fired him mid-season, we’d all be blasting them for “quitting on riggleman.” you guys are all so corporate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Greg says:

    I live near DC so I have the misfortune of watching the Nationals channel. Riggleman actually had to do commercials for the Nationals–and a lot of them. And they’re terrible commercials. I thought it was incredibly disrespectful of the Nationals to make him do that, and I guess Riggleman thought so too. I really can’t blame him for leaving, because the Nationals really don’t run a first class organization in my opinion.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JamesDaBear says:

      Then he shouldn’t have signed a contract committing himself to doing the job. Extortion wasn’t part of his job description.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Breadbaker says:

        You’ve used the word extortion a couple of times and you clearly don’t know what it means. No one extorted anyone of anything. As a free citizen, Riggleman had the right to stop working so long as he was willing to face the legal consequence of not getting his salary. The Nationals, who were pretty obviously perfectly glad to get rid of him, weren’t made to do anything they didn’t want to do. Stop using loaded words just for effect. It doesn’t contribute to the argument.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • johngomes says:

        extortion, right, its a two way street idiot.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JamesDaBear says:

        What does… “I require a conversation or I don’t get on a bus” mean to you? That’s extortion plain and simple. It’s what he tried to do, and it didn’t work, because he drastically overestimated his leverage and his worth. The Nationals had the right to expect him to do his job for the duration of 2011 whether or not he got a conversation about 2012. He had the right to quit and not honor a contract he knowingly signed. And we have the right to call him a quitter and an extortionist. Whether you choose to ignore facts and basic definitions is up to you.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I have no idea whether they paid him for the commercials. They certainly should have. But, frankly, appearing in team advertising doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable job condition. Part of the manager’s job is to be the public face for the team. The Keown article I linked above argued that Riggleman no longer wanted to serve as the team’s public face — but I don’t think it’s out of line for the Nats to want their manager to appear in their commercials.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Schu says:

    I think you’re falling into the trap of assigning excess value to the manager’s position. Yes, there are differences between good and bad managers, but I don’t think a guy like Riggleman would ever be bad enough to keep a team out of the playoffs. Besides, much of your argument is based on the records of his teams and that has way more to do with the people making the personnel decisions than the manager himself.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • evo34 says:

      Exactly. There is no more meaningless head coaching position in sports than being a baseball manager. The “strategy” required is making a series of discrete decisions, most of which have almost no net impact on the game.

      That is why one-year contracts make full sense for managers. They very easily replaceable.

      P.S. Remington: If you want to ascribe any value to Riggleman’s W/L record, at least bother to a study to look at the before and after performance of his teams, controlling for personnel. This is, after all, an analysis site — not a place to write a full article saying nothing more than, “I think it’s crappy that some guy quit his job.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. donnie baseball says:

    Who care’s what his career record was? Since when does that stop somebody from being a quality manager once they get some talent on they’re teams.

    Anybody remember what happened to guys like Francona and Torre?

    He only managed horrible teams. Give those teams C. Stengal as manager with Cox and LaRussa as bench coaches and he they would still have horrible records.

    Riggleman was doing a great job, and from most reports I’ve seen well respected by the team.

    Bad move for the Nats. Though I do like D. Johnson

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin says:

      Just because W-L doesn’t show Riggleman to be bad…it doesn’t mean he’s a good.
      On what basis do you think the Nats would be better off with Riggleman?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Riggleman’s one and only “good team” was the 1998 Cubs. They overachieved and actually made it to the playoffs. But then essentially the same team lost 95 games the next year. Give him credit for the good team if you want, but he has to shoulder full responsibility for the team’s collapse.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • joshcohen says:

        It’s too simplistic to give Riggleman credit for the 98 team’s overacheiving (for what it’s worth, they beat pythag by 5 games…yes yes, that means very little) and probably just as wrong to blame him for the 99 team’s collapse. A lot of things went “right” in 98 that were seemingly beyond his control and a lot of things went wrong in 99 that were just as beyond his control.

