Reaction To Jim Riggleman’s Resignation

Just minutes after Laynce Nix's walkoff sacrifice fly gave the Nationals a 1-0 win over the Mariners this afternoon, Jim Riggleman announced he was stepping down as Washington's manager.  Some of the early reaction and analysis of this sudden news…

  • According to a statement released by Nats GM Mike Rizzo, he "talked to Jim before the season and have emphasized since that no decision would be made on his extension until after the end of the season.  I am surprised and disappointed, personally, and am even more disappointed for our players and fans.  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."   
  • Rizzo also said that Riggleman wanted his 2012 option picked up by the end of Washington's game this afternoon or else he'd resign, and Rizzo "was not willing to make judgments of that magnitude in the course of a nine inning game."  Riggleman tells MASNsports' Ben Goessling (Twitter link) that he didn't issue an ultimatum but “I wanted a conversation about it. I didn’t say, 'Pick up my option or else.' I said I think it’s worthy of a conversation."
  • Goessling also has reaction from Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and other Nats players about the surprising news.
  • SI's Jon Heyman (Twitter link) thinks the blame lies with the Nationals since it "makes no sense" that the club wouldn't at least pick up Riggleman's 2012 option to keep their manager from being perceived as a lame duck.
  • Riggleman's split with the Nats confirms the belief that he was a "place-holder" manager for the team, says's Scott Miller.  "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," Miller writes.
  • Though obviously issues between he and the team had been lingering for a while, Riggleman's stance was seen as overly-aggressive by some pundits.  Newsday's Ken Davidoff (via Twitter) thinks even if Riggleman felt he wouldn't be back in Washington in 2012, he could've at least finished the season to better market himself for another team.  "I think he overplayed his hand here," Davidoff tweeted.  "Keep winning & the option would've taken care of itself." 
  • A non-Nationals team official tells ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that he "wouldn't hire [Riggleman] for Double-A or Triple-A job. You can't walk away… when you're under contract."
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan's tweeted response was more blunt: "I hope Jim Riggleman has a good 401(k), because no way he's ever managing another Major League team after this napalming."
  • Writing for, Jim Bowden lists several names the Nationals could consider as their new manager, including in-house candidates John McLaren, Bob Boone and Bo Porter.  Randy Knorr, manager at Triple-A Syracuse, is a potential "long term solution," though Knorr hadn't been contacted about the job as of this evening, reports The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore (Twitter link).
  • Davey Johnson is a senior advisor for the Nationals but Heyman (via Twitter) doesn't know if the former World Series-winning manager would take the job even if asked.

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