Skip to content

Riggleman resigns

Jun 23, 2011, 9:01 PM EDT

Citing an unwillingness by general manager Mike Rizzo to discuss an extension of his contract, Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned as manager of the Washington Nationals following today’s 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Riggleman, who had guided the Nationals to 11 wins in their last 12 games to improve to 38-37, informed Rizzo before the game he would resign unless the GM would agree to have a discussion about his long-term status. Rizzo declined, saying it “wasn’t the right time” for that, so Riggleman managed the series finale against the Mariners knowing it would be his final game.

Players, jubilant from the walk-off win, quickly turned silent in the clubhouse at Nationals Park as Rizzo informed them of the news.

“It was an extremely festive locker room,” Rizzo said during a hastily organized news conference. “We brought the team together, and it became somber quickly.”

No replacement was immediately named, but Rizzo said a new manager would be in place in time for Friday night’s game against the White Sox in Chicago.

Please leave your comments below.

Read more

137 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Bye bye Riggo. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.Middling manager who in the midst of a hot streak, put his own needs above the team in trying to extort an extension. Surely not the first manager in his position, but surely the most selfish in quitting in mid season during the first positive era in Nationals history.

  2. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Whatever Riggleman's reasons, the horrible timing of this resignation is absolutely stunning. I am very disappointed in Riggs. I may be disappointed with the FO as the story develops, but how do you abandon your team in the middle of a run like this?

  3. Doc - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Bo has the mojo……go Bo!

  4. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Oh my God, I think the guy at least deserve time to talk about his job security. I talk with a project manager about Fall semester funding and I have not even started the project yet. I am not sure Rizzo made the right choice, but neither did Riggs by burning the team like this. I think I will start watching Burn Notice now.

  5. Stranded_in_Philly - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Uh………… wow. I've been calling for his job since he took over, and yet, I'm stunned by this. Absolutely floored.

  6. Pete - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Man this timing is awful. The Nats finally get over .500 in late June, and then the manager quits. I can understand Riggs was upset but what a sorry, crappy move on his part. You don't quit on a team mid-season. Hopefully the Nats are now respectable enough to pick up a decent replacement, with some young players performing well and Strasburg and Harper in the pipeline.

  7. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    He'll now disappear like "Fast" Eddie Felson.

  8. Nats Outsider - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Mark, wast there any backroom discussion among the reporters who cover the Nats that indicated that Riggleman was really po'd? No one wants to be left hanging, as Riggs has been, but he was obviously outraged. Any inkling of that?

  9. dj in Fl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Riggleman, "I want to be very clear, I wanted a conversation about it. I didn't say pick up my option or else……. I think it is worthy of a conversation when we get to Chicago. And Mike said, 'Well, we're not going to do that.' " Rizzo would not have a conversation?That is wrong, and now we know winning was really not on the FO schedule for this year.If we won they would have had to pick up his option, or have every future candidate question working here.

  10. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    I love that in his post-game interview Riggs is framed by the locked of Gaudin and Lost and Found.I had really started to like his approach to the game and he pulls this, trying to use a winning streak as leverage. If we went .500 over this homestand there's no way he pulls this stunt.

  11. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    This is on Rizzo. Period.

  12. Constant Reader - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    You know, listening to Riggs interview, it almost sounds like, having survived the pre-Memorial Day swoon and then rallied, if he couldn't get an extension now, he couldn't go on. Hate that he got himself into that position.

  13. HHover - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Wow. Kind of a buzzkill there, Jimbo–and not a great negogiating strategy.I can understand being PO'd about his contract status, but I also think not many bosses in the world are going to give in to an ultimatum like this. And anon, seriously, there's comedy gold here for you, and you need to do better with it: Jim Riggleman–can't manage on the field, can't manage his own career, etc. etc.

  14. Doc - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    If that's how the converstion went, then Rizzo is a goofball!Whatever else he knows about baseball, he doesn't know much about handling people!

  15. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    And now it all makes sense, the final domino has fallen to pave the way for player-manager Matt Stairs.

  16. Jimmy D - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Says he's sick of playing on the short leash (contract wise), and realizes that the refusal to get serious about exercising the option or starting a new contract shows him that he isnt in the team's longterm plans. I get that. It sucks. But I get it. I mean, he couldnt have set the deadline for the ultimatum at the All Star break? One day? Really? Ugh…

  17. NatsNut - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Part of me is cheering Riggleman on. My take is he just wanted a conversation. He's what, the second lowest paid manager in baseball? His team is humming along and he asks for a conversation about an extension and it sounds like Rizzo blew him off. I read last week (I believe) that Riggleman's agent said the same thing, that Rizzo says this isn't the right time. So part of me is cheering Riggleman on, like "Oh really? I'll show you 'right time. buh-bye.""On the other hand, for the sake of this team, I just want to cry.

  18. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Jim said, "if you're going to this job, you've got to be totally committed. And you've got to feel like they are committed to you." I agree. All Rizzo had to do was have the conversation. He is making Riggleman the bad guy, when its the ownership and Rizzo who wouldn't be straight with him and say the didn't intend to re-up his contract. So how do you keepbecoming t work every day when nothing you can do will be "good enough" for people who have made the decision already? I think Rizzo showed incredibly low character ti be that ugly, when he was holding all the cards. Bottom line is he lead these guys to above .500. He deserved more than a kick in the teeth.

  19. raymitten - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Jim Riggleman deserved better. Period. He was a good man and a good manager, and the excellent job he did was underappreciated. I am devistated.

  20. N. Cognito - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    "That is wrong, and now we know winning was really not on the FO schedule for this year.If we won they would have had to pick up his option, or have every future candidate question working here."Let me get this straight: Since the FO wasn't concerned about winning, Rizzo refused to talk to Riggs about a contract extension, so that Riggs would resign and they wouldn't have to pick up his option. That's pretty much it isn't it?Just when I thought comments on the Riggs resignation couldn't get any dumber.

  21. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Riggleman won't ever get another MLB manager's job. He was not a terrible manager when the team was struggling and he's not a genius when the team is on a hot streak; he's a c+ manager who used a hot streak to try an extract an extension and this to me is quitting. I believe that he was not going to be the manager of the future or he would have gotten the extension a long time ago and I also believe that when the Nats turn the corner and the young stars are in the show they also need to upgrade the manager's position. Riggleman was a good caretaker manager but he's not who you need if you want to compete for the big prize. I am not broken up over this development.

  22. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Anon at 5:15, you made my heart stop. I so hope you are wrong, and I fear you may just have called it.

  23. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    JaneB, He led the team to .500 based on one 2 week hot streak. He also led them to 69 wins last year. Let's not make him out to be a great manager.

