Reporting Sky Kerstein
Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman resigned today after sweeping the Seattle Mariners. The Nationals are 38-37 this season, winners of 11 of their last 12, and are over .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2005. Riggleman wanted his one year option on his contract picked up for next season and the Nationals wouldn’t talk about it, so Riggleman decided to resign today as his one year contract is up at the end of October.
Riggleman wasn’t happy he was getting only one year contracts every year and said, “Its not the way to run a ball club when you’re on a one year deal”.
Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said he got an ultimatum for the first time before the game today from Jim Riggleman after talking about this a few times during the season about his contract and that if his option wasn’t picked up today that he wouldn’t get on the bus after the game. Rizzo said they talked after the game and Riggleman didn’t change his stance so Riggleman resigned. Rizzo said he was “disappointed” with the timing and that this is a distraction and not thinking of the team first and thinking of personal goals and personal things first. Rizzo said it wasn’t the right time to talk about his contract.
Riggleman also said, “I’ve talked to Mike [Rizzo] in the past about addressing my situation, and it wasn’t the right time to talk, I understand that. I just felt that it’s worthy of a conversation. So it’s been brewing for a while, but I just felt that I know I’m not Casey Stengel, but I do feel like I know what I’m doing. And it’s not a situation where I felt like I should continue on with such a short leash, where every little hill and valley is life or death in the game. The game’s not fun that way.”
Jim Riggleman ends his Nationals managerial career at 140 wins and 172 losses in three seasons at the helm. In 12 years as a big league manager, including four different teams, he has 662 wins and 824 losses. Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo says they will name a new manager before their game against the Chicago White Sox tomorrow in Chicago. Rizzo did say all the assistant coaches will be allowed to stay if they wish to do so.