        Start with roster compostion. No major FAs were signed between 98 and 99. They did, however, get older and injured. Kerry Wood, having produced 4.4 WAR for the 98 team (in 160 IP), missed the entire year. Despite this, they were 48-53 on July 31st. That day, they traded away their starting SS/3B Jose Hernandez (2 WAR to that point) and SP Terry Mulholland (2 WAR) to Atlanta. Replacing them were Gary Gaetti (age 40) and a bunch of replacement minor league pitchers. So their roster was roughly 8 WAR less talented year over year.

        Second, there was some regression to true talent levels. In 98, their non-Kerry Wood ace, Kevin Tapani, won 19 games…with a 4.60 FIP. Would you be shocked to learn he only won 6 in 99? This is the most pronounced case, but most of the pitching staff outperformed their peripherals in 98 and either underperformed or met expectations in 99.

        Looking back, I think the conclusion you should reach about those two teams is that the 98 team had a greater true talent than the 99 team, but neither team really was very good.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. ed says:

    Over his carrier, Jim Riggleman made a lot of right moves with the players and teams he managed. You have to have the players to do that. For what he had to work with I say he did a great job. In 4 years or less, when the current GM is gone the Nat’s should consider hiring him again.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Judging a coach by his experience and record with the Cubs, Padres, and Mariners seems a litle over the top. They have been some of the biggest losers in baseball. Add the Nationals to that cadre. Besides, if Rigglemen is such a loser, why did Rizzo hire him in the first place?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    So basically, Jim Riggleman is a replacement-level manager. If managers had a win statistic, it would be WAJR.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. jim says:

    wow, a remington article that wasnt totally stupid and irrelevant.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Jeff says:

    Using W-L record for managers is about as impressive as using it for pitchers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff, I agree with you, but perhaps not in quite the way you intended. While single-season pitcher wins are a virtually useless stat — like single-season managerial wins, and single-season UZR — in the aggregate, pitcher wins correlate pretty well with good results. There are no bad 300-game winners among pitchers. And there are no bad 1500-game winners among managers. There may be a few who aren’t far above average — the Lou Piniella/Don Sutton group, perhaps — but they’re all good.

      Obviously, manager wins isn’t the best stat for analysis. But after a 12-year career, managerial wins aren’t as meaningless as they are after a single season.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I still don’t agree with this. We know that there are no bad 300 game winners because we have better ways of evaluating pitchers, so we can use these better ways to evaluate the field of 300 game winners.

        We don’t *know* anything about manager performance, so we can’t confirm anything about the field of 1500 game winners, other than that they kept their job long enough to win 1500 games. What is the basis for singling Piniella and Sutton out as below other 1500 game winners, for example? There must be some other reliable way of evaluating managers in order to make a claim like this.

        Manager wins and losses don’t mean anything. 0*n = 0, even if n is really, really big.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Forgive me if my meaning wasn’t entirely clear. I meant to imply that Lou Piniella is probably one of the more mediocre of the 1500-win managers, and Don Sutton is probably one of the more mediocre 300-game winners.

        All stats attempt to capture meaningful observations amid noise. And all stats which capture meaningful observations tend to stabilize over larger and larger sample sizes. How do we know that a 2000-win manager was a good manager? Because of all of the information captured by those wins: the fact that his teams managed to win all those games, and perhaps even more importantly, the fact that he was good enough to be employed for that many games.

        OPS is effectively a bogus stat — it’s a sum of two quantities with different denominators — but it’s useful because it correlates extremely well with run production. Though it takes them much longer to stabilize into something useful, wins can be thought of in a similar way. Obviously, OPS isn’t the best offensive stat, and wins aren’t the most descriptive stat, either. But if you apply the proper caveats, they can be useful.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • evo34 says:

        Even to think about comparing player OPS to manager win pct. requires the massive assumption that the manager has significant control over winning. The hitting parallel for a manager being blessed/stuck with a given roster if is a hitter got a very different quality of bat to use season to season. He may have four of five years of being stuck with a balsa wood bat, and then get maple for one season. The point is that unless you are *very* carefully controlling for the quality of players, there is nothing you can say about manager quality. This is not true for players and OPS. Sample size will take care of luck for them. Most managers effectively have a sample size of 4 or 5 (the number of different teams they have managed), and so this will not even come close to normalizing over the course of a career.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. cs3 says:

    “There was no need for him to burn his bridges in the way he did. If he felt the need to leave, he could have said something about wanting to spend more time with his family, and wishing the team all the best. Instead he caused public embarrassment for everyone.”
    ===================================

    what?
    so you want to kick him because he was being honest?
    when you dont even have all the facts about what was actualy discussed (or NOT discussed) in the meeting between Riggleman and Rizzo?

    sure he couldve handled the situation better, but so could the Nats front office.
    Im sure he felt like if there was ever a time that he would be given an extension, this would be it. The Nats were playing the best ball they had ever played since the move to Washington and were doing so with very little talent.
    He probably assumed (incorrectly) that if they could spend $140 million on a single player, that they would almost have to give the coach, who had his awful team actually playing very well, another year and not risk the headache of finding a new coach midseason.

    He just made a very a very costly misjudgement .

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • You’re right, the blame is not Riggleman’s alone. As Adam Kilgore and Dave Sheinin wrote for the Washington Post:
      “In Riggleman and Rizzo, the Nationals had two people in key leadership spots whose strengths lied in the nuts-and-bolts-baseball parts of their job. Their largest weakness was communication. Rizzo was stunned by what happened yesterday. A manager and a general manager are supposed to be in constant communication. Obviously, for the Nationals, they weren’t – a functional working relationship simply does not lead to what happened yesterday.”

      http://wapo.st/k2ofWV

      The thing is, in replacing Riggleman with Johnson, the Nationals essentially experienced no loss in quality. They replaced Riggleman with an equivalent manager for effectively the same money. Mike Rizzo could have handled the situation better, but his ultimate outcome wasn’t appreciably worse than the status quo.

      Riggleman’s outcome was vastly worse than the status quo. He’ll never manage again. Unless he never wanted to manage again, he should have handled the situation far differently.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • cs3 says:

        i agree with that take.
        terrible communication was the main culprit, with a strong helping of poor judgement on Rigglemans part.

        your last 2 paragraphs are also correct
        the Nats are in the same position (and with the same outlook to the future) now, as they were with Riggleman in charge.

        And Riggleman is obviously in a much worse spot career wise… but its very possible he is happier and less stresssed – assuming he does in fact believe that he was mistreated by the FO and never given a fair shake.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. cs3 says:

    also, this thread just confirms that Telo the most ignorant dick who posts on this site..

    seriously, you troll Alex in every single post he makes.

    why even bother reading his articles? it goes far beyond mere disagreement with his position too… you just seem to have some twisted obsession

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. TK says:

    A pitcher has a large effect on the games he starts. A manager has a limited, maybe very limited, effect on each game. A managers w-l record is about as good an indicator of his ability as the starting second baseman’s w-l record.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Maybe. I imagine that if you compiled a list of the winningest second basemen of all time, most of them would be quite good, too. I’d be interested to see that list, if you put it together.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TK says:

        Unfortunately, nobody keeps stats on the won-loss record of players (which might tell you something), but I did do some rough, lunch-break calculations on best 2B winning percentage. I looked at all of baseball history and the best seasons by WAR without repeating (e.g. Morgan has a lot), and the record for those 10 seasons for their teams was 917-636 or about .590, which is higher than all but 3 of the top 56 managers of all time by wins. So there is a strong corrolation between having a ridiculously good year out of your 2B and winning, much higher than even their WARs would indicate. I would do more, but I have a job…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. TK says:

    Did Bobby cox magically go from being an awful manager to a great manager halfway through 1991?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Magically? Cox won a pennant with the 1985 Blue Jays, and averaged 92 wins a season from 1983 to 1985. Even finishing 81-80 with the awful 1980 Braves has to be counted as quite an accomplishment. And obviously his tenure as Braves GM was extraordinarily successful as well.

      I’m sorry, I don’t understand your point at all.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. pft says:

    Nats now 2-5 since Riggleman left and 0-3 under the new manager (who has a deal through 2012).

    Coincidence or not, Riggleman seems to have left on a high not.

    Quitting is a personal decision. It may well be that Riggleman felt retirement was a better option for him than managing the rest of the year without a commitment for 2012. I doubt it had anything to do with the players, but his coaches and the teams supporting staff may treat transient managers a bit differently and make it harder to get things done.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. DickAlmighty says:

    If Riggleman is telling the truth, and he couldn’t even get Rizzo to have a conversation about his contract situation, then I think Rizzo is the party who deserves to be blamed for the communication breakdown. Yes, Riggleman was under contract through 2011. Yes, the Nat’s were under no obligation to talk to or to extend him. But, it’s common courtesy for a boss to sit down with an employee if the employee requests a sit-down.

