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Riggleman's Future

I'm in Chicago right now. I adore Chicago. I love running along Lake Michigan in the mornings. I love the food and the ballpark. Also, my last name isn't Bartman, so it's a bit easier to feel okay about friendly citizens here.

The Nats begin their three-city, nine-game road trip at Wrigley on Tuesday evening, with ace Carlos Zambrano returning from the DL to start for the Cubbies. That's the storyline for the day, at least. The storyline for the series -- and beyond -- requires a broader view. Basically, it goes like this: With every previous NatsTown drama/uncertainty now resolved (the federal investigation involving Jim Bowden, the Dominican fallout, the Ryan Zimmerman contract talks, the Manny Acta death watch, the draft, the Strasburg signing, the GM search), the very last thing at stake in this 2009 baseball season is the job status of Jim Riggleman.

The Nats have already stated that they won't officially decide Riggleman's fate until after the season. Almost certainly, to borrow the patois of Stan Kasten, the Nationals will conduct a de-LIBER-ate, THO-rough, com-pre-HENsive and league-wide search for the next skipper. But Riggleman, now the interim, will be a candidate. So here goes. He has a final month, give or take, to make his case. And it just so happens he has previously managed in two of the three cities Washington will visit on this trip.

Under Riggleman, the Nats are 18-20. They've been streaky. They just wrapped up a disappointing 1-5 homestand. But just to put Washington's improvement in perspective, the team didn't win its 18th game under Acta until June 17 -- a night when the record improved to 18-46.

It's a bit premature, I know. But I'll ask anyway. Again, I'm reducing a rather tangled issue into the simplest question, but we can debate the finer points below. For the sake of the poll, it's black and white.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 25, 2009; 8:56 AM ET
 
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Comments

big difference between WILL he and SHOULD he, but oh well.

I think he should get it, but primarily because I think he should have a fair shot with the team under a little stability, I have a crush on him, I don't like change and because I don't know who else could be in the running. Good enough reasons as any.

(NatsNut for GM!!)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 25, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I've got a man crush on Riggo. When he went out the other night to defend Zimmerman and got himself thrown out, I swooned with admiration.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 25, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Nice of the Post to pick up the tab for an extra day of Chico sampling the food and atmosphere of Chicago. Nice for him, that is, but not so much for us Post subscribers (or soon to be ex-subscribers) who had to suffer substandard coverage of yesterday's game on account of it.

When will Chico's reviews of Chicago's food and running paths be showing up in the Travel section? This Sunday? I wouldn't want to cancel my subscription before catching them.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The good news; he ain't Manny Acta and their really isn't any bad news i mean Riggs needs a full year with this crew and he needs some "real" starting pitching,He's old school, that will keep the kids on this team grounded, lets see if the Lerners get him a legit starter or two via free agency and they need another bat in lineup i would give him a shot for next year if not then promote Tim Foli from the Cuse.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow...we really do find bold new ways to be negative for no real reason in this blog.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | August 25, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Daggone post disappeared. Let's try again.

Definitely premature, IMO. I'm all for a deliberate, comprehensive, and thorough search (and MLB dictates that, I believe). May the best man win. (Disclaimer: I don't have a crush on Riggleman.)

Now on to more important stuff. ;-) Sahhsage is fine, and no doubt the Superfans would approve. However, when I'm in town, I like to indulge in a zesty Italian beef sandwich. Chicago deep-dish pizza is good, too. And maybe a cannoli or two. drool...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

". . . to borrow the patois of Stan Kasten, the Nationals will conduct a de-LIBER-ate, THO-rough, com-pre-HENsive . . ."

Chillingly authentic. Sounds as if somebody's been to a Kasten presser or two.

Posted by: Hendo1 | August 25, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome -- chill out on Chico, there's such a thing as work life balance. :-) Let's face it, almost any of us NJers would love to have a job where all we did was write about baseball. I know I would. Day off? What's that? I'll get almost half a year off (okay at least most of October, November, December, January and half of Feburary off), and then get a trip to Florida. What's not to love? It baseball!

Posted by: twinbrook | August 25, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Eclipse,
Didn't know you were a Philly fan. Guess you're a Santa hater too...

--------
Nice of the Post to pick up the tab for an extra day of Chico sampling the food and atmosphere of Chicago. Nice for him, that is, but not so much for us Post subscribers (or soon to be ex-subscribers) who had to suffer substandard coverage of yesterday's game on account of it.

When will Chico's reviews of Chicago's food and running paths be showing up in the Travel section? This Sunday? I wouldn't want to cancel my subscription before catching them.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | August 25, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The third time through the order is definitely a problem for our pitchers,
----
Agreed.
But does anyone have stats on how the Nats are hitting during their third (or fourth) time through the order? My impression is that they go long stretches where they rarely score in late innings. There were notable exceptions during the the 8 game win streak, which might help explain why there was an 8 game win streak.