  24. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    This is consistent with the actions of the front office of this organization since the beginning. The franchise is notorious for being poorly run at the top and incredibly cheap across the board. The circumstances should not be a surprise although Riggs could have played his hand much better here assuming he hasn't been threatening this for weeks. At the end of the day if the Nationals implode Rizzo may be next looking for a job.

  25. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Dj in FL hit the nail on the head. It is now clear FO had no desire to bring back Riggs no matter how the team did this year. Timing couldnt be worse, but I put blame on Rizz here. All he had to do was have a conversation.NatsFan in NYC

  26. erocks33 - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    As a boss, I would never cow-tow to an employee demanding anything from me. I don't care if I was planning on having a conversation with this employee, if he were to come to me with an ultimatum of "I want to have a conversation about XXX today or else I'm leaving" guess what? I'd be the one holding the door for him as he left.A boss has to maintain control of every situation and can not allow someone under him to dictate the time and/or place of future dealings.Riggs was under contract. The contract was up at the end of the season. As a manager, this occurs most of the time. You don't quit on your team because you might have felt slighted. You do the honorable thing and finish out your contract. If you finish the season with the team playing at a higher level, then one of two things will occur:1) you will be granted a new contract with the Nats, probably for 3+ years, or2) you won't be retained by the Nats, but you will be a top candidate for one of the soon to be many managerial vacancies that will occur after the season.If you quit mid-season, you've pretty much assured yourself of not being one of the first called to interview for any MLB vacancies (although I'm sure there will be many opportunities to manage in low-A ball).

  27. HHover - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Come on, folks, don't get suckered in by this "it's just a conversation" stuff.It's a conversation forced on you by an employee who just put a gun to your head–or actually, his own. Riggs was obviously seething about his contract situation, and not just any conversation would do (Riggs: I want an extension now. Rizzo: No, Jim, but why don't you tell me all about your feelings?) Given that Riggs forced the conversation in the first place with a threat, what do you expect to happen if the conversation doesn't go to his liking?

  28. Bill Stoneman - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Bad timing. Hope Mr Rigglemans agent knows what he's doing (not)and Mr. Rizzo does as well.Way to screw up a good thing boys.At the very least hire a manager without having to worry about the FO. I'd be curious about the background to this. Mark?

  29. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    JD, I'm nit making him out to be a great manager. But one worthy of respect. One whom is meeting the goals set for him, despite injuries. One who apparently didn't get all the players he wanted. One who worked with Rizzo long enough that Rizzo should have known Riggleman meant it. One who would have stayed if the just HAD A CONVERSATION. That's all I'm saying, I lay this on Rizzo, Mr. "I'm disappointed."

  30. P. Cole - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    It's obvious he wasn't going to be around next year, so I can understand his frustration. But come on, dude! Wait until the All-Star break at least!The speculation has already begun, but I think we'll see an "interim" manager until a full-time manager is hired in the off-season. While I like up-and-comers like Ryne Sandberg, this young team needs veteran leadership (not the Matt Stairs, Alex Cora type either).Youth is great between the lines, but in the dugout I'd like to see some experience.My money says this is an audition for Bo Porter, and he'll become another team's manager next year opening the door for a veteran.

  31. Alan_A - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I agree with those who've said that the decision was already made – he wasn't going to be back next year – therefore, no conversation about the option.Am doing this from memory, but… didn't Walter Alston rack up his 24 years with the Dodgers on one-year contracts? And didn't he get the job after Charlie Grimm decided to force the issue and demand a two-year contract and get fired instead? My father used to like telling that story – but I'm not sure if it's true or urban legend.

  32. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    This is a disaster for Washington.Just when our team is taking the step to contention, we change the subject to dissent and dissatisfaction and resignation. There will be NO discussion of how well we are playing–we will spend the next month talking about front office intrigue.Just as we separated ourselves from the Redskins, we became the Redskins.People are wondering if the loser in this is Rizzo or Riggleman. The loser is Washington.Rizzo, and his Lerner bosses, were too cheap to sign Riggleman on for another year, and too indecent to even talk to him about it. Riggleman quit his "dream job" because that job turned out not to be about the team, but about him. Everyone loses. What Rizzo and the Lerners did to him is wrong; what Riggleman did to his team and the city of Washington is worse.Thanks Jim. You have made Washington the Joke of the Sports World once again.

  33. DFL - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Walter Alston never had more than a yearly contract with the Dodgers and lasted 23 seasons. Of course, he was truly respected. Riggleman blundered by resigning. And I agree with JD. He'll never manage again.

  34. NaterialGuy - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Riggleman has lost my respect (and he had a lot of it) by walking out on his team and us fans. Rizzo has lost my respect by letting this situation reach this juncture. Poor management of the situation from top to bottom and as fans we are the ones left having our hearts ripped out just after reaching a joyous plateau we have been climbing for 6 years. This is a major betrayal all the way around. Everyone involved in this should be ashamed.

  35. Joe L - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    I do have to point the finger to Rizzo on this one. The least he could have told Riggleman is that lets wait till the all star break on have a serious conversation about it rather than blowing him off.All of us may not see eye to eye on Riggleman before this happened but lets face it, ever since he came to this team the team has played fundamental baseball. Overall, I really liked him as a manager and I think he was a good one. I think he was leading the team in the right direction. Even if you dont think that way, at least you can say he was leading the team better than before.ALSO AND MORE IMPORTANTLY….. I think something else behind the scenes was up. I remember earlier in the season that Werth had a disagreement with Riggleman on the "direction of the team". Of course my opinion on that is he should prob work on getting his batting avg above .235 before worrying about the team as a whole…. I think there was definately some other things that led Riggleman to his dicision today.

  36. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    I liked Roggleman, but he just agreed to a one year contract before the season. As nice as the 11-1 run has been, Riggleman is delusional if he thinks that this run in June was enough for the Nats to make a long term commitment to him (or talk about one). Given that Riggleman was the lowest paid manager in baseball working on a one year deal, he never had an leverage with the team, and the recent Nats streak was not enough for him to gain the leverage.If Riggs did not like his one year contract, he should not have agreed to it initially. As a caller just said on the radio, players don't quit in the middle of the year if they don't like their contract, managers can't do that either. Pilchard

  37. Ben - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    I saw the comment about Matt Stairs becoming a player/ manager…. I guess that's a possibility, but is that legal according to MLB rules, and is the manager allowed to play as well?Also another option would be Pudge taking over as manager, since he is always in the dugout looking like a manager…. and Wilson Ramos has held his own as this teams Primary Catcher. Just some ideas thrown out there. But this whole thing is SO Shocking.

  38. dj in Fl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    I would guess that if Comcast didn't have Mark booked on a flight to Chicago this morning, they do now

  39. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Rizzo is saying that Riggs demanded the option be picked up or he was resigning after todays game. Riggs is saying he just wanted to discuss the option when they got to Chicago, which he says Rizzo refused to do. Somebody is lying.