    All Rizzo had to do was meet with him, and be straight. Apparently, Rizzo was too much of a candy-ass to even have a conversation with his manager. I wouldn’t want to work for a chump like that either, even if it was in an MLB managing position. If this is the way Rizzo handles communications with employees, I think it’s safe tobassume we’ll see other managers complaining about his shortcomings as a GM in the near future.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. gu03alum says:

    1. I was at the last series he coached against the Mariners and the Nats won in spite of him. He batted the pitcher 8th which is stupid. It caused at least 3 possible scoring situations to end early. The last one was the worst. With runners on first and second with two outs in a tied game of the 7th inning he left Jason Marquis in to hit. Pineda blew him away with 96 mph heat – end of threat.

    2. As someone who lives in the DC area $600k, while much more than I make, is probably not enough to live comfortably here. After the city takes its cut and the ridiculous cost of rent here he probably isn’t left with much to save for his retirement.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ToddM says:

      Jesus, define comfortably for me, then. 350K+ after taxes better be enough to live comfortably and save unless your daily habits are snorting coke through disposable platinum straws and sacrificing a trio of purebred Shar Pei at sundown.

      (man, the random crap I come with while trying to be sarcastic is truly frightening, even to me)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ToddM says:

      Come UP with, that is. ewwww.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I live in the DC area, too. I’m a single guy, like Riggleman. I feel that I live relatively comfortably. My salary is also approximately 93% lower than Riggleman’s.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RC says:

        I made $60K and lived in DC a while ago. I was fine.

        There isn’t a city in the world that you can’t live comfortably on $600K.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Joey B says:

    Absolutely crazy.

    He had a contract. You’re supposed to fulfill your contractual obligations. If you didn’t like the option year, you shouldn’t have signed the contract. I don’t see how this is any different than Manny.

    Except for the fact that Manny was going to have a job at the end of this. In a world where people are scrambling to make ends meet, it rankles me that he left a $600,000 a year job (plus severance) because he was ‘disrespected’.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Lukas says:

      If Riggleman’s performance with the Nats had been very poor many of the same fans criticizing him now would likely be agitating for his firing. Which would be the Nats choosing not to fulfill their contractual obligations to him. You know, the same thing that happens 8-10 times a year in baseball. Teams can and do fire managers who are still under contract without being criticized for it.

      Contracts are not a one way street. Surely Riggleman or any manager also has the right to fire their employer (quit) if he feels they’re performing poorly in some way.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Colin says:

    I disagree with this article on the premise that Riggleman was a bad manager. Wins, losses, who cares, “bad” managers are simply the ones with the unfortunate designation of only managing untalented teams.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Max says:

    “As of now, that (Johnson’s reputation) is going to be Riggleman’s reputation too — except that… he doesn’t have Johnson’s reputation as a skipper.”

    Hmm…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Davey Johnson was out of a job for over a decade because he was presumed as something other than a team player. That, now, will be Riggleman’s reputation.

      The difference is, Davey Johnson is recognized as a good field manager. Riggleman is not.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. youknow says:

    Quick thoughs
    Is their a more over rated position in all of profesional sports then a baseball manager.

    Write a lineup, take out a pitcher, that:s the two main tasks of a manager.

    While their is something to be said for managing ego’s(perhaps the only reason we don’t see player/managers anymore).

    I don’t see why a manager can’t coach third base anymore either?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Casey says:

    People like Riggleman make me sick. I work as a subcontractor in the government arena and consistently outperforn my cohorts. What’s my reward: a one year contract at substantially less money than Riggleman made. The fact that I even get a contract is appreciated, especially when its for the year. People work a hell if a lot harder for much less, Riggleman should apologize for his ridiculous self-aggranding selfishness and go work a normal job at a average salary for year. Then maybe he would have some concept of how good he had it. What a jerk.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Would it have been better if he would have just went through the motions and finished out the year just picking up a paycheck?

