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Riggleman named Nats' permanent manager

The Washington Nationals selected interim manager Jim Riggleman as their permanent manager on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the deliberations, ending a short but wide-ranging search.

Riggleman, who turned 57 this week, was informed of the decision some time Wednesday, the source said, and an announcement is expected to come as soon as Thursday.

The Nationals said all along that Riggleman would get strong consideration for the job, which he inherited in July after the team fired Manny Acta, and he was chosen over a field of candidates that also included former Texas Rangers and New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, believed to be the other finalist; former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin; Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly, who took his name out of consideration last week; and former Florida Marlins third-base coach Bo Porter.

Riggleman led the Nationals to a 33-42 record in 2009 after taking over for Acta.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 11, 2009; 7:38 PM ET
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Next: As we await the Riggleman presser...


Congratulations Jim!!! Yahoo!!!!

Posted by: Keenan1 | November 11, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hooray! I really, really like Riggleman. This is a great day! Zimm wins glove glove and Riggleman is named our new GM! YAY! go Nats!

Posted by: rachel216 | November 11, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Jim Riggleman, good day for the Nats. I respected what he did off the bat when he took charge of the team, re-focusing the practices on good defensive play and whatnot. He may not turn this into a team of all stars but he seems to know what he is doing.

Rizzi and Riggi (i like that)

Posted by: alex35332 | November 11, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NatsNut | November 11, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Riggs! May good fortune shine on the Nats.

Posted by: richs91 | November 11, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Riggs and may I say your promotion is well deserved. My only question is what took them so long?

Posted by: CHAMP1464 | November 11, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Guess this is as "permanent" as any other managerial job.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 11, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

If the Nationals have settled for Riggleman, then they've settled for fifth place in the NL East. A pathetic manager for a pathetic team.

Posted by: WJStephens | November 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Nats. Good on you, Riggs. Congratulations, Mr. Riggleman. You deserved it. I'm not delusional enough to think we're five wins away from the playoffs, but I believe I can see respectability from here. And Messrs. Rizzo and Riggleman are the reasons for it. The team improved markedly under Riggs, and he deserves a full time shot. I'm stoked!

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 11, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope Riggleman does well, congratulations and best wishes. I think the Nats have a chance to finish 3rd in the division, as the Mets are imploding and FLA is always dumping talent to save dollars.

But they could also finish last. Their pitching is still absymal.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 11, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they catch lightning in a bottle here. I think its a good choice, as he had the team moving in an overall positive direction. I think it is only fair to give him the reigns from the beginning of the season.

Posted by: TimDz | November 11, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice. Riggleman should do well.

Now if only the Lerners and Rizzo will get the guy some freaking players!

Ted and Mark, you guys reading this? Break out the damn wallet and empty it! Do it now. Spend recklessly!! Drunken sailors on leave you need be. (By Lerner standards that means paying full price for full value.) Give us a club that has a CHANCE to compete!!

Posted by: dfh21 | November 11, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Go Nats! Go Bobcat!

Posted by: jdVA | November 11, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

the nationals are kings of the "circular search,"leading them back to where they started both for the GM and field manager jobs. next order of business - hiring a new beat writer for 2010 and beyond.

Posted by: surly_w | November 11, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

a lot of Nats fans elsewhere are reacting with outrage that Riggles won out over Valentine.


much, much, more important that hiring a Celebrity Manager, is what Rizzo and the Lerners do once Free Agency starts and at the Winter Meetings.

I'm saving my outrage until them.

Posted by: MrMadison | November 11, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Noticed that Davey Johnson was hired as an advisor. He would have been better choice for the manager. I really hope Rizzo didn't make this decision based on finances allowed by Lerners.

Posted by: gonats1 | November 11, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

As an out-of-town Nats fan who never gets to see the local TV coverage, I'm conflicted about this move.

On the one hand, I'm happy that Riggleman got the job over Valentine. He did a good job as the interim, and I think he has a feel for the team.

On the other hand, this means that I still have to listen to Bobby V yap away on ESPN. Couldn't he go back to Japan?

Posted by: js_edit | November 11, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Good move for the Nats!
The job of manager is grossly over-rated. It takes good players to win. The manager can make the difference over the long haul in how he removes/brings in relievers, pinch-hitters, etc. Riggleman handled the game decisions a lot better than Acta... like if a middle-reliever throws well, leave him in another inning! They players seem to like him, and he won't upstage the players. He fits the Lerners' and Kasten's style well. So nice to have some grownups running a sports franchise in this town, unlike the Redskins' fiasco!

Posted by: jeffhert | November 11, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I like it. (I would have liked Bobby too)

But, it would have been very bad form to wait all this time to not select the Interim - its like he was about to become common law Manager.

Wonder why the Lerner's have commitment issues?

Now, let's confirm those coaches and be sure to place McCatty and Foli somewhere meaningful in the organization.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 11, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

As one who is always quick to accuse the Lerners of being cheap, I dont think finances were the main reason for selecting Riggleman. I just dont think the Lerners can handle a publicity hound like Bobby Valentine.