----
KenNat - I am with you on this one. I'll agree that other teams are jumping on our starters 3rd time through. Begs the question: why aren't we doing the same?

Posted by: mo_dc | August 25, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

You could always have a cheeseburger, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guQzlA86BJA

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome -- chill out on Chico, there's such a thing as work life balance. :-)"

Perhaps you missed the point of my comment. Nothing wrong with the Post providing work-life balance for its employees. But when they do, they still have the obligation to provide quality reporting for their readers. With Chico out balancing his work-life issues yesterday, the Post's coverage of yesterday's game sucked. That one is on the Post.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Riggleman managed in Chicago and San Diego. He also was a coach for the Cardinals, under Whitey Herzog, back in the early 90's.

Posted by: gmart68b | August 25, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I liked Bill Oram's gamer quite a bit. It was informed, focused and interesting. Better than some of the other subs IMO.

Posted by: softballgirl | August 25, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I am with TheEclipse on this one. I'm glad to have Chico back. But I wish the WaPo would see fit to assign a decent writer to the Nats when Chico is gone.

Definitely, this is on the Post.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 25, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Don't glorify it--there was nothing new there.

that said, while I'm not a fan of pissy attitudes (most of the time), he's got a right to advocate for the level of coverage he thinks is appropriate.
***********
Wow...we really do find bold new ways to be negative for no real reason in this blog.
Posted by: AtomicOvermind | August 25, 2009 9:38 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

FWLIW, I think a "deliberate, thorough, and comprehensive" search will identify multiple candidates who could do better than Riggleman, one or two of whom might actually be interested in the job. He was a good post-Acta manager, but not the long-term guy.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, if the pitching holds up next year, he could get a lot smarter really fast.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Would that be for what "little" it's worth? Just trying to keep up with the acronyms these wild kids today are using...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I voted no on Riggs. I don't think he will be the long-term guy.

However, I'm glad he's here right now. I don't sense that he throws in the towel, even when things are hopeless.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

What she said (right down to the crush disclaimer).

I love Chicago, too. I just hate the Cubs.

I was supposed to be there for this series, but the other part of my life got in the way. Talk about work/life balance - I'm on the other end of it. Enjoy Chicago for the rest of us, Chico.

-----

Definitely premature, IMO. I'm all for a deliberate, comprehensive, and thorough search (and MLB dictates that, I believe). May the best man win. (Disclaimer: I don't have a crush on Riggleman.)

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 25, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think if management likes the way riggs handles the lineup and pitching staff, he will be back next year. We will have a veteran at the top of the pitching staff, and free agent or two in the field. We wil be more competitive than we have been under riggs now. 2011 will be the year!

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 25, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Could a female win?

=======================================================
May the best man win.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 25, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I hope that whoever manages keeps Rick Eckstein.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | August 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Riggleman, the new interim, acting, had the #1 pick. Then he improved Seattle. Lost the #1 pick. Riggleman goes to the Nats. Riggleman, the new interim, acting, gets back the #1 pick, SS, that he ‘lost’ in Seattle. Riggleman, the new interim, acting, has the next #1 pick. But he has improved Washington, so he will ‘lose’ the #1 pick again.

We don’t care at all. We don’t like the name Bryce, fakey-winter-resort-breath. And we don’t want to go through that nonsense with Boras again. And we like winning (more than once in a while). So, thanks Jim. Keep it up.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't know that there are any such candidates being floated out there, NatsLady. Though there has been at least one female candidate suggested for GM positions, if I recall correctly.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

We do have good bats out there (except yesterday). If that's attributable--or partially attributable--to Ekstein, then what does that say about McCatty? We have GOT to stop throwing the homerun ball!


==================================================
I hope that whoever manages keeps Rick Eckstein.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | August 25, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 25, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

We’ve had a lot of new-to-us bylines under the NJ flag this season. Hard to keep up. Some I’ve forgotten. But I remember Yanda, Yada-Yada-Yada, DeNunzio, Steele (not the meteorologist, sigh; Weather Channel claimed her when Albritton put her on waivers), Berman, and others. A recent one was Goldenbach.

Latest one is today’s gamer-writer, Oram, who sounds like a funny guy. Who? “long story short, got switched to the nats, developed nasty ear infection, stuck at home not covering anything.” “covering swimming and dry land sports, too.” Note to WaPo. Psssst. Keep looking

Anyhow, I laughed when I saw the final sentence of Goldenbach’s recent gamer (below). So Lenny pinch-hits for a dinger. BTW, what a trade that was, Lenny for Eckstein, no?


Lannan Disappoints as Nats Drop Fifth Straight
Brewers 11, Nationals 9
By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 23, 2009

“Lenny Harris' pinch-hit solo homer in the bottom of the eight closed out the scoring.”


