The Jim Riggleman legacy in D.C. is complicated, including as it does some really tough years, and the march toward respectability, and his local roots, and that memorable 2011 winning streak, and his bizarre departure and Caddies on Cordell.
Many Nats fans, I think, have fairly positive associations toward Riggleman, all things considered. Few, though, would say he’s as responsible for the current team’s success as, say, Bryce Harper. Or Mike Rizzo. Or Jordan Zimmermann. Or Davey Johnson. Or Ted Lerner. Or whatever manager kept the Mariners from finishing with baseball’s worst record in 2008, which would have given them Stephen Strasburg. Wait….
Anyhow, Tim McCarver would make that very argument yes indeed he would.
“I’m surprised it’s not brought up more that sometimes managers serve as coaches — not managers, but coaches — to train players for the next manager that takes over,” McCarver said during Saturday’s Fox broadcast of the Nats-Mets game. “It happens so, so often. I mean, you look at the Washington Nationals, a guy like Jim Riggleman — who was, what disposed of, I guess, three years ago or so, or quit in the middle of the season — is as much responsible for the success of this franchise, the Nationals, as anyone. And that might be the plight and fate of Terry Collins if the Mets don’t bring him back next year. It seems like baseball more than football, it seems like managers become coaches and help young players and things like that.”
Again, bully for Riggleman’s accomplishments, but he’s not typically given credit for the Nats winning 98 games and a division title the season after he left. In fact, some Nats fans — feeling a bit cheeky — began compiling a list of people they considered more responsible for the success of the franchise than Riggleman.
List of people more responsible for the #Nats success than Jim Riggleman. Go:
— The Nats Blog (@TheNatsBlog) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Manny Acta
— natsboy (@natsboy) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Nook Logan
— David Statman (@TheRealWarWagon) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Tony Plush
— Laura Roose (@LauraRoose) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Jim Bowden.
— Craig Mac (@CraigMac) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog MAtt Chico, John Lannan
— Zack B (@TheZizzler) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Kristina Akra
— Jonathan Fellows (@SOLockwood) April 20, 2013
— Katie Gregerson (@katiegregerson) April 20, 2013
— NorthCaroliNats (@NorthCaroliNats) April 20, 2013
— Jayson Werth’s Beard (@JWerthsBeard) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog bat boys and ball girls
— Greg Principato (@greg_otto) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Kayla Varner
— Tommy Gibson (@Coach_TommyG) April 20, 2013
@thenatsblog Vladimir Putin.
— Julie Morris (@JulieMorris2010) April 20, 2013
— Brent Sower (@thebrowncoat) April 20, 2013
So rude, Nats fans!