Anyone know if Jim Riggleman has a son pitching in the College World Series?
The move comes as a shock because there were no big signs that something was amiss. The Nats have been one of baseball's best stories, winning 11 of their last 12 games and moving one game north of .500 at 38-37.
But as is the case with many rifts, money was at the root of the problem. Riggleman told reporters after the game that he was upset the Nationals had not picked up his option for 2012 and gave GM Mike Rizzo a deadline of Thursday for it to be exercised. According to Riggleman, Rizzo wouldn't even discuss the matter so he knew what he had to do.
"I'm 58, I'm too old to be disrespected," [Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post].
Riggs is also apparently mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Kilgore offers the additional detail that the Nats did not want Riggleman to address his team for a final time — and so he didn't.
I've already seen some straddling the fence on this story as they assign blame to both camps for different issues. When it comes to Riggleman, they wonder how he could have walked out on his charges in the middle of the season with the team playing so well.
But I don't blame Riggleman one bit, though. His 2012 option was for a piddling $600,000 and baseball's richest owner had yet to pick it up. That's a clear sign that he wasn't being considered a part of the bright Nats' future that he had been helping to build since taking over from Manny Acta in 2009.
And while some will decry Riggleman's lack of loyalty to his ballplayers, everyone knows there's no such thing when you're trying to get yourself financial stability. Riggleman wanted more of it and had his bluff called when he tried to leverage this current winning surge into an answer. That sort of stuff happens in business all the time.
"I know I'm not Casey Stengel but I do feel like I know what I'm doing," Riggleman said.
The team says it will name an interim manager before a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox kicks off. Hopefully he'll be treated better than Riggleman was.