Jim Riggleman has suddenly resigned as manager of the Washington Nationals. The team will name an interim manager tomorrow.
Riggleman’s resignation comes scarcely a week after Edwin Rodriguez resigned as manager of the Florida Marlins. But Rodriguez’s resignation was understandable. The Marlins had lost 17 out of 18 games.
Yet the Nationals have won 11 of their last 12 games including a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners this afternoon and presently have a record of 38-37. While they are nine games back of the Philadephia Phillies, the Nats have exceeded expectations.
It seems the problem here is that Nats GM Mike Rizzo declined to pick up Riggleman’s option for next season. Riggleman took over the helm of the Nationals during the 2009 season after Manny Acta was fired. (Acta, of course, has gone to manage the Cleveland Indians and currently finds his team atop the AL Central.) The Nats were steadily improving under Riggleman. So why wouldn’t Rizzo and the Nats front office give Riggleman a vote of confidence and pick up his option? Is it just a personality conflict? Or is it something more? Whatever it is, there’s something rotten in Washington and for once it isn’t the politicians.