And Lenny explained Dibble 20 years ago.

“July 9, 1989. Lenny Harris of the Reds said that Dibble was upset over having allowed two hits in the inning, including a double to David Cone, the opposing pitcher. Dibble's fast ball rammed Teufel in the back as the infielder turned in an attempt to avoid being hit.”

I hope the ear infection is resolving. On to the next intern, please.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Did I miss something? I thought the investigation was still ongoing...
----------
"With every previous NatsTown drama/uncertainty now resolved (the federal investigation involving Jim Bowden..."

Posted by: Juan-John | August 25, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

This isn't really related to Riggo (FWIW, I'm in the "lets wait and see" camp), but last nights six run implosion got me to wondering:

How many games have the Nats given up a big inning to an opponent (lets say Four or more runs in an inning)? If that inning was NOT counted in the run total (in other words, the Nats did not give up runs in that inning), what would the Nats record be in those games?

(As always, I apologize in advance if this is seen as a stupid question by the more astute members of this community...)

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Periculum,

I don't see Martim here after this year except maybe in long relief or mop up. Control is nice but when it is at 85 MPH its too predictable. He doesn't have that heavy sinker that Mock and Stammen have.

I like the future of those two because they have begun to develop a bulldog mentality. I like that Martin got here (cinderala story) but he should enjoy the rest of this season as his 15 minutes of fame. I don't think the Nats care if he hits a high innings number, he is cannon fodder to them. They needed bodies this year.

Posted by: WashOut | August 25, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

> Could a female win?

In a word, no. And certainly not before there are female players in MLB, which also ain't happening. Big league ballplayers would never play for a woman. Although in the case of GMs, they could certainly be bought and sold by one.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Chico: If you can venture away from the North Side into the REAL Chicago, perhaps JD50 could Fed-Ex some Maalox:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold's_Chicken_Shack

Your life, and your arteries, will never be the same ...

Posted by: Bethesdangit | August 25, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

You can run along Lake Michigan on the South Side, and go to 57th Street beach. I know. I grew up there (on the beach, really--just about).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 25, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It's time for this franchise to run the correct way. We have a permanent GM in place. Let the GM choose the manager (meaning: StanK- stay out of this decision! Go sell tickets in Philly and let Rizzo do his job). Let the Manager choose his coaches. I think Eckstein has been great, and I've seen improvement under McCatty, but if the full-time manager (whether that be Riggleman or somebody else) has somebody he would prefer to work with then that should be his privilege as the manager. I don't want to put somebody in place but dictate that they work with personnel they are unfamiliar with. That sounds like a unorganized disaster and it would undermine the authority of the new (or un-interim current) manager. That sort of situation is reminicent of the way things have been run the previous year and a half!

re female manager: I won't speculate how teams would respond to a female manager- I want to think we've come far enough as a society that the players would adjust and play just as hard for a woman as they would for a man. I know that many will disagree. I'll leave this debate to others. I just do not think there are any females in baseball right now with relevant credentials or experience. I want somebody who has coached in professional baseball. I want them to have manager experience at least in the minors, and preferably some MLB experience as a bench coach (or higher) at some point. I don't think any women have a resume to match. I believe we will see women at all levels of Front Office management before we see them in the dugout. Keith Hernandez can relax for a while.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 25, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I voted that Riggles will get the job, but I really meant that I hope he does.

Yes, it's partly my crush. But I like his positive, yet accountable, approach, as well as his emphasis on baseball basics.

Give him a team and let him guide and support them to play solid, fundamental baseball.

Posted by: dcbatgirl | August 25, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I think the team will approach bigger names and have Riggo as the fallback guy. The question is if any of the bigger names - like a Valentine - want to be here.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 25, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Talking infield defense.


Sheinin’s ‘future’ graphic (front WaPo front sports page, some days ago) with Desmond at SS, AG at 2B, and Marrero at 1B seemed all wrong to me.

Ian Desmond. He has played professional baseball at SS for six years; he'll be 24 next month. In three of those years, he played 127 games. His error totals for those three years: 39. 37. 32.

In his other three years, he has played 66, 96, and 66+ games. Normalizing to 127 games, those three years yield 69 (he gets a pass for being 18 years old?), 30, and 43 (current year) errors.

Few games ago: “The Chiefs, more specifically, shortstop Ian Desmond, gift wrapped (their) first run, committing two errors in the second inning that allowed the Bisons to score without recording a hit in the inning.”

His errors-tendency, history? 39, 37, 32, 30, 43 (this year). In our future, pitching to contact, do we need no-field Ian Desmond at SS? No.