  40. rmoore446 - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    The FO left Riggleman twisting in the wind when they didn't pick up his option for another year. Remember that is a financial commitment, not a guarantee that he would manage through 2012. He is being paid a very low wage but the powers-that-be were not willing to give him any assurance. By not being willing to have a conversation about the option year, it is a clear signal that they did not want him to continue past this year. So I understand why he's steamed.But, that said, he owed it to the players to continue at least until the All-Star break. Screw management, he owed it to the guys he's worked with for many months.I'm saddened and disappointed. What a buzz kill.

  41. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    I think erocks33 has hit the nail on the head. Frustration and "disrespect" notwithstanding, there us no way this was so urgent it could not have waited until the All-Star break.

  42. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Normally it's hard to agree with comments from the WaPo, but someone described this move as "cynical" by Riggleman and I have to agree. Basically, this makes it seem that he thought he wouldn't have more leverage than now at any time this season – that this will be the high point of the Nats' season. It's hard to believe that Riggleman would have been this forceful if the last twelve games had been 4-8 instead of 11-1.

  43. Grandstander - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Now tomorrow becomes the most important game of the season. Seems like we have this every day.

  44. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    I always thought Rizzo was a hot head and he proved it today.

  45. dj in Fl. - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Mark-Where is Mark Lerner?It appears we need an adult in the room.

  46. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    I don't know what went down behind closed doors, so I'll just say this is a disappointing and sad ending. Riggs seems like a good guy and a pretty decent manager. I'd LOVE to see Bo Porter get a chance to prove himself. He appears to have fantastic chemistry with the players and boundless enthusiasm. Give him the chance to prove his game management chops.

  47. P. Cole - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Will McLaren stick around or will he bolt with Riggleman? Riggleman succeeded him in Seattle then brought him on board in Washington.

  48. JaneB - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    dj in FL, that's one bright spot here.

  49. Exposremains - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Maybe because english is not my 1st language or because I was stunned but at first when ladson tweeted it, I thought resigned meant re-signed. Am I the only fool out there?

  50. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Edwin Rodriguez for the balance of this season.

  51. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    HHover nailed it. Anyone who thinks Rizzo could've solved this by "having a conversation" is delusional or doesn't understand how language works. You think Jim wanted to chat about the weather? He said "show me the money" and Rizzo declined, and he walked. Whether that chat happened in DC or Chicago is irrelevant.

  52. JD - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    JaneB, I don't think expecting a man to honor his contract is disrespecting him. I think that this was an ultimatum from Riggleman based on a hot streak and Rizzo correctly let him walk. I think it was a poor career move because I don't think teams will line up to hire him. P.Cole, Porter is on of the young rising stars and I don't believe he will take an interim job without at least another year attached; Cora is another young guy who is sure to be a manager in the future but not right now and not with us. I wouldn't be shocked if MacLaren get the interim job until the dust settles at the end of the year.

  53. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Obviously, there was bad blood between the two.

  54. Harper_ROY_2012 - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    RIZZO = AHOLE! Riggleman had instilled the spirit that allowed the team to come together a believe they could win, now some Rizzo yes man will be installed and I guarantee the losing will begin again!

  55. Nats Outsider - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Anon 5:36 said, "It's hard to believe that Riggleman would have been this forceful if the last twelve games had been 4-8 instead of 11-1."Of course, but it's only natural. Riggleman probably feels he has proven his ability to manage. Especially during this streak, he has made some gutsy moves on the field that panned out. It's no surprise that he would want people to pat him on back for how the team is going. On the other hand, erocks33 and others are right that a boss cannot cave to a demanding employee. I have been Riggleman supporter. I think he is (was) the right guy to bring the team to respectability. He's done that. But he is not God's gift to baseball, and he is not irreplaceable. He overplayed his hand. Besides, the "just a conversation" statement is disingenuous. The conversation would have opened with Riggs asking if he was going to be part of the long-term plan. Rizzo would have said yes or no. If yes, Riggs would have asked him to prove it, by picking up the option or more. If Rizzo said no, Riggleman would have resigned on the spot. (What other choice would he have had at that point?) So, the "conversation" is a red herring. It was about Riggleman's future, and Rizzo didn't want to talk about it. (Rizzo may not even know; this could be up to the Lerners.)

  56. ehay2k - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    So, I am stunned, and this is ALL on Rizzo, who is proving to be a better candidate for head scout than GM at this point due to recent events. First, he muzzles Eckstein for reasons that are still not clear. Now, he won't even have a CONVERSATION with Riggelman? REALLY?I mean, we have payed Chen Broken-Ming Wang MILLIONS to toss softballs in Florida. He will NEVER be a starter for us at htis point, and even if he did srtart, it's only once out of every 5 games. Rizzo can't figure out that it is worth $600K to keep their current (winning) manager? The team is clicking, young players are developing, no one ever quits. What do they want for $600K? Riggleman impacts EVERY GAME. Why wouldn't they say – "you know what, we should just pick up his option, get him more respect and authority in the clubhouse, and then fire him in offseason right after we dig up Casey Stengel." I think Rizzo is so full of himself as a GM, likely pumped up by Scott Boras telling him "You're the hardest and best negotiator I've ever worked with", that Rizz thought he could call Rigg's bluff. I'm sure Rizz thought Rigg's had no place else to go, so why waste my time with him?OOOOOPs! Too bad Rizzo isn't a better judge of character, or else he'd have realized Rigg's was not bluffing, that he valued respect, that he wasn't in this for the money. Rizzo was clearly flummoxed at his press event. Lastly, Rizzo will be in hot water now that he has said Riggs demanded the Nats pick up his option, when all Riggs wanted was a conversation about it. Two VERY different things, and the latter is not something I would lose a winning manager over, especially when he is clearly doing a good job at the moment.All this for $600K? REALLY? Sooo stupid.

  57. dryw - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Yes, player-managers are legal. When I was a kid, Pete Rose did it in Cincinnati. (Not suggesting that everything Pete did was legal, but player-manager was, at least.) Not necessary that either Riggleman or Rizzo is lying. Riggs says "If we can't at least talk about it, I'm out of here." Rizzo hears "He wants to talk about a contract extension. If we don't extend the contract, he's not going to stick around." Perspective….

  58. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Did Jason Werth do Riggleman in?

  59. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    The national media is crucifying riggleman — don't be fooled – rizzo is a politician worthy of the city he works in. He can spin as well as anyone who works only a mile away from the park. These days there are not many people who can just stand up and say that's enough and walk away. Especially while you are winning. this is just a sad situation – the organization is not innocent in this deal – don't you just love how they are acting all shocked – they are probably glad he resigned and they can move on with whatever plan they had in mind. He fell right into their trap.

