After the Nats won on Thursday afternoon, their 11th win in 12 games, the team had another rollicking good victory celebration. There were hugs, and high fives, and head slaps, and bench coach John McLaren was all over the place.
Jim Riggleman? Didn’t see him at the time. So I went back and looked later. During several minutes of victory shots, here’s what I saw: Riggleman shaking hands with Laynce Nix, and then moving off, sadly, by himself.
Here’s what he told the press.
“If you’re gonna do this job you’ve got to be totally committed to it. and you’ve got to feel like there’s a commitment to you, and I just didn’t feel that way,” he said. “I’ve talked to Mike in the past about addressing my situation, and it wasn’t the right time to talk, I understand that. I just felt that it’s worthy of a conversation. So it’s been brewing for a while, but I just felt that I know I’m not Casey Stengel, but I do feel like I know what I’m doing. And it’s not a situation where I felt like I should continue on with such a short leash, where every little hill and valley is life or death in the game. The game’s not fun that way.”
Riggleman later said he would never again work under a one-year deal, and that he just wanted to have a conversation with Mike Rizzo about picking up his option. Rizzo, meanwhile, slapped back, saying Riggleman was “not thinking of the team first...[was] thinking of personal goals and personal things first.”
“This is a franchise that Washington D.C’s gonna be proud of,” Rizzo told MASN’s Debbi Taylor. “I’m proud to be the general manager of it, and there’s plenty of people that will be very very proud to be the manager of it.”
And Phil Wood?
“To me, it’s like a death in the family,” the MASN analyst said. “I guess if after going 11-1 they don’t want to pick up his option, then they weren’t gonna pick up his option anyway.”