I wish the best for Riggleman and hope for a great offseason.

Posted by: CountDemoney | November 11, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Great move by the Nats (if this is accurate). Jim did a good job with what he had to worth with. Now he has to hope Rizzo works some magic and gets a top of the line starter!

Posted by: dmacman88 | November 11, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

If the Nationals have settled for Riggleman, then they've settled for fifth place in the NL East. A pathetic manager for a pathetic team.

Posted by: WJStephens | November 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

>>>>ME Ehhhhhhhh.....SIT ON IT.

Posted by: DCMixmstr | November 11, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | November 11, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Sensible move. Riggs seems to give off an attitude of hard work and accountability in the club house. I'm good with that.

Now spend some money.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 11, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how long his contract is for.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 11, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Sub.500 manager for a sub .500 team....sounds about right. Guess I'll hold off on those season tickets for another year.

Posted by: TheycallmeThriiiiiiilledge | November 11, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Riggleman, the only contender for whom this was a dream job on account of him being a local Senators fan!

Now, can we possibly get Frank Howard aboard in some capacity or SOMEONE who in the slightest possible way somehow JUSTIFIES and MAKES SENSE our using the curly W Walgreens logo as our franchise symbol? (Howard wore it on his cap for the dreadful second edition Senators) Or change to another logo?

Best wishes, Mr. Riggleman! I hope this means McCatty stays on with the pitchers.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | November 11, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I almost drove off the side of the road listening to XM tonight. Bowden was going on about how nobody would want Milton Bradley because of character issues. I was going Guillen, Dukes, LoDucca, Milledge, Lopez, Young, ........... I mean he was right about Bradley, but of all people ... when Bowden says your character makes you undesirable, you are in bad, bad shape.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 11, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, this means that Tim Foli will be named bench coach?

Posted by: TimDz | November 11, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Surly_w, T.S. Eliot had the Nats' brain trust all figured out:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | November 11, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Now that Rizzo is just about done "hiring his people": Time to hire a lot more players ... both prospects and MLB veterans. The minor leagues are sill lacking as is the major league club.

Posted by: periculum | November 11, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

We know Jim will get the best out of what he has. Rizzo - please build up his arsenal.

Posted by: navboss | November 11, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This is a fine day in NatsTown. Congratulations, Mr. Riggleman. Wishing much success to you and your Gold Glove winning third baseman.

Posted by: Baldino | November 11, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I am in here measuring out my life in coffe spoons and Soren is making relavent TS Elliot quotes!? Amazing.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 11, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Jim Riggleman; My 17 year old daughter would say, "Dude! big ups", her dad would say congrats and good luck now the Lerners need to get you some help.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 11, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I've only seen in print that he's the Manager for 2010. If this is a one year deal then it's really an extension of the interim tag. It's a good choice. Hopefully they gave him a 2 or 3 year deal.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 11, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see a fellow Richard Montgomery grad do well. I think he's a pretty good manager when given good personnel to work with -- and perhaps the Nats can use some of the money that might have spent on Valentine towards a few good ballplayers to strengthen the roster.

Posted by: VPaterno | November 11, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I like the move. The Nats need some consistency. Now we have that post Bowden (organization in shambles), with Rizzo and Riggleman, I like what we have. A couple moves and I would like to think we can play to respectability. 70 - 80 wins ? I hope so for 2010.

Posted by: JT2009 | November 11, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I have mixed feelings about this, but I wish him the best.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 11, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Not a Riggs fan. Even if we win I don't think I'll be excited about him. I doubt he'll be the difference maker we need, he has not proven so during his career. I guess this is a re-building move. We probably didn't want to spend the money for someone else (in which case we better spend it on free agents), or we didn't find a fitting candidate (which I doubt as there were many other candidates out there that were never even mentioned), or nobody else wanted this job (ala Mattingly). Either way we still have a long way to go. The only positive I can take out of this is that at least we're not (again) revamping the whole organization of the on-field management and thus trying to create a culture, the Nationals way if you will. I hope.

Posted by: big_game_lannan | November 11, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse


I keep reading all these snippets about the Nationals needing a new beat writer and that Chico Harlan has gone on to other things.

What gives?

I haven't seen him write anything for awhile but haven't heard he'd left / was leaving.

Does anyone know anything?

Posted by: rushfari | November 11, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

You have to wish a DC-area guy the very best, and there's no good reason to think he can't get it done. Obviously, it won't take much to do better than '08 and '09. Help is on the way.

Why are some many folks here obsessed with Chico's absence? If he's been reassigned at his choice, good for him. If he hasn't, why should we expect the Post to tell us?

My only concern is how good the person (or persons -- Thank, you Tracee and Dave) is, whoever the Post puts on this beat, and Chico, in my view, was good writer and reporter. I appreciate his efforts, whatever he's doing now. I don't care who provides the info; just how good it is.