  60. natsfan1a - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Was excited after the win, browsing in the team store, when I saw the Rizzo presser on the tv with the graphic "Riggleman resigns." Couldn't get any details, as there was no sound. (Might want to add captioning in there, folks.) Heard some bits on the news coming home and then checked here first.Haven't heard all of the facts yet, but from what I have heard, I tend to fall in line with the takes of erocks, DJ, Dave, and others. Riggs tried to force the issue and Rizzo didn't blink. Guess it wasn't Riggs' dream job seeing as how he was prepared to walk away from it. Like others, I wonder how this will affect his future managerial prospects, and I have to say I've lost some respect for him.I guess now we'll see how strong and cohesive this team has become. There are veterans in the clubhouse who have been through this type of thing before. Hope that they can shepherd the young 'uns through it. I like the Pudge player-manager idea that someone mentioned, though I don't know if it's doable/viable.Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I *do* know that I'm behind these Nats no matter what.

  61. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    I agree with HHover. I don't buy the whole "conversation" thing. I liked Riggs, he stood up for what he believed in, which is cool…but he wanted a deal. I disagree with everyone slamming Rizzo. Go Nats! Go Rizzo!

  62. dryw - Jun 23, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Exposremains, the two words are the same unelss you hear them spoken. When I heard the news, I texted some friends and made sure to add "resigned as in quit, not as in signed again." I didn't get confused because I HEARD the news rather than reading it.As to whether a conversation is equivalent to demanding to be renewed, I really don't think it is. I can see Riggs going in, saying he thinks he deserves more respect, a "longer leash," etc. Rizzo responds that they want to wait til the All-Star Break before making a decision–or even that the Nats want to go a different direction next year but didn't want to undermine Riggs in the clubhouse by making that public. Or any number of other things that would help Riggs know where he stood with the team, whether he wanted to stay. Even if Rizzo said they knew they only wanted Riggleman to stay through the end of the season, that CONVERSATION lays the groundwork for Riggleman to decide to go along with it or to be convinced to stay til the All-Star break or whatever. If the answer is "if you finish at .500 or above, we'll give you a 3-year extension, at least Riggleman knows where he stands. Riggleman says he wanted to TALK and I believe that.

  63. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Any team reaction, Mark – or is there a cone of silence? Thought maybe the fo had issued a gag order on them.

  64. Tim - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Should Rizzo have had the discussion with Riggs? Yes. Should Riggs have timed this ultimatum as the team is so hot? Absolutely NOT. I'm a Riggs fan, but the timing comes across as totally selfish, even if it's not.My question is now: Since McLaren is a Riggs puppet and huge friend, does he resign as well? Can he really manage the team with the close relationshop existing with Riggs? It would be tough for the FO to swallow, I'd think. I think they'd have to fire McLaren and get Bo Porter or Jim Lett or Tim Foli to manage. My money is on Foli because (I think) he's still in the front office as an advisor.Jane and Anon @ 5:15… no way does Matt Stairs manage the Nationals! No way. They are not going to give the job to someone who has never managed. That's why Bo Porter is out.Could be Foli or Davey Johnson or Bob Boone (although he's never managed either, I think).

  65. Cwj - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    I'm on the "side" of those who think Riggs was being selfish and picked the worst possible time to resign.I don't blame upper management for this. But who knows what really happened.I really do wish Riggleman had thanked the Nats' fans for following the team he was skipper of. He quit while the Team has momentum. Baffling…. Bye Riggs.

  66. Golfersal - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    I don't know if anyone saw Phil Wood on the Post Game talking about all of this, but the guy was very on his game and was terrific. Wood added an important element in all of this, he said that Riggleman would of been tickled pink to sign a 5-year deal for the low salary that he was getting. That gets you thinking how important in this business job security really is. In this day and age when they are paying Jayson Werth 128 million, they could afford to pay Jim Riggleman what amounts to about $3 million dollars for five year and if it doesn't work out fire him, pay him off. Hey they are paying off Ron Dibble for this year to the tune of a million, it's freakin pocket change to an organization like the Nats.I think the fact is that Rizzo was going in a different direction on this Riggleman thing, just like with Adam Dunn last year. He wasn't going to sign Adam Dunn and knew that Dunn would get a better deal than was offer.It's a freaken game that is played everyday and Riggleman was probably never in the long term plans.Now did Riggleman over react, probably. He could of given Rizzo more than a day for an answer but Riggleman was probably on top of the situation that he wasn't coming back.Crappy deal all around, guess it's the business of baseball which don't really care about the fans it's all about ego's.

  67. Janner33 - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    I first became a fan of baseball in 1996 during my university days in Montreal. My frequent trips to the Big O fostered a love for a franchise that has experienced adversity like no other before it. Many nights were spent in the UK where i continued my studies, huddled over a laptop catching games on mlb.com until 3, or even 4am. I witnessed the dismantling of the team by Loria, and the subsequent pillaging of the farm system by MLB, but still kept my faith in what was left of the team, and began to follow our Nats. I have never been to DC for a live game, but have followed every single comment on these threads, and have enjoyed gaining a sense of the stadium and atmosphere from you loyal posters. Everyone here knows the ups and downs of the Nats since they moved to DC, but my point of the back story is that nothing in the past, including those dark days in Montreal – at least in my mind – will have more of an effect on team morale than the stunt that Riggleman pulled today.The joy everyone – and i include the players – has experienced for the past 2 weeks in watching the team FINALLY gel together, has been brought to a shattering, gut wrenching halt.All we can do as fans, obviously, is move forward and onward, but i for one won't be able to get over my current sense of betrayal for a long time, especially if this move by Riggs puts the team in a tailspin (which i fervently hope it won't). Sorry for venting, but after so many years of heartache following this team, this latest episode has made me majorly P.O.ed. Or maybe I'm just going through the 7 stages of grief as i write this :) Here's hoping that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and no matter what, I'll continue to live by this blog's mantra: GYFNG

  68. Wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Overall, bad move on both sides. The option should have been picked up before the season. That way, Riggs could have received the financial security that is common for managers, and the Nats could have avoided a signal to the baseball community that they aren't cheap – which, even though I don't want to get into a 'Lerners are Cheap' discussion, is exactly how it comes off when the team won't guarantee the lowest paid manager another season when it is entirely common practice. When you treat people outside the norms of an industry, there are bound to be repercussions. This is a perfect example of pennywise, pound foolish (to me). Picking up the option before the season started is a financial commitment, not a guarantee that he would be back managing next year (leaving Rizzo with the latitude that he obviously wants). That is the way that managers are treated. Picking up the option now would look like he is being guaranteed the job next year. So I think the failure to exercise it before the season is Rizzo's big mistake here. I thought it was interesting that Rizzo said that the coaches have been extended offers to remain for the rest of the season, but that they were thinking about it.But Riggs is going to get hurt by this worse than anyone else. He has a mediocre record as manager. If he played out the season and the Nats finish at or near .500, he will have a full season in the books of good play, and it would help his resume. This, halfway through? I think that it gets forgotten or dismissed as not sustainable. And he will not be able to avoid the rep of walking out on his team, and/or making his employer look bad. Not sterling credentials for the next job. He seems like a good man, and respected within the baseball community, so I have no doubt that he will get a job on someone's staff, but I have a hard time seeing him in another manager's role. Maybe I am wrong.But what does Rizzo do now? Ideally he convinces someone with respect, like Davey Johnson, to take it over for the rest of the year. My next choice would be a strong personality type like Porter, although he rejected the interim role with Florida last year. I do not think a relatively new guy to the major league level like Jewett is the right call for this team. Plus, really hope it isn't McLearen.

