Jim Riggleman Explains Sudden Resignation As Nationals Manager

Former Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan and spoke about his decision to resign from the ball club after beating the Seattle Mariners 1-0 and reaching one game over .500 this season. 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 yesterday as his one year contract is up at the end of October.

Riggleman said he spoke to Nationals management about the issue: “At one point, I said ‘You know what, I’m gonna come in here one day and just be prepared to have somebody else because I’m just going to walk in and say that’s it, I’m done.”

Riggleman explained that the one year contract was weighing on him and if it wasn’t resolved, he wouldn’t be in the right mindset to continue coaching. “I didn’t feel like they were totally committed to me so, it was gonna make it hard for me to totally commit to the ball club”.

He felt it was disrespectful to not even talk about an extension to his contract, and said “if we’re not gonna talk about it, that means that the future doesn’t include you”.

Riggleman said he spoke with General Manager Mike Rizzo prior to the game telling him that since there would be no talk of the contract, he was done and would address the team after the game. Rizzo told Riggleman that he didn’t want him to address the team, and that he would do that himself.

Riggleman has asked Mike Rizzo for an extention for a while, even before the Nationals’ June surge to above .500. But according to Jim, Rizzo wasn’t interested.

Mike Rizzo joined the Mike Wise Show with Holden Kusher. Rizzo said he made it very clear to Riggleman that they would not talk about his contract status in the middle of the season, despite Jim’s wishes.

Listen to the full interview with Rizzo here.

Riggleman also joked that he was “solving the world’s problems last night” when he let loose a little and hit Caddie’s in Bethesda to blow off a little steam. “I had to let those ladies get a look at me…there are some beautiful young ladies in that place!”

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.

Listen to the FULL INTERVIEW here:

106.7 The Fan’s Sky Kerstein also contributed to this article.

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  • joe

    Riggleman’s record needs to be seen as relative to the talent he has been given. He did more with less than anyone could have expected. He had the same team or less (after late season trades to contenders) than Manny Acta, but they played better and had a more upbeat attitude. Plus, he clearly created a nurturing, positive environment for the youngs guys. He let them play through their mistakes.
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    Just another example of the good ol ‘boys that run the US sports business and increasingly, the rest of US industry. Guys who have never posted a winning record– or made a profit for their shareholders– just keep moving around and getting bigger contracts with larger bonuses. How about rewarding the winners and finding some new talent to replace the losers?

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