Jim Riggleman

Probably the wackiest baseball story from the weekend is Jim Riggleman's resignation from the Nationals. The argument is did he stand on principle or did he quit?

Frankly, I'm torn. I want to like Riggleman and I want to think he acted on principle. But he just quit - over an extension. I like to think there's more to it, but I haven't heard it yet.

"Riggleman left at the height of a franchise's success, the players were hustling and they were listening, but he quit because the Nationals management wasn't sure he was part of the future. However confusing and incomprehensible it may appear, it is that simple."


"Either way, Riggleman quit, left the ballpark without a job, and likely will never manage again. Anyone who knows Jim Riggleman knows he's not a quitter; he is the opposite -- a guy who would do anything to win, a man's man in every way. But in his mind, a man can be disrespected for only so long before he has to do what he thinks is right. So he stood on principle, and the Nationals let him walk. And in the end, no one was right. And no one won. And everyone was mad."

Joe Posnanski for the prosecution:

"Here's the thing, and I mean this with deep respect: He is JIM RIGGLEMAN. It seems difficult for me to believe that he was unaware of this. His teams have never won a World Series. His teams have never won a pennant. His teams have only once made the playoffs, and that was a not especially great 89-win Cubs team that won a one-game playoff. Ten of his 12 teams had losing records in his span as skipper. He lost 100 with a Padres team that was in the playoffs two years after he got canned. He lost 95 with a Cubs team that made the playoffs the very next year. For managers with 1,400 or more games, no one from 1900 on has a lower winning percentage than Jim Riggleman, and that includes this lovely little winning stretch. The amazing thing to me, I am forced to admit, is not that Riggleman did not get a contract extension. It's that he had a contract in the first place."

There's more:

"Jim Riggleman quit on his team and his players over his contract. I want, so much, to sympathize with him, but it's hard to get much less admirable than that. The only thing missing from his career suicide was a note."

All in all, I think the weight of the evidence leans toward Riggleman appearing to be selfish. I, too, want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But right now it looks as if Riggleman took doubt out the door with him.

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