AG has made 0 errors in the majors at 2B (30+ games); before this year, in the majors, he made 1 error in 63 games at SS. Yes, he has made a lot of errors at SS this year, an anomaly. He is a slick-fielding SS and/or second baseman, with a gun arm, good-field, .260-hit. Is Ian Desmond our “human vacuum cleaner?” NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. He’ll never win a Golden Glove, but he’s racking up the Iron Glove trophies fast. Ian Desmond is NOT the answer. Put Guz at 2B, AG at SS.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mike Morse. Well, as you all know, we added a 6'3 and a half, 220 lb New Nat a few days ago. No, not that one. The question is can Mike Morse play second base? He had never played a pro game at 2nd, yet Syracuse listed him as a 2B?

He’s way too big for 2b, which is why he’s never played there, made a multitude of errors at SS in his career (but not as many as Desmond), and he would seem to have nowhere to play for us, as 1st and 3rd are the infield positions for a big, offensive guy.

But we have those bases covered (Hoss has been picking 'em). Morse has played in the OF. Nope, not with us, way crowded, been there. So just off the bench? I guess that's it, but a shame considering his possible contribution to production.

He won't be 28 until spring training. What shall we do with him? I kinda like him in the lineup somewhere for a tryout. Maybe 1B and add Adam back into the OF mix? Doesn't sound like something we want to do. Ideas?

He's no second baseman, and Guz shines at short compared to him (and especially Desmond), so just big utility to go with Willie as small utility? Guess so. Then when (if) Adam leaves, Morse at 1B. Marrero hasn’t hit AA pitching, much less AAA, as has Morse.

I just don’t agree that Mike Morse is a clank in the field. No, he is not a good SS, and his error rate there is abysmal, but at the other 17 positions he hasn’t done poorly at all. Check out his 200 or so minor league games when not at SS. Also, in HIS about 40 games at Syracuse? One error. Desmond’s about 40 games at Syracuse? 16 errors. Duh.

Norris’ 17 or so errors lead his league for catchers. I think he’ll improve. How many were throws, PBs, dropped pop-ups? BTW why is Luke Montz still on our 40-man? And why was he promoted to AAA? His .170 BA has followed him there, and there’s this:

NFA: #23 by Rocket Surgeon - July 30th, 2009 at 13:08

I’m curious as to why Montz is thought of as the “emergency catcher” by the Nats when the consensus by pitchers in Harrisburg is that his defensive skills are “brutal.”

So it’s AG at SS. Guz at 2b, Morse at 1B. Or re-sign Hoss and Morse is super sub.

With Flores back, and TP in CF, let's be strong up the middle! Do NOT bring Desmond up!!! Swap his sorry iron glove for suthin’. Anythin’ at all.

Grow the arms, buy the bats, dazzle with defense. When can we make the playoffs? 2011? 2010? (ha!)

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

GET JAMIE MOYER. LET HIM START FOR US. LET HIM MENTOR ALL OF THESE YOUNG PITCHERS. MCCATTY WON’T MIND. THEY BOTH BELIEVE IN PITCHING TO CONTACT. BTW, RENEW MCCATTY’S CONTRACT, MIKE.

“ESPN - Jamie Moyer is unhappy with a demotion to the bullpen and some believe that the Phillies could look to trade him this winter.

‘I'd take him,’ a National League official told ESPN.com. ‘I mean, it's not like you'd be running the risk of an arm injury because it's not exactly power stuff. For him, it's about feel. And as long as he shows he's still got that feel for pitching, why not?

To me, he'd be a great fit for a team like Washington. Get him around Stephen Strasburg and some of those young guys, and they couldn't have a better role model.’

Moyer is guaranteed at least $6.5 million in 2010.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Could a female win?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 25, 2009 10:42 AM

-----------------------------

Maybe if Annie Savoy were a real-life person instead of a fictional character, but barring someone like that and a very adventurous front office I'm afraid the answer is no.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 25, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Uh, we were 1-6 on the homestand, not 1-5.

Posted by: jsparks | August 25, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

>We don’t care at all. We don’t like the name Bryce, fakey-winter-resort-breath. And we don’t want to go through that nonsense with Boras again. And we like winning (more than once in a while). So, thanks Jim. Keep it up.

Posted by: nova_g_man

And yet another example of why they should draft the next Joe Mauer. Get in there Bryce. Get in there Nats. 44-81. Make it happen Riggo.

Posted by: Brue | August 25, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

> Uh, we were 1-6 on the homestand, not 1-5.

Manny takes a 1-6 homestand and makes it 0-7. Riggleman takes a 1-6 homestand and makes it feel like 1-5. Ergo, Riggleman's better. Have I got that right?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates the irony of adults at work, on the clock, with nothing better to do than complain on this blog about how they feel the Post should manage their employees.

Apparently it's okay for you guys to take the morning off to read blogs, but it's not okay for people at the Post to do whatever they want to do. Got it.

Posted by: bryc3 | August 25, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

To TimDz,
I don't have numbers but it's fairly common for the winning team to score more runs in one inning than the loser scores in 9. Thus Earl Weaver's mantra of pitching, defense and 3 run homers - he wanted to have the big inning on his side. Also a reason for the current fashion to de-emphasize little ball - don't give up outs. "If you play for 1 run that's all you'll get." If you even get the one. Give your team a chance for a big inning when you get someone on base.

Posted by: utec | August 25, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates the irony of adults at work, on the clock, with nothing better to do than complain on this blog about how they feel the Post should manage their employees."

It has nothing to do with how the Post manages its employees. We don't care how they manage their employees. It has everything to do with how they as a newspaper - or blog or whatever the hell they think they are now - cover the team. The team plays 162 games a year. The Post needs to cover those games equally. And they don't. That's why we say the coverage sucks.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

And Jamie Moyer - No.
A multi-million dollar middle relief guy, which is what he is these days, is not what we need. We need a mentor who can lead by example, as in getting guys out.

Posted by: utec | August 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

>The Post needs to cover those games equally. And they don't. That's why we say the coverage sucks.

Posted by: FromTheEclipse

Give it up. You got beat like a drum. Now get back to work.

Posted by: Brue | August 25, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

> Give it up. You got beat like a drum. Now get back to work.

What makes you think I'm at work? That I'm not making fart jokes over at BPG right now?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

>What makes you think I'm at work? That I'm not making fart jokes over at BPG right now?

Posted by: FromTheEclipse

I don't think. I know.

Posted by: Brue | August 25, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Much remains to be seen, but you have to give Riggleman a lot of credit so far. Having the worst team in baseball play nearly .500 ball over a 40 game stretch is impressive.

I say regardless of the record at the end of the year, if the players are getting better and responding under Riggleman he should get the job. So far he seems to have the team going in a better direction. Besides, given the pitching issues that will remain next year, does anyone really think Riggleman will be the reason the Nats aren't contending?!

Posted by: bushbad1 | August 25, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

> I don't think.

You didn't need to tell us that. We know.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"The question is if any of the bigger names - like a Valentine - want to be here."

-----------

I lived in Dallas when Bobby Valentine was managing the Texas Rangers. He was petulant and unprofessional, like the time he went out to argue a call and asked the umpire, "Do you have a bet on the outcome of this game?" Not surprisingly, he was ejected and suspended. When he was managing the Mets, he snuck back into the dugout in disguise after being ejected, leading to another suspension.

If Rizzo likes "character guys" in the clubhouse, then that ought to extend to the manager's office. Valentine is an egotistical jerk. The Nats can do better.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 25, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Morse is better than average at the corner outfield positions. He hasn't made as many errors out there. He is a likely candidate to replace Dukes should he falter. Plus he has the added advantage that he can play the corner infield positions and second base or short in a pinch.

He is a far better hitter than Willie Harris or Ronnie Belliard. He has more power. He is under 30. He has power even without the steroids. And my understanding is that, and not his fielding may have been what held him out of the majors ...

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"GET JAMIE MOYER. LET HIM START FOR US. LET HIM MENTOR ALL OF THESE YOUNG PITCHERS. MCCATTY WON’T MIND. THEY BOTH BELIEVE IN PITCHING TO CONTACT. BTW, RENEW MCCATTY’S CONTRACT, MIKE."

Uhhh nova_g_man?

Jamie Moyer === JD Martin ... if you don't like Martin how can you possibly want Moyer?

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a school teacher in Loudoun. I go back on the job tomorrow. If I'm posting a lot between 8:00 and 4:00 tomorrow, feel free to rag.

But I'm not criticizing the Post on anybody's time but my own right now. Their baseball coverage sucks.

All right, now I'll drive in to my school on my own time.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 25, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Jamie Moyer is 46, that's way too old. He ought to be a pitching coach (probably McCatty's age or close to it?) not a pitcher.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Morse is better than average at the corner outfield positions. He hasn't made as many errors out there. He is a likely candidate to replace Dukes should he falter.

Posted by: periculum

************

Excuse me, but have you SEEN him out there this week? I was at one of the games he started and talk about pass patterns.

I think it was pure luck he didn't make any errors because there were at least a couple of hold-your-breath catches.

He doesn't quite suck, but he's a long way away from a sure thing, that's for sure.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 25, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Exactly.

No one talks about the Aaaron Thompson deal much, where Rizzo rejected Ryan Tucker and held out for a guy who could (?) pitch in September for us.

Thompson’s fast ball rises He throws strikes. His changeup is a good one. He’s not tree tall like Sean West (6’8”), but he is underweight. That can be a virtue when his 22-year old frame (only 6’3”) finally bulks up. First rounder, 22nd chosen. Volstad (6’7”), who was 16th, jumped from AA to MLB and has looked fine. Tucker was 34th. West was 44th.

Thompson ‘s stats? Forget them. Yes, he’s behind his draft class: Zim, Upton, Bruce, McCutcheon, Maybin (ha!), and Rasmus, et al, but he has good command, he doesn’t allow many walks (or dingers), and he could back-end our rotation in the future. The point is that Rizzo rejected Tucker and got Thompson. Just follow Tucker’s career as it soon spirals into oblivion, then drowns, and be glad we have Scout Rizzo at the helm. Remember what Tonto said when promoting guys from AAA? ‘Get um up, Scout!’

*****************
For those of you following the results of the Nick Johnson trade, check out Aaaron Thompson's line tonight:

6IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 11SO!!! to bring his ERA down to 2.78 for the Senators.

And sadly Nick will likely miss all of the Mets series.

Kudos to Rizzo on that deadline deal and adding some pitching depth to the stable of talent.

Posted by: souldrummer | August 23, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

To TimDz,
I don't have numbers but it's fairly common for the winning team to score more runs in one inning than the loser scores in 9. Thus Earl Weaver's mantra of pitching, defense and 3 run homers - he wanted to have the big inning on his side. Also a reason for the current fashion to de-emphasize little ball - don't give up outs. "If you play for 1 run that's all you'll get." If you even get the one. Give your team a chance for a big inning when you get someone on base.

Posted by: utec | August 25, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse
________________________________

Thanks for your input. I guess it was a stupid question afterall. Thanks telling me in a friendly and PC manner...

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess the key to Riggleman's candidacy is: the team's played much better than under Acta, but realistically, how much of that can Riggo take credit for?

If the Nats underachieved for Manny and are overachieving for Jim, what did the replacement coach do to make the difference?

No fair attributing it all to superior motivational skills or other epheremeral concepts...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 25, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

'Scuse me, that's 'ephemeral'...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

'Scuse me, that's 'ephemeral'...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

__________________________

ephemeral:
–adjective 1. lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: the ephemeral joys of childhood.
2. lasting but one day: an ephemeral flower.

–noun 3. anything short-lived, as certain insects.

Heck, I didn't know the word, figured there would be others and that I would do service...

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Riggleman deserves credit for the motivational stuff as much as his technical stuff like his handling of the bullpen (yanks 'em quick) and offensive strategies (suicide squeeze).

It's all stuff that I couldn't have pinpointed as weaknesses of Acta's until I saw the differences in Riggleman.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 25, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Nice post Nova_G_Man. You are right. I had no idea how well Thompson was doing until you pointed it out. Can't wait to see him pitch myself.

Now, can anyone tell me why Odalis Perez remains unsigned? Don't want to come off as Oliver Stone type, but he's 32, lefty who is at least average and can be better. I get fact that he's a head case who weasled out of his 09 contract w/Nats but still wonder why he hasn't been picked up. Or maybe he has, but i missed it.

Posted by: gusgrace | August 25, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

um, his phone didn't ring?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

TimDz, I don't have the answer either, but I'm of the "there's no such thing as a stupid question" school.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse


TimDz, I don't have the answer either, but I'm of the "there's no such thing as a stupid question" school.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

----------------------------------------
Personally, I'm from the too lazy to do the work myself school...

Posted by: TimDz | August 25, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

That's a good one, too, TimDz...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 25, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

> Now, can anyone tell me why Odalis Perez remains unsigned?

Two reasons. (1) He's a head case, most GMs don't want to sign head cases. (2) Jim Bowden's out of baseball. See reason #1.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 25, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, big difference between Will and Should, but Rizzo did go with Riggle in mid-year. I love Riggle but I'd honestly have to say it depends upon who's out there to consider. I think this team has built a solid foundation and comraderie which includes their relationship with Riggle. I believe there would be a strong sense of optimism going into next year if he stayed, as opposed to adding another disruption and element of uncertainty with another manager. I honestly believe they could keep the exact same field players and just focus on getting one or two professionally-ready starters and a couple solid relievers and they're immediately a .500 or better team which would put them in contention in the NL East, although I see Philly being the top dog for a couple more years at least.

Posted by: AsstGM | August 25, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

riggs has "caretaker" written all over him.

Posted by: surly_w | August 25, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

1a1,

yes! chicago italian beef sandwich (johnny's on north ave, kind of a pain to get to w/out car maybe, but my god...) and I could care less about the deep dish, who cares, i like thin pizza.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | August 25, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

>Two reasons. (1) He's a head case, most GMs don't want to sign head cases. (2) Jim Bowden's out of baseball. See reason #1.

Posted by: FromThe

In-depth analysis. Keeps me coming back.

Posted by: Brue | August 25, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I like Riggs no nonsense approach about the bullpen because pitchers know that he ain't foolin around and that they had better get the batter out or....... and let Rizzo pick the manager as an earlier post indicated StanK needs to stay out of it.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, typically you see 6'0" and under at 2nd base and 3 decades ago it wasn't much different at Shortstop and Cal Ripken changed that perception.

With that said, I am not saying Mike Morse could be the Cal Ripken of 2nd basemen, but how's about giving it a chance. He has played there and feels comfortable and can play most positions which makes him a valuable asset to the Nats since they probably won't re-sign Ronnie Belliard.

What I like about the guy is what he has done with the bat. His 1st Nats swing was a smash headed for the RF corner that Prince Fielder Web Gem'd on to rob him.

Nice PH appearance single last night.

This was another really nice Rizzo pickup with good upside and low cost (Langerhans).

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 25, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Exactly.

No one talks about the Aaaron Thompson deal much, where Rizzo rejected Ryan Tucker and held out for a guy who could (?) pitch in September for us. "

It looks like another steal by Rizzo as I mentioned. He's a lefty! He may be in the rotation next year if he keeps pitching as he has since the Nats acquired him. Yep, he looks like a potential September call up and I think Brian Oliver may have mentioned that as a possibility?

I put him in my projected 2010 starting rotation before Lannan ... but that's me ... I'm not that impressed with Lannan.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I like Riggs no nonsense approach about the bullpen because pitchers know that he ain't foolin around and that they had better get the batter out or....... and let Rizzo pick the manager as an earlier post indicated StanK needs to stay out of it.

Posted by: dargregmag
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Great point and that is one of the best parts of Riggle's management philosophy of not letting games get too far out of hand. 6-1 last night was still manageable albeit an uphill climb for this offense and 8-1 would not have been.

He may not be a big name like Torre who only manages big payroll teams so sometimes you need a meat and potatoes guy to give some old school style.

He isn't flash and dash either and has very little ego (like Manny Acta) and that is nice to see when you are managing a young team.

To steal a line from a previous post, I have a man crush too watching him protect his players and the fact he doesn't do it in a Lou Pinella prime time Hollywood way. He almost gets thrown out with mutual respect I think. The umps seem to like that he doesn't show them up even when arguing his point.

:::::::::::::::::::::::)))))))))))))))))))

I've got a man crush on Riggo. When he went out the other night to defend Zimmerman and got himself thrown out, I swooned with admiration.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 25, 2009 9:21 AM


Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 25, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Quoting Brian Oliver on Thompson from his latest post:

"Assuming that the deadline is 8/17 and given Kasten’s claim of the high talent level of this year’s class, my guess for the Nationals players headed to Arizona are:

1. RHSP Stephen Strasburg (currently unassigned)
2. RHRP Drew Storen (Harrisburg)
3. LHP Aaron Thompson (Harrisburg)
4. 1B Chris Marrero (Harrisburg)
5. SS Danny Espinosa (Potomac)
6. CA Derek Norris (Hagerstown)

The most obvious candidates for inclusion are 2009 first round draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen. If the 8/17 deadline is to be believed, Storen slips in with six days to spare. Strasburg might get an exemption based upon the fact that he is a hish prestige guy and gives the AFL something to sell tickets around.

Thompson is my wild card choice. I added him to balance the Nats attendees at 3 pitchers and 3 hitters. He needs to be added to the 40-man this off-season or be exposed to the Rule 5 draft and I’ll wager the Nationals want to see what they have in the AFL."

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Whoever it is, I won't be around much to see it. Not buying season tix again. I used to like baseball games because they were cheaper than other sports. I can still get an excellent seat for $20 at Nat's park as compared to the top row of Verizon, but I can't do anything else. They got rid of the hotdog, fries, drink deal for $7 or 8, now those three combined are $15. Who wants to pay $5 for a tiny hotdog, not me. Also, if I can buy a 6 pack of decent beer for the price of one beer, you need to lower the prices. Oh, and there's the whole "they suck" thing. For the money, it's STILL not worth it.

Posted by: futbolclif | August 25, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

They need a veteran ***top flight starting pitcher**** not a Bowden-like retread. Preferably under 30 if possible.

I suspect that Nats management are hoping that Detwiler and Thompson supplant Lannan and making Lannan into interesting "trade bait". For the above veteran pitcher ... hopefully.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Riggleman mostly because he himself was a long suffering Nats (Senators) fan!? He must believe in his heart-of-hearts that its time for that to change ... and now here is in exactly the right position to do something about it.

Do something about it Riggleman starting NOW! Do whatever it takes to keep from losing 100 games ... whatever it takes to be well over .500 in September. Make it seem like a pennant race ... and then let it carry over into the off season and next year.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have gone from competing with the 62 Mets for the worst record in baseball history to a .500 team. That change alone should award Riggleman with the manager's job for 2010.

Posted by: mnbvcx | August 25, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Give the Richard Montgomery grad the job. Go Rockets

Posted by: nativedc | August 25, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats were at .500 for the season right now, they'd be ahead of Milwaukee and Houston in the Wild Card race, and ahead of the Mets in the division. I for one would be relieved to watch a season of .500 ball after the catastrophe of '08 and the first half of '09. Not that I don't hope the Nats can contend for a title in a year or two, but in the meantime, I don't think I can stand another year in the sub-basement.

Posted by: TomServo | August 25, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

As someone who knows Jim, I believe he is what the team need, a no nonsense baseball manager. Although Baseball, like all the other sports is a business, it still takes fundamentals to put a team in position to win more games than they lose. Riggleman is the proper prescription for the Nats.

Posted by: linwood2mer | August 25, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

So Chad Cordero is now pitching for the Everett Aqua Sox (Class A short-season Seattle Mariners affiliate). The Tin Yurl is here: http://tinyurl.com/l98wy4

Posted by: BobLHead | August 25, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Still way too soon to make that determination.....

1. Yes , he did wake the NOTS out of an ACTLESS induced Propofol coma they were in before the A/S break......

2. Yes, the Rigglemen are still over .500 against the MLB non contenders.....

3. No , they still stink against the Playoff Contenders (3-10) with 6 in a row starting tonight.....

4. Lets wait and play this out through the end of the year....

-is Riggleman the best guy to manage/mentor a AAA Starting Rotation next season?...

-let's see who is available.....

-let's see who would even consider the job in NOTStown........

Posted by: unc1dmo | August 25, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

-is Riggleman the best guy to manage/mentor a AAA Starting Rotation next season?...

McCatty seems to be doing as well under Riggleman as he did under Foli in AAA;


-let's see who is available.....

I'd stay away from "the big names" and stick with guys in the system. Rizzo seems big on doing that sort of thing ... so it's likely you would see a Foli, or a Stearns etc. if you don't see Riggleman return.

-let's see who would even consider the job in NOTStown........

All of the above I'd wager. You want guys who live for the challenge. Rizzo's one. Let's see who else.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Your Phoenix Desert Dogs!

Strasburg
Storen
Norris
Marrero
Espinosa

It looks like Thompson was left off, but good on Brian Oliver at NFA.com for getting the other five.

Posted by: sec307 | August 25, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

A commentor at NFA says that there are two more spots for Nationals that are TBA. So maybe Thompson and an outfielder - Bernandina if he's healthy enough?

Posted by: sec307 | August 25, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

nova_g_man, not sure where you're getting your info on Desmond. Baseball Reference shows him with 27 errors on the year this year, not 43. Baseball America says he has excellent range at SS and the best infield arm in all of AAA. The problem with Desmond has always been his hitting. But I think he's coming around, and he's still only 23. In the past, he has struggled each time he has been promoted, but when he repeated the level the following year, he mastered it:

2006, Potomac: .244/.313/.384
2006, Harrisburg: .182/.214/.231

2007, Potomac: .264/.357/.432

2008, Harrisburg: .251/.318/.406

2009, Harrisburg: .306/.372/.494
2009, Syracuse: .336/.418/.422

That warrants a September call-up in my view. Put me in the camp that would try Guzzie at second and Desmond at short for a month.

Also, for the record, when they gave the starting 2B job to AG on July 8, he was batting an uncharacteristic .306/.361/.398. For the rest of July he went a moderately atrocious .231/.257/.323, and he's followed that up with a .211/.203/.298 line so far in August (yep, his OBP is actually worse than his average). In short, the dude is a utility guy at best. Time to see what Diamond Desmond can do.

Posted by: BobLHead | August 25, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

As someone who knows Jim, I believe ...

Posted by: linwood2mer

***********

can you get me his number? wasn't kidding about the crush. =D

Posted by: NatsNut | August 25, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Trust me a "big name" managerial candidate is going to demand certain things i.e.high priced free agents,high priced coaching staff, that being said i don't want Riggs working cheap but i know Riggs will put his heart and soul into it and that will translate into wins,the players will get the message and give 110%, this road trip will be tough no doubt, any predictions?

Posted by: dargregmag | August 25, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

lineups in the new post -- round up the usual suspects...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

-let's see who would even consider the job in NOTStown........

=========================================

I'm certain you could find more than a few who would want to manage a big league club like the Nationals. Sure, it's been a tough year, but you've got your #1 draft pick signed, Rizzo is now the full time GM who'll has proven himself able in finding talent. The Lerners are open to spending money now (but after learning the hard way though) Plus it's a young team with nowhere to go but up.

Posted by: bromisky | August 25, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Periculum, Jamie Moyer has 257 ML wins and Martin has 2. Don't even think of putting them in the same category. What an ignorant statement.

Posted by: egoodman8 | August 25, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

I know I am "late to the party" wrt to this blog posting. But I think a good follow-up question to the one you asked, is:

"Nats fans, in your opinion SHOULD Jim Riggleman be the Nationals manager at the start of the 2010 season?"

v/r, bigmook

Posted by: bigmook | August 25, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

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