Jim Riggleman shocked the Natmosphere by abruptly resigning after today’s 1-0 win over Seattle (a win that gives the team 11 wins in their last 12 games and pushes them over .500 for the first time this late in the season since 2005).
I can’t blame him. He’s more than proven his worth managing a team in the lower 1/3 of major league payroll, without its best pitcher all of 2011, missing Ryan Zimmerman for the bulk of the season and having to deal with the loss of his “other” major FA signing Adam LaRoche. He’s worked a group of players that includes more than a few 2011 minor league free agents into the hottest team in baseball. Mike Rizzo should have realized that picking up his option was the right thing to do. The team let him toil as “interim manager” for months, even while vastly outperforming his predecessor (Manny Acta was 26-61 in 2009, then Riggleman went 33-42 with a group of players hampered by injuries late in the season).
Riggleman certainly has his detractors (small ball, quick hooks, sentimental pitching decisions all being mentioned) but I find it hard to believe there’s a manager out there who could have gotten more out of this group.
Flat out, the team should have picked up his 2012 option long before it came to this.
A disappointing piece of news.