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BAMAPHIN 22
06-24-2011, 12:55 PM
After managing the Nationals' to a 1-0 walk-off win over the Mariners Thursday afternoon -- the club's 11th win in the last 12 games -- Riggleman abruptly quit his post because of dissatisfaction with his contract status, as his team option for next year had not yet been exercised and the Nationals reportedly were not interested in having a conversation about extending his employment right now.

General Mike Rizzo told reporters that Riggleman had said to him in the morning, "If you don't extend me, I'm not getting on the bus after the game." When Rizzo visited his manager's office after the game without the promise of an extension, Riggleman resigned.

In exiting at this juncture of the season, with the Nationals having inched one game over .500, Riggleman is calling attention to his own situation and distracting from the team by essentially saying, "Look at how well I've done to manage this team of average talent to a winning record in one of baseball's tougher divisions."

That's a reasonable statement to make, although it could have been done at a better time and in a better way. Washington was nine games under .500 before its recent winning spurt, and apparently managing a streaky team was too much for him without longer-term job security. Weathering this storm with an impressive finish would have brought long-term security -- if not with the Nationals, then with a more appreciative club looking to tap into Riggleman's managerial acumen next year.



Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/joe_lemire/06/23/riggleman.leaving.nationals/index.html#ixzz1QDI87iRr