  69. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Riggleman's agent is now on MASN saying that Riggs "just wanted a personal conversation in Chicago." but otherwise it just sounds like agent boilerplate. Sounds like the agent is also stunned. Agent says this was Riggleman's dream job. But the MASN quote from Riggs was that he wasn't 100% committed. So there you go. He abandoned ship; misplayed his hand badly. I think the next 24 hours will be a real test of Rizzo.

  70. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    i just want to thank Jim Riggleman for making all the sons of Maryland look like crybaby quitters, for putting a bayonet in the cause of Washington baseball, and for making Washington the laughingstock of all sports.

  71. Nats Insider - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    There may be more reason for Porter to accept the manager's job now than there was last year. His current job is in great jeopardy if the team brings in someone from the outside. A new manager wants his own coaches, so Porter, McLearen, and all the others have to be wondering if they will have jobs after the All Star break. If the job is offered — and I am not at all sure it will be — Porter may feel he has no choice but to take it. Then, next year, he will be able to market himself as someone with managerial experience. BTW, does anyone know if the Rooney rule would apply to hiring an interim manager?

  72. BethesdaFan - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Riggleman is a class act and we are going to miss him. Hope he finds a home in baseball where the GM does respect his manager and players. Regardless, still wish the Nats the best and a wonderful season despite their GM's treatment of his managers. Please Rizzo do not mess up Zimmerman's contact negotiations.

  73. Nats Outsider - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    The Rooney rule is football, of course. I should have said a Rooney-like rule. My bad.

  74. Scooter - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Gone? Yikes, Find New Guy!

  75. Feel Wood - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    "This is on Rizzo. Period."Riggleman this season was in exactly the same position that Rizzo was in in 2009 when he was only the acting GM until after Strasburg was signed. People said then that Rizzo was being disrespected and strung along by ownership (Lerner and Kasten), but how did Rizzo respond? He did his job – and did his job well – bided his time, and in the end he was rewarded. Riggleman was around then, but obviously he wasn't paying attention. Clearly the best course of action for Riggleman in dealing with a boss who was reluctant to extend his contract would be to do the same thing that boss did when he was in the same situation. Rizzo probably wanted to issue an ultimatum to the Lerners many times in 2009, but he didn't because he knew that wasn't the right course. You would think Riggleman would learn from that and not expect that issuing an ultimatum to Rizzo would yield a positive result. In the end, Riggleman showed that he really didn't want to be the manager either this year or long term.This is on Riggleman. Period.

  76. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    BethesdaFan, Rizzo already successfully negotiated one Ryan Zimmerman extension. I think it really is a bit panicky to suggest that today's events have anything at all to do with any such talks. Remember; whatever is happening behind the scenes, one party resigned today in mid-contract when his team was in the middle of the most promising wave if success since 2005.

  77. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    MLBTV very sympathetic towards riggleman.

  78. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Wave of success. I should probably post from my laptop and not my iPhone.

  79. NeedANatsFix - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Breaking news out of Chicago. Sources indicate the White Sox officials will announce tonight that the team has traded Manager Ozzie Guillen to the Nationals in exchange for the Nationals also agreeing to take back Adam Dunn.

  80. Feel Wood - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Pudge Rodriguez for player-manager on a multi-year deal. Make it happen, Rizzo.

  81. Nataholic - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    I was an employee and a supervisor. So these dumb comments about being one or another have to stop. I don't work for free. I get paid to do my job. And if I feel that I am not being fairly compensated, I can quit. Just so happens I did once. And I was employable and got another job. And ended up being better off as a result.As for Riggleman, he was under contract. Being a contract, I would not be surprised if the Lerner's sue him for breach. If they do, then the character of the Lerner's, no matter what you sycophants say, will be extremely clear. And then maybe we can have story time about when good 'ol Ted built Tyson's and how he breached a few contracts of his own. The Lerner's didn't make all their Billions by always playing by the rules….As for intention, Riggleman probably felt like he was getting the boot for next season. And I bet the writing was on the wall for some time. Riggs and his agent spread out to the baseball universe (Heyman, Rosethal, etc.) talking about how he was a good man who should get his option picked up. But I think Rizzo never intended to pick up his option. Back when Bobby V tried to get the job, Rizzo had nothing but amazing things to say about the man. But then, he hired Riggs saying something like Riggs is better for the team right now. Well, now, the team is better and many people don't think Riggs is ready for that type of team. Maybe Rizzo thought the same. Figured that now that the Lerner's are willing to spend he can get the manager he wants. And maybe Riggleman got wise to it and thought that he wouldn't be someone's patsy again. Leaving when the team is above .500 is better for his career prospects by the way. If the Nats do .500 or better, well Riggs made the path. If they do worse, well the team needed Riggs and maybe he wasn't so bad.

  82. Dave - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Jim Duquette on MASN now basically saying what I, 1a, erocks and others are saying. 70% of blame in Riggleman.

  83. Richard Moore - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Agree with Golfersal that Phil Wood was very solid in his analysis and clearly he was aware of Riggleman's growing frustration. Nobody wins in this nasty mess. Porter is a hot prospect and part of me would love to seem him get his chance in Washington. But I think Rizzo would be more likely to try and talk an experienced old hand into serving as interim. Davey Johnson has said he doesn't want to manage again but he might be willing to take the interim position.

  84. Dale - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Kudos to Riggleman for having the brass balls to stand up for himself. Being denied even a conversation about your future when you have 3 months on your contract shows the ultimate disrespect by Rizzo. Riggleman said that it is impossible to manage the way he wanted to knowing that any slight valley in the team's season would be the impetus for his dismissal. The players on the team all know the contract status of their manager and the authority he has with the team is severely diminished by that contract status. If Rizzo had backed Riggleman and offered the option year it would have made Riggleman a stronger manager. Rizzo chose to gut him instead. For those of you who compare managing a major league baseball team to employee relations in the business world you would have to reevaluate your beliefs.

  85. LoveDaNats - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    I have the problem of seeing all sides. Rizzo knew he wasn't going to have Riggleman back next year but didn't want to have the conversation now. Riggleman is thinking of his future and the fact that not knowing his status affected the way he managed a game. The players are pumped, as they should be, because of the good baseball they've been playing. I sincerely hope this does not affect the play on the field. Selfishly,my first thought was for me as a fan. I've tasted victory and do not want to go back. This "drama" is bound to get in the way of that. What's done is done. How Rizzo handles this going forward will determine how the players react. He needs to get someone in there who is respected by the players and a great motivator. As for Riggleman, I believe he will manage in the bigs again. Anyone looking at the turnaround this team has managed over the past year and a half will see that Riggleman was a big part of that. He will be signed again.

  86. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    This is on Riggleman. Period.

  87. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    I think we should all stop playing this blame game. Riggleman asked Rizzo multiple times during the season about having a discussion and Rizzo was never ready. Riggleman wanted more security and Rizzo was not ready to hand him that. I don't think you can really blame either of them.

  88. wally - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    NeedANatsFix – good one.The more I think about this, the more that it seems emotion ruled the day here, not a power play. I suspect that Riggs has been bothered by this for a long time, went to Rizzo recently to get it addressed, Rizzo must have replied in a flip way that PO'd Riggs and then the 'I'll resign", "Go ahead" stuff started flying. The thing about those kind of statements, you can't back off them without completely feeling like a coward, so you are kind of locked in to a predictable outcome. That is why giving ultimatums is almost never a good idea. It is just hard to see how this happens otherwise.Ah, I dunno, even typing that seems stupid. In case it isn't clear, I know absolutely nothing.

  89. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    I am pretty encouraged by Storen's comment. Seems like the young guys look up more to the vets than they did to Riggleman.

  90. Bill B - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    It had to be clear to Riggleman for a while that he was on the way out. It's was clear that Werth was agitating for Riggleman to be fired earlier in the season. Yes, the Nats are on a hot streak, but why? Is it because of changes Riggleman made, or despite him? I think the latter. Ankiel went on the DL and finally robbed Riggleman of the opportunity of putting a no-hit CFer into the lineup. LaRoche went on the DL. Nothing against LaRoche, but he should have gotten the follow-up exams earlier, and he should not have been playing every day while batting .175 and being clearly impaired by the bum shoulder. Batting the pitcher 8th? That might have been a net positive, but it's hard to say. Personally, I won't miss Riggleman's managing. I think that, until this event, he's handled himself well in front of the cameras, but his on-field managing has been atrocious.

  91. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Davey JohnsonDavey JohnsonDavey JohnsonOnly Johnson hiring will make me continue being a Nat's fan (until Rizzo, the dumb asshole leaves)Rizzo, get this right. You f'd up riggleman — you have no class, Rizzo — nooo class.Shame on you for putting it back on Riggs. You are an a'hole.This is on Rizzo totally.

  92. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    As far as next manager is concerned, I would love to have a player-manager back and my candidate would be Ivan Rodriguez.

  93. Tim - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I really have no idea how to evaluate this. I don't think we know the whole story. It is obvious that the relationship was not going to last beyond this season so I am not sure how much impact this has on anything long term. People are saying that this decision to resign, is a bad career move for Riggles and that he probably did so because he was putting himself first and the team second… He did something clearly not in his self interest then obviously that was not an example of looking out for #1. I think his reasoning was more complex. I think it reflects pretty badly on Rizzo and his ability to manage people. He wanted Riggles to stick around for the whole season and it didn't happen. People talking about … he had to do this because Riggles gave him an ultimatum are full of it. His job is to make sure the team succeeds. He had a winning manager there and Rizzo let him walk. He is the one left holding the bag, its his problem now. My gut is that Rizzo really misses Kasten right about now.

  94. Sunderland - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Wally, 6:06 pm, good take, well said, with you 100%.

  95. Navy Nats Fan - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    While Riggleman and Rizzo both share blame, this is really the Lerners fault – and not for the reasons listed above (cheapskates, etc). What the Lerners may now realize is -THIS IS WHY YOU NEED A TEAM PRESIDENT.Since Stan Kasten resigned, Rizzo has been the GM but also sort of the President but not really. So the Lerners are sort of the Team President but not really. If Kasten were still there, for all his faults, he (one would hope) would have played the "adult in the room" role and stepped them both back from the ledge. Without a President, it's just two egos and the holders of the checkbook.So when we should all be celebrating a sweep, another series win, a phenomenal run of baseball – instead we're consumed with this.Is there a goat we can let into the park? A piano we can locate? A Broadway show we can boycott? A Bartman we can apologize to? A Bartman ball we can detonate? What is the DC curse we must cure?

  96. ExposedinDC - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    And we wonder why free agents (unless ridiculously over paid) run from this organization like the plague…This is on Rizzo and the Lerners…pick up the option and if you want to make a change make the change..what a complete joke……when do Danny and the Skins start again ?

  97. sm13 - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Can you spell E-G-O. Riggleman saw this as all about him with no regard for the team. If that is his philosophy, then maybe that explains his subpar career as a manager. I am disappointed and bordering on angry at Riggleman. To leave this team at the very time that we rose above .500, when the ballpark is beginning to fill up, and when there is actually a bit of buzz about the Nats in DC is just plain selfish.I'm guessing that Rizzo, et al will stay in-house for their managerial selection. While I think Bo Porter is the obvious choice, I am reminded that Davey Johnson is on the Nats staff and might make an interesting fill-in. Please, please, please don't make it Bobby Valentine!Another great game today. Glad to have been there for the series sweep!

  98. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    One step forward, two steps back. Rizzo thinks he is the smartest man in baseball…I hope he's right.Just call us the Natskins….

  99. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    No matter who makes the lineup == I am behind the players 100%.I am sure that some of them are a bit a anxious about their roles, though. I hope whoever steps in tomorrow can reassure them.

  100. sjm308 - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Can't see this being the disaster that neganon's are crying about. The guys on the field will still play hard and I think they will look to Nix, Werth, Hairston, and yes even Stairs for guidance. Can't imagine them putting Porter in as interim since he has not managed before BUT Foli has managed and is in the FO now as an advisor so that makes sense. Plus, he has worked with Desmond, Espinosa, Bernadina etc in the minors.Not going to blame anyone, but if one of my assistant coaches came to me with an ultimatum in the middle of a season and gave me one day, he would not be there tomorrow. Those that think that all Riggs wanted was to talk are kidding themselves and just want to jump on anything negative. Bottom line is Riggs could have stayed and honored his contract but chose not to. Can't see how you can make him the better person in this and also can't see another team thinking he is the type of person they want leading them.Hopefully, the Nats will be ok

  101. Mark'd - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Riggleman could have made a huge resume' boost for himself: All Star coach, worst to .500+ record, and maybe Manager of the Year, and maybe Playoffs and piss it away on ego.

