Nationals manager Riggleman resigns
By Sports Network
|Nationals manager Jim Riggleman reacts to his teams play against the Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Oh., July 21, 2010. (JOHN SOMMERS/Reuters)
WASHINGTON - Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned on Thursday.
The Nationals had just completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 1-0 win to move over .500 on the season with a mark of 38-37. The team went 8-1 to complete a nine-game homestand.
However, Riggleman was unhappy with his contract situation after he had asked the club to pick up his contract option for the 2012 season and the club declined.
"He had told me before the game that he was displeased with his contract situation and he said if it wasn't corrected he would resign," said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. "So, we accepted his resignation. The organization is committed to putting a winner on the field and we will stay committed to that."
Since a loss at San Diego on July 10 that saw Washington fall to 27-36, the team has won 11 of its past 12 games and currently sits in third place in the NL East.
Riggleman, though, wanted to have more security in his future and wanted to know that he would be back next year. When he was denied that, he felt that he couldn't go on as manager of the club.
"If you're going to do this job you have to be committed to it, and I didn't feel that way," said Riggleman. "It's been brewing for a while and I know I'm not Casey Stengel, but I know what I'm doing and I felt that it was a situation that I couldn't continue with things with the way they were."
He was named the interim manager of the Nationals on July 14, 2009, replacing the dismissed Manny Acta. Washington posted a mark of 33-42 after Riggleman took over and finished 2009 with a 59-103 record, the worst in baseball.
The interim tag was lifted prior to the start of the 2010 season and the 59- year-old guided the Nats to a 69-93 mark and third-straight last-place finish in the NL East.
He leaves with a record of 140-172 in Washington.
Rizzo stated that an interim manager would be named prior to the start of Friday's series opener in Chicago against the White Sox.