Something fishy in the nation’s capital

Photo courtesy of gearupforsports.com.

By Josh Kramer

The Nationals have won 11 of 12 games.  They are currently a game over 500 and within five games of the NL Wild Card.  And yesterday, their manager just got up and walked.  Every one of my prior statements is hard to believe.  Washington winning 11 of 12?  Has that ever happened in National’s history (since the move to DC)?  We are coming to the end of June and the Nationals are still alive and well in the playoff hunt.

Since 2005,  when the Expos (now Nationals) moved to Washington D.C., they have not finished above 4th place in the NL East.  In addition, they have finished in the cellar in five of those years.  Plus they never finished over 500 in any of those seasons.  The past couple of drafts have been very kind to the Nationals. They have picked flame-thrower Stephen Strasburg and the following year they got the man-child, Bryce Harper. And now, the following year, they are contenders? Well they did pick both of those great talents.  But neither have played one inning for the big team this year.

So what is going on in Washington?  Well I can tell you somebody that does know what is going on in the nation’s capital.

Jim Riggleman.

The Nationals Manager abruptly resigned today during arguably the best run in franchise history (since the move to Washington).  Riggleman felt mistreated. The former skipper has been at the helm in DC since July of 2009.  Each year he worked on one year deals, as if he was an “interim” manager.

From my understanding, Riggleman asked Mike Rizzo (National’s General Manager) to have a conversation regarding his future with the team. He wanted a little job security. If Rizzo did not give him the answer that he wanted to hear, then he would walk.  Well in true man fashion, Rizzo said no to even having the conversation, and Riggleman walked.

I guess Jim Riggleman has never heard of bluffing.  Either way he is out and the hottest team in baseball does not have a manager.

Now I will give Riggleman some props for standing up for himself.  Not to many guys have the moxie to just get up and leave abruptly from any job, much less a job as a manager in the Major Leagues.  But there had to be more going on behind the scenes that the public is unaware of.

There is definitely something fishy going on in the nation’s capital.  I hope that the rest of the story comes out.  It will definitely be interesting.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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8 responses to “Something fishy in the nation’s capital

  1. Imagine how bad this will look if the Nats’ offer a multi-year deal to Riggleman’s replacement…

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  3. Like I said in my piece on this matter, I understand Riggleman’s position but he handled it badly.

    • JW,
      For sure. But he definitely looked tough in how he handled it. Not too many guys can just walk out on a MLB Managerial job like that.

      -TheSportsKraze

  4. I completely disagree. There’s nothing tough about walking out on a contract you signed just because you didn’t get your way. Walking away is easy – the real “tough” guy move would have been to gut out his commitment, wait until Rizzo came to him with another one of those one-year contracts, then tell him to kiss his ass. That approach would have allowed him to get another job, quitting like this was simply an act of career suicide.

    • JW,
      Some valid points in your post regarding Riggleman. Very well researched and thought out. I do not completely agree with you in that neither of us know the whole story between Riggleman and Rizzo. It is all speculation at this point. You are definitely entitled to your opinion that he handled the situation badly. But we do not know the entire story.

      Keep up the great writing.

      -TheSportsKraze

  5. Thanks. You are absolutely right that we are into speculation; neither of us were in the room. But in close to twenty years in business and management, I’ve been in both Rizzo’s and Riggleman’s shoes in situations like this, and I can tell you there are really only a few ways a story like this ends with such a dramatic blowout. Ugly endings require two people who screwed up, and this certainly looks to be one of those cases.

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