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?



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


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Telo
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Telo
4 years 11 months ago

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.

44
Guest
44
4 years 11 months ago

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.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 11 months ago

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.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
4 years 11 months ago

“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

Greg
Guest
Greg
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Paul C.
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Paul C.
4 years 11 months ago

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.

hunterfan
Guest
hunterfan
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Telo
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Telo
4 years 11 months ago

“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.

hunterfan
Guest
hunterfan
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Telo
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Telo
4 years 11 months ago

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!

JohnnyComeLately
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JohnnyComeLately
4 years 11 months ago

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

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
Guest
My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
4 years 11 months ago

@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?

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
4 years 11 months ago

“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.

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
4 years 11 months ago

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.

RC
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RC
4 years 11 months ago

“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?

Hurtlocker
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Hurtlocker
4 years 11 months ago

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.

richie
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richie
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Trotter76
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Trotter76
4 years 11 months ago

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.

blwfish
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blwfish
4 years 11 months ago

> 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.

richie
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richie
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Chair
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Chair
4 years 11 months ago

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.

hunterfan
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hunterfan
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Chris
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Chris
4 years 11 months ago

“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?

Reverend Black
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Reverend Black
4 years 11 months ago

“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.

Reverend Black
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Reverend Black
4 years 11 months ago

“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.

Chris
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Chris
4 years 11 months ago

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?

Chris
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Chris
4 years 11 months ago

“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.

Bigmouth
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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).

Edward
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Edward
4 years 11 months ago

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.

BDF
Guest
BDF
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Trotter76
Guest
Trotter76
4 years 11 months ago

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.

evo34
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evo34
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Hurtlocker
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Hurtlocker
4 years 11 months ago

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.

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
Guest
My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
4 years 11 months ago

A lot of commentors here agree with you.

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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.

BDF
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BDF
4 years 11 months ago

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

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Bobby g
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Bobby g
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Greg
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Greg
4 years 11 months ago

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.

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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

Breadbaker
Guest
Breadbaker
4 years 11 months ago

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.

johngomes
Member
johngomes
4 years 11 months ago

extortion, right, its a two way street idiot.

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Schu
Member
Schu
4 years 11 months ago

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.

evo34
Guest
evo34
4 years 11 months ago

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.”

donnie baseball
Guest
donnie baseball
4 years 11 months ago

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

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
4 years 11 months ago

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?

ed
Guest
ed
4 years 11 months ago

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.

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Yes… they should definitely consider re-hiring a quitter and an extortionist.

channelclemente
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
4 years 11 months ago

He’d didn’t a) hire him and we wasn’t hired b) as a manager.

My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
Guest
My echo and bunnymen (Dodgers Fan)
4 years 11 months ago

a) spelling
b) make sense

channelclemente
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Let’s now wait for the Nationals to leap into the race.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
4 years 11 months ago

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

jim
Guest
jim
4 years 11 months ago

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

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
4 years 11 months ago

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

cs3
Member
cs3
4 years 11 months ago

“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 .

cs3
Member
cs3
4 years 11 months ago

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

TK
Guest
TK
4 years 11 months ago

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.

TK
Guest
TK
4 years 11 months ago

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

pft
Guest
pft
4 years 11 months ago

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.

DickAlmighty
Guest
DickAlmighty
4 years 11 months ago

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.

gu03alum
Guest
gu03alum
4 years 11 months ago

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.

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
4 years 11 months ago

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)

ToddM
Guest
ToddM
4 years 11 months ago

Come UP with, that is. ewwww.

Joey B
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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’.

Lukas
Guest
Lukas
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Colin
Guest
Colin
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Max
Guest
Max
4 years 11 months ago

“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…

youknow
Guest
youknow
4 years 11 months ago

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?

Casey
Guest
Casey
4 years 11 months ago

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.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 11 months ago

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.

JamesDaBear
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

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.

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo
4 years 11 months ago

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.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 11 months ago

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.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
4 years 11 months ago

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.

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