Moments after the Washington Nationals beat the Seattle Mariners this afternoon on a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, William Ladson of MLB.com tweeted that manager Jim Riggleman had resigned. The report was confirmed shortly after that by Ken Rosenthal.
It’s believed that Riggleman, who was in the last year of a two year contract with a club option for 2012, was frustrated with the front office’s seeming disinterest in discussing his future. Riggleman informed GM Mike Rizzo prior to today’s game that it would be his last.
According to Rizzo:
Very disappointing to the players, fanbase, city and myself.
I know what you’re all thinking: The Washington Nationals have always been such a well run organization. How could this be happening?
Speaking of which, former Nationals GM Jim Bowden speculates that Riggleman wasn’t pleased with the team’s unwillingness to pick up his option, especially after Rizzo had received a five year contract extension at the end of last season. However, several other accounts suggest that Riggleman has always been a an organization first type of manager, meaning that there’s likely more to this story than what we’re initially hearing.
Then again, maybe not.
According to Riggleman:
I’m 58. I’m too old to be disrespected.
The former Nats manager was apparently upset that his option wasn’t picked up last year and didn’t want to be merely a placeholder manager. Washington’s record last year was 69-93.
This afternoon’s win was the Nationals’ eleventh in their last twelve games, putting them a single game over .500, but I’m pretty sure you’d be hard pressed to find another GM in baseball who would be interested in Riggleman’s service.