      If we’re in the same situation at 58, and have enough money to retire, are we really going to continue working a job that has no future past that season/year, in a situation where we feel like our effort that year is being completely ignored because they have someone else in mind for the up and coming company?

      This is the country that coined the phrase “Take this job and shove it!”, right?

      He shoved it. He’s in a position to do that. If I win 5 million dollars tomorrow, I’m shoving my job too (and I like my job). No 2-week notice. No “I’ll continue working until you find a suitable replacement.” or anything of that nature. I’m not going to be thinking “Well, there are a lot of people out of work, I should continue to work out of respect for them.”

      IMO, the bigger disrespect would have been to continue working the job half-hearted and taking the money. He opened up a job for the unemployed to occupy … and they gave it to another retiree.

      I don’t understand the venom being spit at Riggleman.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JamesDaBear says:

        If you do that, you’re a jerk… to the people who you work with and the people who have hired you, trained you and paid you. Whatever position in life your windfall gives you, you’re still going to lose a lot of respect for doing that. A cardinal rule of business is never burn bridges. Only idiots do that.

        If he finished out the season just “going through the motions” and put in half effort, eventually he would have been fired and for cause. He’s barely good enough to show full effort and come off as competent. That doesn’t absolve him of shirking his commitments.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I don’t object to Riggleman leaving — as an employee, it is his right to leave his employment. But I criticize him for the way he left.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Jimbo says:

    Riggleman has taken alot of heat in Chicago for what the fans and media refer to as overuse of Kerry Wood in 1998. I did not look up Wood’s workload to verify that Riggleman overused him, but I do recall that Wood missed about the last month of the season with arm soreness, then started a playoff (or late season) game, then ended up with surgery the next spring. There is possibly some truth to the overuse theory because I heard Riggleman address it on the radio just a couple of years ago. He felt that the team had a chance and it was worth the risk to go for it. I think Riggleman has a reputation for burning out pitchers because I also remember similar comments from various media outlets when the Nats called up Strasburg last year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. CircleChange11 says:

    I would prefer for JR to walk away versus, just showing up everyday, collecting a paycheck while putting in a half-hearted work day. The latter is completely acceptable in our society, while walking away is not.

    People generally don’t like it when others quit something, especially when they view that person to be in a better situation than they are. However, when that person quits their marriage, job, etc … they have a “good” reason.

    As for manager wins, I would like to see a consistent approach. Depending on the point we want to make, managers are either not that important or a detriment. That doesn’t seem right/fair.

    JR has managed some traditionally bad organizations. Of course he’s going to have a bad W-L record. But there must be something to the guy as he keeps getting hired. He’s good enough to manage for 12 years. That’s probably not replacement level.

    His teams have likely, in general, performed as expected. Does that make him average, poor, good?

    This site probably views Francona as a very good manager because he doesn’t bunts, etc. Accoring to “manager stats” he doesn’t do much other than let really talented players win games. Is that good, average, poor?

    I don’t have answers. But Charlie Manuel has an outstanding coaching resume/record. Lou Pinella coached a champion.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • According to Chris Jaffe’s book, Francona has actually cost his teams runs — but his teams in Boston have been so stacked that they’ve won anyway. Also according to Jaffe’s book, Piniella was almost completely average.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. CircleChange11 says:

    I don’t condone the way he left, only tried to understand his reasons.

    It’s not my preference, but I also don’t want to assume that I’ll always do the noble thing in situations I’ll never experience. So I try not to speak authoritively on what I’d do as President, as a soldier, as a professional athlete, manager, etc. It’s a tricky deal because we all have opinions and the right to voice them.

    ——————-

    @JDB

    I might be a jerk in that situation. Others might view it differently.
    My life is made up of combinations of situations where I self-sacrifice to help others and situations where I put myself first and do what I think is best for me.

    I’m confident that I rarely make decisions where I please everyone.

    Certainly, Riggleman could have been selfless in this situation and continued to help a young team develop so that the team and the next manager would be in a better position. That would have been one road to take. But I don’t think inherently that JR owes everyone else to take that road. The road he took has consequences, and he will experience those. He may find that his life is better without the job, and he might not. But, I don’t think he owes it to other workers or the unemployed to keep his job. I just don’t see that type of selslessness being all that common in emotion-based humans.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *