Jim Riggleman named manager of Nationals
The Nationals have decided to name Jim Riggleman the permanent manager, according to a baseball source. The news comes five months after he was named the interim skipper, replacing Manny Acta.
A press conference is scheduled for Thursday at Nationals Park.
Riggleman, who finished ahead of Bobby Valentine in the managerial search, indicated on Monday that a decision would be made after the General Managers Meetings, which ended Wednesday.
“In talking to some people up in Washington, the feeling I’m getting is that there will be [something happening] between the General Managers’ Meetings and the Winter Meetings,” Riggleman said recently. “That leaves a big gap, but I think we will know something shortly after [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] gets back from Chicago. So I guess that would lead toward this week or early next week. I think we will have some type of decision made.”
Riggleman, who was not available for comment on Wednesday, took over as the manager after the All-Star break, and the Nationals played harder and mostly mistake-free baseball. The team went 33-42 under Riggleman.
Unlike past years in Nationals history, Riggleman is one skipper who held players accountable for mistakes they made on the field. Case in point: on July 24, Riggleman was not happy after a 6-2 loss to the Padres, frustrated with his players’ effort. It didn’t help that Washington made four errors and committed a passed ball in the outcome. He reamed them out, and the Nats went on to win 12 out of their next 14 games.
Riggleman was even praised by general manager Mike Rizzo for the job that the skipper did during the second half of the season.
“Like I said in the past, we have a terrific in-house candidate in Jim Riggleman, who has as good a chance as anybody to becoming the manager for the Washington Nationals. The search is going to begin a little more seriously in the very near future,” Rizzo said recently.