Posted by: nats24 | November 11, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

What he said.

Now, about that roster...


I have mixed feelings about this, but I wish him the best.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 11, 2009 10:34 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

We've caught lightning in a bottle. As I said earlier, Mark Grace said that, looking back on his entire career, Jim Riggleman was the best manager he ever played under when he was with the Cubs. Considering his World Series seasons (under Brindley, I think, w/the D'backs) that is high praise indeed. I say sign the outlier from the same street in Rockville that produced a legendary Penn State Quarterback and someone else of great accomplishment whom I cannot remember. But like Gladwell's outliers, Riggleman grew up on the same street with friends who went on to greatness. Chico, who had covered Penn State football, wrote a nice piece on this.

Posted by: flynnie321 | November 12, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Chico? Who's that? Sounds more obscure even than former Florida Marlins third base coach Bo Porter. (Who must have been the token minority interviewee in the Riggleman sweepstakes, right?)

Posted by: section309 | November 12, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Just keep Morgan healthy, and get pitching.

I think I saw somewhere that we were just under 500 like 24-25 with Morgan in the game.

That plus some proven pitchers may make the Nats a surprise.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 12, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the Nats were 22-26 with Tony Plush (and with Sean Burnett, who seems to be the forgotten man in the trade but who was quite effective out of the 'pen, IMO).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Follow-up to my "about that roster" comment, let's try not to go into the season with a seat-of-our-pants bullpen this year. (I do feel rather confident that Rizzo will ensure that doesn't happen.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

In D-Dogs news, the team got off the schneid with a 12-3 win. The box doesn't seem to be loading right, but after looking at Gameday, Espinosa had a two-run HR and turned two DPs. Doesn't look like any other Nats got into the game.

That puts Phoenix 1.5 over Mesa in the standings, with 3 of the remaining 7 games being head-to-head matches between the two (and it looks like the Solar Sox will miss Strasburg). Two of the matches take place today and tomorrow. Hope that the D-Dogs saved some runs for today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder would have chosen Valentine.
Bob Short would have chosen Valentine.
That does not guarantee that Riggleman was the right choice, but it makes me more comfortable with the decision.

Posted by: KenNat | November 12, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic but some of you have already wondered about this, what is up with Chico? No news stories nor blog entries. Shenin has been so busy with covering NATS tha his blog has'nt been updated since about game 5. Answers please.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | November 12, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes to Riggs over Valentine. We got rid of leatherpants, don't need another attention-seeking black hole of drama.

I heard the same Bowden piece on XM natbiscuits. I was driving in the rain with bad cell service so I couldn't call in, but oh brother did I yell at the radio! Self serving piece of doo that he is.

Posted by: utec | November 12, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the Nats were 22-26 with Tony Plush (and with Sean Burnett, who seems to be the forgotten man in the trade but who was quite effective out of the 'pen, IMO).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

22-26 sounds right, I just remember it was very close to the .500 area. Its just my opinion, but Morgan is the fastest player I have ever seen, especially between the bases.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 12, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

As I said before, Riggs or Valentine? Either one is fine.

However, now that we have a Manager in place, Uncle Teddy and Riz need to spend, as dfh21 said above, like "Drunken sailors on leave." Get some players in here to help the small core of guys that we have.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I love what Nyjer has brought to the team!

Speaking of Shiner, he has a new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for some spending, but hope that it will be done wisely and with due diligence. We've had enough of the drunken sailor school of GMship, IMO. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

First, congrats to riggs and Zimm. I agree we need players. A catcher (Pudge would be perfect), still talented and somewhat young veteran pitching, and a couple good not trash heap bull pen arms. Espenosa is our SS and Desmond will be a nice 2nd baseman. The problem is the the stench of the Bowden era. Two years ago, I was coaching T-Ball with then ace of the Brewers Ben Sheets. When finding out that I was a Nationals fan he told me, around the league they call the Nats "Zimm and the Crims.." he was refering to Dukes, LoDucca, Milledge, and Young. Sadly untill all the stink is gone from "Nats Town" Rizzo is going to have to make trades.

As far as Tony Plush we need to have a back-up plan for him. My Idea is, now that the Tigers are dangling Granderson, give them what ever it would take for him(with-in reason) put him in right, sit Dukes on the bench and bat Granderson second. It would add speed and legit back-up to Morgan and he is a triples machine. Think of the lineup: Morgan, Granderson, Zimm, Dunn, Whillingham, and Pudge plus the back end speed of Espinosa and Desmond. WOW!!!

Posted by: hansenjo | November 12, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hold the phone.

Are you telling me we had a shot at BO PORTER, and we passed it up?!!!??!?!!11!

Ye gods, the incompetence here knows no bounds.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Wait. So, does Bo know baseball? Oh. Never mind.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 12, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Great to see so much baseball discussion in today's chat with Boswell!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | November 12, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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