I was very shocked to hear about the sudden resignation of the Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman today after their 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. When I first read it, I thought someone was being funny. Unfortunately there is no laughing in Washington tonight.
Riggleman, who was managing on a year to year contract, wanted to have a conversation with the Nats General Manager Mike Rizzo about his 2012 option once the team got to Chicago this weekend. Rizzo told him the Nats weren’t in a position to have a discussion and weren’t sure when they would be. So, Riggleman quit. I don’t blame him.
The Nats are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. They are making the same kind of movement the Dbacks made in May and early June. Rizzo, by the way, is a former scouting director for the Dbacks. The Nats are playing some solid baseball and the good vibrations were starting to be felt in the District of Columbia. We know how that feels around here, don’t we?
I find it interesting the Nats wouldn’t even discuss option with him. Forget contract extension, Riggleman just wanted a conversation. Could you imagine if that happened here in Arizona? If Dbacks manager Kirk Gibson was looking at an option for 2012, with the way the Dbacks are playing right now, you bet Kevin Towers would have accepted that conversation. Not saying an extension would be offered, but I sure as heck know the Dbacks value Gibby. Clearly, those mutual feelings between the front office and the manager didn’t exist in D.C.
Definitely a mistake was made by Nats management today letting Riggleman walk out on something that could be the start of something great there. The Nats seem legit. You saw them here three weeks ago and how they performed, splitting the series with the Dbacks. They fight, just like the Dbacks. Unfortunately the front office has no fight in them in D.C. and clearly Riggleman was not their guy. It’s a darn shame.