  102. FS - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Agree with sjm308, like Storen said as well, veterans over there know how to handle this kind of situation. Riggleman's words: "Some of them that this is the best news they could have got today. Some are like come one Jim don't do that." WOW, so some players had issues with Riggleman too. I bet Werth was one of them. LOLAlright enough gloom and doom. Let's get over this and get back on our winning ways starting tomorrow.

  103. TimDz - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    I guess this means that Riggs won't be one of the assistants to Bochey during the All Star game?

  104. ballstonnat - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    This whole I just wanted a conversation with him angle is totally foolish. I'm sure Riggs just wanted to check in with Rizzo and see if he could get another year, then when Rizzo said no, Riggs would have walked on out and managed the rest of the year. Riggs went all in when he had the best hand he'd had since he got here, a winning streak that put us over .500. Unfortunately for Riggs, Rizzo didn't fold.Couple of thoughts, the quotes from the players and the video comments of Zim on MASN lead me to believe they will move on faster than we as fans may.Seems like Bob Boone has been around a lot more recently…camera's on him a lot in San Diego, and Bob and Johnny have both made a lot of references to him recently. Finally, if it wasn't for this sudden streak, Riggs would play out the string. Doubt he would have made this ultimatum.

  105. Joe L - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    Does anyone besides me think there was something else rather than a non-conversation that actually led to the immediate resignation?????

  106. baseballswami - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    I think we are going to find out later that there were other issues that were communications problems.Rizzo is a great scout and a shrewd negotiator – but perhaps you shouldn't treat your "family" the same way that you treat Scott Boras.

  107. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    This shows that the Lerners are still a disaster as owners. The Nats have a well deserved rep as a very tight fisted and poorly run franchise. Nothing has changed.

  108. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    This was a jackass move by Riggleman. He just quit on his team. I say F him.

  109. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    According to Rizzo's statement, he told Riggleman in spring training that they would not make a decision on picking up his option until after the season. If that's true – and there's no reason to believe it's not – then if Riggleman had a problem with that he should have issued his ultimatum then and there. Waiting until now to do it is a cowardly d*ck move on Riggleman's part. All this talk about "just wanting a conversation" is BS on Riggleman's part to cover his a**. He's walking out on a contract he accepted, plain and simple. Putting self over team, just as Rizzo said.

  110. spike94wl - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Totally Anon 7:26. That's why they overpaid for Jayson Werth.

  111. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Just another stupid move by the management/ownership in DC….and they wonder why they will not win a World Series any time soon

  112. Feel Wood - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    When Manny Acta was fired, he said he wasn't upset because he knew he would have a job somewhere. That's because Manny Acta had the cojones to keep doing the job he signed up to do until someone told him he no longer could. Manny Acta was a class act and a good manager, unlike Jim Riggleman who doesn't seem to care whether he ever works again or not.

  113. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Let's make this perfectly clear, Riggs asked for a conversation only not an extension of his contract. Still should have waited until the all star break.

  114. Sec3MySofa - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Joe, I believe I did note that, earlier, yes.www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODIhgB2eF1cor for the more classically oriented:www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrSVkTRb24or a little quieterhttp://tinyurl.com/6dgwwp5

  115. SonnyG10 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Like everyone else, I was totally shocked at the announcement. I really liked Jim Riggleman and supported him and I thought he did well given the talent he has had to manage. I would have been happy to have Riggleman back next year and beyond. But I am committed to Mike Rizzo. I believe in his ability to build a winner. I knew there would probably come a time when I strongly disagreed with Rizzo getting rid of a favorite player, or bringing in someone I thought was sub-par. I vowed I would stand behind his judgements unless he proved over long term to not be successful.I think there was a good chance Riggleman was not going to be brought back next year, unless he finished really strong this year. If Riggleman really wanted to manage here, I think he made a hugh mistake resigning. I think his attitude should have been that I'm going to do so well that they'll have to bring me back. No chance of that now. Anyway, I hope Jim lands on his feet.

  116. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    This whole thing just makes me sad. Honestly, I like Riggleman, and I think he has done a really good job this year for which he hasn't received nearly enough credit. And I think Rizzo's refusal to discuss the option for next year was pretty asinine. It's clear this had been stewing for awhile, and Rizzo should never have let it get to this point. His failure to anticipate how Riggleman felt shows either gross inattention, or a real lacking of personal management skills. At bottom, I respect Riggleman's position, and that he had the guts and self-respect to make a stand. That said, i just feel very sad this had to happen. I have greatly enjoyed watching the team this year, and feel that it is on the edge of turning into something special. This could hurt that; hopefully not, but it could.

  117. Sean - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    Riggs rocks — the Lerners suck! DC should get its money back for the stadium. The taxpayers of DC built the Lerners a gorgeous stadium, and for 5 years they spent next to nothing on payroll and put a crappy product on the field. They obviously know nothing about business. Have a good product and people will buy it – if you don't, they won't. That's exactly what happened the last five years. The team is playing well this year, and they won't pick up the option of a very good manager. Pathetic!

  118. Avar - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Let's drop the dumb talk that this was the Nats being cheap. Whoever they hire will cost more than Riggs.No one seems to be disputing that Riggs gave his boss an ultimatum. Only dispute is the terms of that ultimatum. I can never blame a guy for not giving in to the ultimatum. It's a power play and if the boss gives in, he loses…big time.I always thought Riggs was a weak manager but a class act. Now I think he's a weak manager and either a hot head or very selfish. I lost a lot of respect for him today.Whoever pointed out that Rizzo suffered through the same fate made a great point.Riggs put himself before the team at a very important time for the team. He had to go.Plus, Rizzo not talking about the contract means he wasn't going to bring him back. Riggs should have know that. That was his answer. Accept it, do your job and find a new one. AFTER the season is over. Honor your commitments, especially to your team.

  119. Sean - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    To Avar — the Lerners are cheap and don't have a clue about running a baseball team. In a huge market like DC, start spending money immediately to put fans in the seats and build a loyal following in the area. Before Strasburg arrived last year, the Nats were only averaging 5,000 viewers on TV per game. Pseudo-celebrity dust eating fares better. What a joke. The Lerners suck and have ripped DC off the last five years.

  120. masnstinks - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    I am just not used to the Nats getting this much attention. A couple of weeks ago, we couldn't buy a mention on national sports shows. Now, with the hot streak and the soap opera, they are all talking about the nats. I'm just kind of used to us flying under the radar. This spotlight is kind of strange. Just saw some player interviews – they are all saying the right things, of course. Gonna be an interesting plane ride for them. Maybe they need the privacy right now. Can't wait to hear Ray Knight's take on this – he and Carpenter will wish they weren't on vacation. what will tomorrow bring and what will we be commenting on 24 hours from now?

  121. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    McClaren is interim. That should mean that things will stay pretty steady for the team.

