Nationals Baseball: It's always on the busy days isn't it?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's always on the busy days isn't it?

It was Needham praising him, right?

Riggleman resigns - unhappy that his contract wasn't being picked up.

Surprising on many levels

1) That we didn't hear about this coming. If he was THIS unhappy you would have think the word would have leaked to the media from somebody. Hell, if I was Riggleman I would have done it. Use the fanbase as leverage. But, outside of a faint rumbling here and there, nothing. This was a genuine shock.

2) That "old school" Riggs would put himself above the team. Did he deserve a new contract? I don't know. The fact is he didn't have one and that's business. You suck it up, serve out your deal and leave in a justified huff at year's end. That's how it works for players. Hard to see you being a success as a manager that asks your players to do something you yourself won't do.

3) That Rizzo wouldn't even talk to Riggleman about the deal. I'm sure they had a conversation at the beginning of the year that went something like :

Riggs : "Can we talk about the contract?"
Rizzo : "We'll evaluate it with you later in the year."

Fine but it seems like he deserved a brief conversation or at least a firm date (during the All-Star break?) where he'd get half an hour to discuss a contract. To not even give him that - I side with Riggs on this - makes it seem like he's definitely not part of the long range plans. It doesn't bother me if this is the case, but damn Rizzo, be a man and tell him that face to face. Don't pussyfoot around it.

This was the conclusion of a couple of bad moves. Rizzo doing his "I"m a big man" jackass act. Riggleman making a decision on emotion for himself.

I don't really think it matters to the team. Talent will take them to .500 and some people will see it as rallying, other will think they could have done more. But it still is "Classic Nats" making sure nothing is ever going completely right. Good to see somethings never change.


Wally said...

Spot on, especially the end. The only place I differ is the whole conversation thing. My read is that Rizzo said early on 'we are not deciding on the option until after the season'. Not the right move, imo, but I think it is what he said. So Riggs isn't asking him for a conversation as much as he wants him to change the decision. And so even if they talked about it, if the decision was still tonwait, I think Riggs is gone.

What I don't get is all this temporary manager, to interim manager to permanent manager (presumably in offseason). Makes Rizzo look indecisive.

Donald said...

Going into the season, I thought the biggest holes the Nats had for the future were starting pitcher, CF, 1B and manager. Riggleman has historically been near the bottom his whole career. I'm really sorry about the timing, but this isn't about 2011. It's about 2012 and beyond. Riggleman figured his weak hand would never be stronger then right now so he played it. And Rizzo called his bluff. I think it was the right move. I just really, really hope the Nats keep winning and put his behind them.

Any ideas on the longer term replacement?? What's your availability look like, Harper?

Anonymous said...

The man did the job. What more do you expect. Maybe the new man will take less money than the lowest paid manager in the majors was getting. Bring him back!

Ollie said...

I like both, but I can see where Riggleman's coming from more than Rizzo. Right on both made mistakes leading to this blow up.

Can see this turning into the typical, lazy media meme of "Rizzo is hard to work for/with" the next time anything remotely controversial happens (and remember the Daniel Cabrera thing).

Who's next though? Davey Johnson? John McLaren? Some other dude? I'd like to see them keep Eckstein and McCatty on, as they're both doing solid jobs with talent that's on the rise but still not at the top in baseball.

kick me in the GO NATS said...

Well I was thinking we had a shot at the Wild card till I heard about Riggs. I am totally behind Riggs. The NAts were Dik'n him around big time. Riggs claimed he asked to talk about the contract many times only to be told not now. That is totally Dickish and I now despise Rizzo as a Richard of royal proportions.

Riggs has been a stand up guy his entire career. he took over a SD team just after a fire sale. Sure thing losing team. Most guys with brains stay away from that job, but Riggs took on the challenge. he took over a real bad Cubs team and got them to the postseason after several seasons.

In my opinion Riggs is a guy who knows how to win and lose. Which is critical in a good manager. He does not cheat like Tony Larussa has for years. And he is going to manage again and be a world series winner with his next team.

Unfortunately for us. Nobody anywhere near as good as Riggs is waiting to take over our team. The lack of managers during a season is bad and the Marlins hired a zombie to prove it.

If Rizzo had any brains he would call Riggs and guarantee him a 5 year deal to come back by morning. But, Rizzo is to dumb to be that smart.

Harper said...

Wally - possibly true, but if your manager is unhappy I don't think a conversation is too much to ask. We'll see what Rizzo does for a manager...

Donald - Right move, wrong move, it's a couple games either way. As long as the hire is not a moron the Nats will win the games they deserve to win.

Long term... I wouldn't expect any big names or established winners. I think this clearly states this is RIZZO'S TEAM. They couldn't afford me (A manager's salary is 20K right?)

Anon - I don't expect anything more and would have been fine bringing him back - really don't care. What everyone is complaining about though is you don't quit on your team halfway through a season.

Ollie - is it lazy if it's true? Riggleman's decision may be more undertandable but it isn't more "right" if that makes any sense. (Unless he's ready to get out of the game, or coach high school or something)

Like I said don't expect a name or a winner. A fair retread or more likely a young guy getting his first chance. Someone that will understand the pecking order Rizzo has set up.

kick you - for whatever reason people are giving Rizzo a pass. He doesn't deserve it. But make no mistake, as much as Rizzo might have been a dick, Riggs made the mistake here. Unless he has a friend in high places he's not going to get a coaching job anytime soon. You can't hire a guy that might walk away mid-season.

As for a replacement being better or worse, we'll see but as you might be able to tell I'm not one that think the manager makes a big difference. (see Acta, Manny and the miracle Indians)

Donald said...

One thing that's interesting is that Riggleman is saying all he wanted was an opportunity to talk about an extension. Rizzo is making it sound like Riggleman demanded the extension or else. Not sure which is true.

Anonymous said...

Consensus seems to be "talk to me (offer a deal or at least set a date for yes/no) or I won't get on the bus." I'm going with Rizzo on the professionalism side. Didn't mind Riggleman, but that's the problem...not much to like, either. I look forward to giving Davey Johnson another chance to prove Angelos is still the biggest idiot owner in the majors! Nats get the wild card, Johnson's MOY.