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.

10 Comments

Rizzo must realize that Strawhead is not a world series winning manager, one would hope. Eventually Riggy will get the door, preferably at the end of the season.

Even after a lifetime in baseball, Riggleman makes really weird mistakes in his on-field decisions, from pulling pitchers when they’re still going strong, to putting in absolutely wrong pitchers for certain situations (Slaten to face a right-handed batter with a one-run lead and men in scoring position??? What was THAT about?), to repeatedly relying on the totally out of gas Matt Stairs (including in a bunting situation the other day, again with the game on the line), to mispositioning fielders including shading lefties toward left and then pitching inside.

Riggleman has singlehandedly lost us at least ten, and maybe fifteen, games this year that we would have won if he had made the correct and obvious on-field decisions. Any player who cost us that many games would be on a bus to Syracuse.

He may be feeling confident, but when a GM says, like Rizzo did, that he has “confidence” in Riggleman, well, you know what a Vote of Confidence means to a manager’s future with the club.

Jim Riggleman was an excellent bench coach. He should have stuck with what he was good at.

I think we all need to reflect on the fact that Rigs has had little to no offence to work with, to this point in the season. He has guided this team to respectability in the league. Rizzo knows it takes time to produce a winner and we are on course with his plans. Possibly 2012 and certainly 2013 will be a different team in terms of offence and the pitching will improve as well. Riggs is not in there to hit for players!! All we need is a Morgan-type leadoff hitter who can get on base and not get picked off first base. In addition, I-Rod hitting into so many double plays is killing us. I think we’ll be ok when we trade pudge and package him with some prospects for a proven leadoff hitter. E.Perez could be the solution, but he has to log more time in the minors. Riggs isn’t the issue here… it’s the hitting!

You couldn’t be more clueless. Riggs IS the issue when it even comes to hitting. How could he be any more clueless as a judge of talent (something a good coach has) than sitting Mike Morse, is a blueprint for a power-hitting first baseman. Rizzo should take some blame for that one as well, but the coach in the field makes tactical decisions. Stop running with the lemmings or you’ll end up off the cliff. Riggleman is gone after this year, anyway.

Personally, I’m not so much concerned about team performance this year as I am for the prospect of winning sometime in the near future, and in that respect, we have a real big problem. We have been drafting high for most of the last decade – how can it be that we still do not have anyone on the farm to bring up to help when the offence is sagging? Rizzo has inherited a mess and I would be very surprised if he can fix it before he is given a ride out of town (in 2013 when it becomes apparent Zimmerman is leaving for FA).

Frank your an idiot

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I think Riggleman is doing a great job. If they’re smart, he’ll be the Nats’ manager for the next 20 years. – dogvandave.

Riggleman is a great manager, the biggest joke in washington is GM Rizzo. This guy wasted money on Laroche a joke, Werth is nothing more than a bust and wasted millions of dollars on. Maybe if the Nationals got a GM that had an understanding on signing talent rather than a clown acting like a GM the team would be better. Give Riggleman some real pitching and quality players and you will see this team in first place for years

I plug up one hole and someone makes another one. – dogvandave

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