  122. Unkyd - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    First, I'm not particularly proud of any of Rizzo or Riggs, but my sympathy lies with Riggs. The organization could have picked up that option before the season. And should have. After the season, they could have bought it out, for a couple hundred thousand, if they wanted someone else. Chump change. Leaving Riggs without even the most basic semblance of support could not help but undermine his authority in the clubhouse, if anybody wanted to break bad. Not doing so not only sent the message that Riggs didn't figure in the future, but that even creating the appearance of respecting him, was more trouble than they cared to deal with. Quitting, leaves a bad taste in the mouth of everyone involved, but I think that if I looked in the mirror, and saw a chump, I wouldn't wanna do it again, even once, let alone for another 90-odd games. I hope it's Bo, and if we can take 4 on this trip, it'll continue to roll. Even if we don't, this TEAM will find their way…GYFNG!!!!'n

  123. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Good Luck Jim. Way to stand up for yourself!! Let Rizzo manage, see what that gets you.

  124. Big Oil - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Jenner33 -Well said.Also: this sucks.

  125. UNTERP.NAT - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    I dvr the game and didn't know the outcome, and so I just found out about the resignation. JaneB, you are right. Basically, they were going to give him the heave ho, and Riggleman it seems had enough self-respect to leave on his own terms instead of being let go. At least he went out on a high note. Though this couldn't have come at a worse time for a team that was on the upswing. Be that as it may, life goes on, and believe me when I say this, because I spoke up fervently supporting Riggleman, but now that he's gone, I am glad he's gone. If nothing else, we will really find out what the character of this team is made of. As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going…

  126. John R. - Jun 24, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Truly amazing that this was all over a measly $600,000 one year contract extension. So much money unnecessarily wasted on lousy Adam Laroche ($8,000,000 per year), and the Nats Front Office won't even commit to Riggleman for an extra $600k?Even if they fire Riggleman at the end of this year, they are only out the $600k which is a mere pittance compared to what mediocre players make. Riggleman was a man of class and dignity who obviously never tried to talk behind anyone's back about his situation. (Otherwise, this would not have come as such shock to everyone.) I will miss him. I am disappointed he left in the middle of a promising season, but I kind of like the way he went for broke in his last gamble to get Rizzo to take him seriously. Who hasn't wanted to go to his boss after some success and ask for a raise?

  127. JaneB - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Janner 33, thanks for that post. I hope you stick with us.Scooter! Brilliant use of GYFNG! Just brilliant!At bottom, I just hope the players are jelled enough that they can stick with this vibe they have going. I want them go go go go. And, like someone else mentioned, I truly hope this doesn't bode ill for Rizzo and the Lerners getting an early deal done with Zimm, as shocking as it was for Riggleman to leave, I'd take to my bed for days if we lost Zimm. Days. Months, even.GYFNG! Now more than ever.

  128. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    As usual, I find myself standing with JaneB. Riggs was a class act, far better than this franchise deserved. Rizzo showed himself for the Lerners' stooge that he is.But in a weird way, I think the players may unite over this. Obviously, Werth was never in Riggs' corner.My prediction? The Nats will offer Bobby Valentine a contract that's worth half what he makes at ESPN and the Lerners and Stooge Rizzo will be shocked — SHOCKED! — when he turns them down.The snubbing of Frank, LeatherPants, SmileyGate, Natinals, Aaron Crow fiasco, now this. We're still the laughing stock of baseball, no matter the record.

  129. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Joe Torre said the same thing when the yanks offered him a year contract. Stuff it. Riggleman did wonders with the team and wanted a sit down. There are bosses who really don't consider other people. If the info is correct Riggleman was getting $600,000 a year or a bit more than a call up player. As a employee who will be out of a job in 3 months, he has the right to ask for a meeting. Evidently Rizzo is not a stand up classy guy. Pinella quit like that too when he got disgusted with management. What I have found out is that there will be a lot of manager changes and someone will take a chance on Riggleman.

  130. AndesAngle - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    What a stupid thing to do! Thinking only of himself. Very selfish.http://andesangle.blogspot.com/2011/06/riggleman-resigns-screws-up-my-blog.html

  131. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    Why didn't Riggleman just fulfill the contract he signed by continuing to win? If had kept things on anything like the roll the team's been on, they had a real shot at a winning record and maybe even a shot at a wild card.Instead, Riggleman decided to force the issue now and abandon the contract he signed, to hurt his team and his city, and to make himself the center of attention.He comes off as a self-centered baby. Jim, I work as a contractor. I fulfill the terms of my contract. I don't quit half-way through, give my client ultimatums, or put my people or my projects in jeopardy.Jim Riggleman was about Jim Riggleman. Go home.

  132. Janner33 - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    @ Big Oil and JaneB…. oh, totally no doubt I will stick with the team. Having followed for 15 years through the rough times, no way I am bailing with the team playing the way it is :)I am actually a Riggs guy. I always thought his demeanor as a manager was perfect for the type of team that was being fielded. I just don't understand per the earlier comments why he chose to try and force the FO's hand at this point of the season. Even if he wasn't retained by the Nats at season's end, he would still have landed with 2 feet on the ground had he guided us to a semi-respectable record.

  133. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:52 AM

    Riggelman seems competent, but unexceptional. Not someone who inspires great loyalty. Not especially bright, creative or innovative. Not at the cutting edge of baseball analysis. And with uneven judgment — with his ultimatum/resignation Exhibit A.The Nationals should be able to get someone much better. The Nats have lots of smart, dedicated players, like Zimmerman, Werth, Storen, Strasburg and Pudge, who set high standards for themselves. They deserve a manager of similarly high quality.

  134. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    I understand Riggs' frustration. He had a right to feel less than wanted. But quitting like this is still a selfish act; he has let down his players and the fans, and the timing is unbelievably bad. He was a good manager, but wasn't anything special until about two weeks ago.How about Pudge as a player-manager?

  135. FOTB - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Ray Knight for manager.

  136. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    And now Jim…you're never gonna manage in MLB anywhere. So what've you gained?

  137. Anonymous - Jun 25, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    This is on the Lerners – Period. I hear Rizzo doesn't take a potty break without calling Mark/Ted – they wouldn't allow it. He has a 5 year deal, but that's if he lives on their short leash. Rizzo is biding his time to survive until his contract is up & then he thinks he'll negotiate his deal or go to a real organization. If Kasten couldn't garner trust & respect from the Lerners, Rizzo won't either. Riggleman didn't stand a chance. He was an interim manager; but you don't disrespect a lifer. The baseball industry knows the Lerners – they won't blame Riggleman for the fiasco. He didn't want them to control his exit. He walked out on the management, not the team players. He really didn't have a choice. He would be damaged goods after the Lerners were finished with him anyway. Maybe they'll hire Boswell to manage the team?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 47 --
ATLANTA 58 48 --
MIAMI 53 53 5.0
NEW YORK 51 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 60 11.5
Through Tuesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter