Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not Much Else to Say at This Point

So you've managed your team to an 11-1 record over the last twelve games and you're now a game over .500 which God knows nobody expected. Your next move? Resign abruptly.

I leave the summary of the general reaction to Mr. Draper:

OK, that last one was probably Rizzo.

Riggleman seemed like a solid stand-up kind of guy who was doing a good job despite (to grant him his primary grievance) perhaps not the best long-term confidence-building by management. Nevertheless, to pull this kind of crap on this kind of team during this kind of run (people who ought to know better are making hushed references to the wild card, for Christ's sake) is bizarre without some underlying deeper explanation. LATE BREAKING THOUGHT: Is Twitter involved?

At any rate, in the absence of some deeper motivation an otherwise nice guy just bought himself a lifetime supply of angry boos from Nationals Park. Putz.


MC said...

Hey, a gal, even one who knows better, can dream, can't she??

Charlene said...

I grew up on a crop growing, hay baling, Angus cattle raising farm. I belonged to 4-h from the age of 6. My first project was sewing an apron. I've a picture of me wearing it somewhere.

Most years I entered from 1 to 12 projects in the county fair; sewing, cooking, forestry, embroidery, etc. My mom would never allow me to enter a beef calf or heifer because you had to stay in the barn with your animal for the week of the fair. There were no men in the family to do this and she didn't think a girl should do that with all the men around.

4-H is like the boy/girl scouts for farm kids. I'm not sure what your POV is on the issue but I've been to plenty of cattle auctions and I've never seen anyone cry when their cattle sell. I once had a pet heifer Alice. I rode her around like a pony. One day she was gone. Mom had decided she was the animal we'd butcher that year.

There's a lot of talk from people who should be directing their energies to the poor, uneducated, uncared for people in the world. But then that's my POV.

JWT said...

The Nationals had an option on Riggleman's contract for 2012. After he hauled the team to .500, the team told him (today) that it wouldn't pick up said option, meaning he'd ride out this year and be looking for work. So he has the option of taking his winning record this year, exceeding all expectations, and turning it into a commentating job and probably getting the chance next year to manage somewhere else. Or he can wait around for the Nationals to implode and be out of work and damaged goods at the end of the year. I think he made a good choice with respect to an organization that doesn't respect him.

Dave S. said...

@Charlene, I suspect you are off by one post...

@JWT, fair enough. I did refer to the basic validity of Riggleman's position. Pulling a team a game over .500 regardless of expectations doesn't improve his overall managing record by much, though. And does a demonstrated readiness to quit based on disrespect send a good signal to prospective employers?

J. said...

What JWT said, which Riggleman kind of confirmed on Boomer & Carton this morning. Hard to manage a team -- and a bunch of touchy million-dollar players with more than one-year contracts -- when your boss has basically told you (and the players) that he has no faith in you.

Yes, it looks bad on the surface, and sucks for Nationals fans, but I feel Riggleman's pain.

Dave S. said...

Not sure if a subscription is required for this, but Tom Boswell has this piece in today's Post noting that the Nats' GM was in much the same position a couple of years ago, so Riggleman - justified or not - basically pulled this stunt on the wrong guy. There's also a reference to the earlier blowup with Marquis that apparently had players on the phone to Rizzo, who cut short a scouting trip to play fire brigade.

I agree with another of my FB friends that nobody covered themselves with glory on this, but if you're a manager with the worst record among those with more than twelve years' experience, improving that record by a single game does not put you in a position of power.

EMM said...

You don't F*&^ with a streak and that is exactly what Riggleman did.

The team deserved better than to have the unexpected over .500 record overshadowed by a petulant man.

I don't think the Nats will implode b/c of his departure. God forbid they continue to play well, and our local sports coverage have to say positive things.


CRH said...

I was never a Riggleman fan, but he has definitely being treated shabbily by upper management, and he should have the right to walk under the circumstances.

It's all very well to talk about how he should stick with it for the team's sake, but that ignores the fact that the Nationals are run by the owners and their management as a business, and they were playing Riggleman for a chump. I'm sure they hoped he would continue to be a chump for the good of the team.

I thought Boswell's column contained more than just a hint of exasperation and maybe even dislike of Riggleman from before this whole thing blew up.

I of course have an instinctive bias towards labor, even specialized, highly paid labor.

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents. Riggleman was half right, although I would have done the exact same thing. It would have been nice to stick it out, but, according to him, he was only looking to discuss his option. Of course he wanted it picked up but Rizzo wasn't even willing to discuss it. In other words, "You are not the manager of our future." Get out now!

Dave P.

John C. said...

The team has made it clear that it wasn't going to consider picking up Riggleman's option until after the season in Spring Training. They didn't just tell Riggleman this so he walked - he decided that he could no longer work under these conditions and said "let's talk about now" after he'd been given the timetable. The time to object to that was March, not June.

Other managers working in MLB with no contract for next year include Tony LaRussa, Jim Leyland and several others. Some of those guys have WS rings. Riggleman has a thoroughly mediocre record. The way to get job security was to win - if you win, the team really can't let you go.