Nats’ Riggleman not worried about job status
In between victories against the Phillies, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he was not worried about his job status. Riggleman is in his second full season as skipper of the Nationals and has an option left on his contract.
Entering Friday’s action against the Diamondbacks, the Nationals are in fifth place with a 25-31 record — nine games behind Philadelphia in the National League East. While Washington’s defense and pitching have improved dramatically, the offense is the reason the team is down in the standings. Its hitting .234, which ranks 28th in the Major Leagues.
Asked if he was concerned about his job being in jeopardy, Riggleman said, “When a ballclub is losing, as a manager, you do what you think is right as far as managing the ballgame and managing a ballclub.
“What consumes my thoughts is winning and, at times, the lack of winning. The repercussions doesn’t enter into it. It’s not an issue. My concern is trying to win ballgames. When we are not winning ballgames, I’m concerned about that.”
General manager Mike Rizzo, who wasn’t available for comment, was asked during Spring Training if Riggleman was in a must-win situation, Rizzo said, “Jim Riggleman is the manager of the ballclub. I have great confidence in him.”
Riggleman replaced Manny Acta as manager of the Nationals after the All-Star break in 2009. The club went 33-42 and finished the year on a seven-game winning streak. Last season, the club went 69-93.
This is Riggleman’s fourth managerial stint, after leading the Padres, Cubs and Mariners. His best season as a skipper was in 1998, when he guided the Cubs to the playoffs after they won a National League Wild Card tiebreaker over the Giants. The team lost to the Braves in the NL Division Series, 3-0.