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Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 6:55 pm
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Until Thursday, long-time baseball man Jim Riggleman was always viewed as a mild-mannered, cooperative guy who is a terrific organizational man.

From his days managing San Diego (1992-1994) to his stint running the Cubs (1995-1999) to taking over as interim skipper in Seattle (2008) to doing the same in Washington (2009), Riggleman always was the responsible one. Quiet.

And then on an afternoon in June that long will be remembered for its shock value, as if taking a page right out of the upcoming movie Horrible Bosses, Riggleman told the Nationals to take their job and shove it.

So Riggleman becomes the second manager in four days to resign, following Florida's Edwin Rodriguez on Sunday.

"It's getting weird," an executive with one National League club said. "There's only 30 of these jobs. I mean, come on."

Unhappy with the way he's been treated with a 2012 option hanging out there but not picked up, and low-paid relative to other managers at that, Riggleman staged a stunning showdown with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo before Thursday's 1-0 win over Seattle.

Pick up my option, Rizzo says Riggleman told him, or I'm quitting after the game.

Riggleman's agent, Burton Rocks, says Riggleman simply was demanding a personal meeting with Rizzo.

"This all came as a big shock to me," Rocks told CBSSports.com. "Jim called me today and said the following: 'I know there's been an informal dialogue between you and ownership. All I've asked is for a personal meeting with Mike on a human level without anybody in the media knowing. I've been denied that request [in the past] and I'm going to try again.'"

Rocks said it bothered Riggleman because the manager felt he is "a man of his word." The agent said Riggleman phoned him after Thursday's game against Seattle and informed him that he had resigned.

At 58, Riggleman had seen enough. A month ago, he seemed on the brink of being fired -- or, at the very least, of losing the Nationals' clubhouse -- when outfielder Jayson Werth said "changes need to be made" with the Nationals in the midst of an 11-18 month of May.

Werth insisted he was not speaking of Riggleman, and the two met and supposedly cleared the air. Maybe they did.

Clearly, issues lingered in the manager's office.

Among them, as Riggleman chafed regarding the option: Riggleman was making $650,000 this year, according to sources, which ranks in the lower third of manager's salaries -- and, for a man who has managed parts of 12 major-league seasons, at the bottom. His 2012 option called for a $700,000 salary.

"He's a good guy," the NL executive said of Riggleman. "I mean, shoot. Amazing."

Stunning part of it all it, the Nationals lately have turned it around. They've won 11 of 12, and they swept the Mariners. At 38-37, they haven't been one game over .500 this late in the season since the second-to-last game of the 2005 campaign.

Clearly, Riggleman, felt momentum was on his side in picking now to press his case.

"I'm 58," he told reporters in Washington after the resignation. "I'm too old to be disrespected."

Though Rizzo removed the word "interim" from Riggleman's title following the 2009 season and made him the permanent manager, that didn't change the perception that Riggleman was little more than a place-holder to help school Washington's younger players as they gained experience.

The thinking always was that Riggleman would only bring the Nationals to a certain point, and that when they were ready to win, someone else would be handed the keys to the car.

Thursday's shocking events, in which Rizzo said he just did not feel the timing was right to pick up Riggleman's 2012 option, pretty much confirmed that belief.

Another potential point of anxiety might have been the large shadow cast by Buck Showalter's managing not far away in Baltimore. Some people close to the Nationals thought that Showalter's presence as the face of the Orioles -- billboards in the area, television ads, etc. -- made Washington ownership want a bigger name, "celebrity" manager like Showalter.

Perhaps Riggleman sensed that same thing.

At any rate, the timing remains stunning. The Nationals have some good, young players in Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina and closer Drew Storen, and phenom Stephen Strasburg should return next year.

And Riggleman, while not a superstar manager, has proven himself capable. Having guided the Nats to 11 wins in their past 12 games, Riggleman could have forced the Nationals to pick up his 2012 option by building on their current success.

Instead, he spectacularly blew up his career as a skipper, probably for good.

Rizzo, who professed to being "surprised and disappointed", issued a seven-paragraph statement shredding Riggleman afterward. Among other things, Rizzo's statement said, "I was always taught that one of the cardinal rules of baseball was that no individual can put his interests before those of the team."

Managing is a tough job, and anyone who questions that need only look at the wear and tear on Jim Riggleman, the quiet one, the responsible one, the man nobody would have predicted would issue ultimatums ... and then follow through.

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:24 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

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Since: Jun 25, 2011
Posted on: June 25, 2011 8:54 am
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

Riggleman's reputatation is as an "organization man", a "team player", "low key".  If that is true, his timing fits his personality.  How can you be a team player on a team that obviously does not want you?  If he resigned after losing 17 of 18 like someone else did last week, I would call that quitting.  He just WON 11 of 12.  If Rizzo simply did not like the timing, he is indeed confirming Riggleman's assessment.  He doesn't want Riggleman as his manager, but losing his manager in the middle of a winning streak does not speak highly of Rizzo. Waiting to be thrown under the bus should not be a requirement of any job.  Leaving the team in great condition - how can that be so awful?  Riggleman not only got no respect, I don't think he got any THOUGHT from Rizzo until he walked away from the bus.  Shame on Rizzo for not taking care of his team's leader.



Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

I wish somebody would disrespect me for $600 grand a year.  Seriously, though, the key is the "too old."  Riggleman fails to realize that respect is earned by getting the job done, not putting in time.  if he had performed better as manager in the eyes of his boss, he'd have the respect he wanted.  And he doesn't have the fire in his belly to hang in there and get the job done and show those old so-and-sos.  So he's better off gone.  I respect his decision.



Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

Quite simply, Riggleman has my support.

Respect is a funny thing.  I'm sure he looked around and saw all of these players getting paid millions and could not believe he was having trouble receiving the courtesy of a meeting.  I'm also sure that this act was the result of years of being disrespected in the past (at least in his mind). The Nationals were just the last stop on the "Disrespect Express".   Was he paid to do the job?  Yes.  Could  you argue that he let a few of the players down by leaving?  Maybe (depending on their loyalty).

All I know is that I'm 50 years old and have worked for some less than stellar supervisors.  At some point, haven't we all just wanted to say, "Who exactly do you think you are?" and walk away?  All they had to do was be courteous, give him a meeting and recognize him with a lousy $50k.  Given their track record and history, you think they would have jumped at the chance and kept the positive momentum.  Sometimes we out think ourselves. 

Take a deep breath Jim and enjoy your time-off. 

P.S.   You were right.  At 58, you are too old to be disrespected.  Good move.




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

There's no clear right or wrong here as far as I see it.  True Riggleman had a contract, he agreed to it, he was paid what the contract said, he signed it and normally I would say it's a case closed deal right there.  But, from the sounds of it, it wasn't a money issue, sure he is low paid compared to others but all he was going after was a rotten $50000 raise with the new deal, so money wasn't the issue in this case it really was a respect thing.  THEY WOULDN'T EVEN GIVE HIM A MEETING.  And it wasn't the first time this happened.  He was doing a good job, as he usually does, depending on what he has to work with, they should have at least talked to him about it all and quite possibly this would have never happened.
Just as is the case with a player under contract even the final season, last 81, 41, or 8 Management isn't required to give him a ME, ME, ME, MY, MY, MY Meeting.  Especially after being given demands and ultimatums!

I can't for the life of me understand how a career .500 manager that hits the bar hours after Quitting on his team over differences or "respect issues" between him and management Gets a pass that not one player in any sport would get for even bring up such Me, Me, Me, I, I, I issues public during a season much less making and following through on such an ultimatum.
I now need to see you Jim Quitterman sympathizers homework where you all ever gave a player a pass for even coming close to doing what Quitterman did.


I fully accept a coach or manager quitting due to personal or health reasons.  Accept but not fully understand "being burnt out" or feed up with the overall team efforts and habits.  Can't won't accept Quitting on the team over Me, Me, I, I  issues with management and job security! 



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

There's no clear right or wrong here as far as I see it.  True Riggleman had a contract, he agreed to it, he was paid what the contract said, he signed it and normally I would say it's a case closed deal right there.  But, from the sounds of it, it wasn't a money issue, sure he is low paid compared to others but all he was going after was a rotten $50000 raise with the new deal, so money wasn't the issue in this case it really was a respect thing.  THEY WOULDN'T EVEN GIVE HIM A MEETING.  And it wasn't the first time this happened.  He was doing a good job, as he usually does, depending on what he has to work with, they should have at least talked to him about it all and quite possibly this would have never happened.



Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

Because Jim Quitterman isn't a million player, you give him passes Redwings 1969 for:
1. Having the nerve to seek, request, or demand in season ME,ME,Me and MY, MY, MY discussion of Contract.
2. Giving an ultimatum to management mins or hours before a game.
3. Walking away from the 22 players (no matter the problems individuals may have had with him or him with them) that battled through    &nbs
p; difficulties to win 11 out of 12 before the meaningless August/September games THAT HE WAS PAID TO LEAD.  Just because I, I, I, Me, Me, Me feel disrespected.

What career sub .500/below average employee has the right or leverage to make demands and issue ultimatums at the very first sign of success? 

Redwings 1969 you and your like minded buddies file away that Free Pass for the next player that feels he has "out performed his contract" or wants something done before the end of his final year takes the actions he feels is necessary to accomplish such. 




Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Riggleman shocker: Resigns as Nationals manager

Alot of ways to look at this and none of them are particularly favorable to Riggleman or the Nats organization.  Here's a guy getting paid 600k a year to manage a baseball team...and he thinks it's not enough?  Sure the players make a lot more, but last time I checked a manger never made a diving catch or hit a game winning HR.  Is he so stupid he doesnt think putting together a winning season would give him leverage not only with the Nats, but other teams as well?  All I have to say is I hope he has enough money saved up to retire or has some type of deal in the works to do commentary for ESPN.   As for the Nats, well when an employee that high up in the company wants to talk and you wont talk to him, well sounds like a garbage organization.  Of course there are only 30 so I'm sure they wont have a problem finding a willing replacement.   Sounds like the individual and the team have lost touch with reality.  Funny that this only came up after they managed to win some games...which I'm pretty sure is what they are paying him to do.  Hope you enjoy retirement Rigs.  Idiot.


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