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The manager search nears resolution

Here's my story on the Nats' manager search from the dead-tree edition, in which I write that Bobby Valentine has emerged as "an intriguing possibility" and that Jim Riggleman represents a more "conservative" choice who has the backing of "many in the team's front office and executive suite." Fox's Ken Rosenthal, for my money the best reporter in the business, takes it a step further, writing that Valentine and Riggleman are the two finalists for the job -- while also noting, as I did, that Riggleman remains the favorite.

It's a fascinating situation, really, because a choice between Valentine and Riggleman, if that's what it has come down to, would represent a referendum of sorts on how the Nationals' braintrust (and its ownership) views its own team. You don't hire someone like Valentine unless you think the team is close to contending -- let's say, a year or two away. Just guessing here, but in order to pry Valentine away from ESPN -- where he could easily stay, maintain a high profile and wait for additional openings to come available -- it could take a three-year deal worth $9 million or so. Again, just a guess.

Keeping Riggleman, on the other hand, might cost the Nationals, say, $2 million over two years. (The vast majority of managers come in at between $750,000 and $1.75 million per year.) Say what you will about the Lerner family's wealth, but that's a major difference, both in economic and philosophical terms. If they decide not to go for Valentine, critics may spin it as another example of the Lerners being "cheap." But I would view it instead as the Lerners, and their lieutenants, simply not viewing their team as being ready to win anytime soon.

By Dave Sheinin  |  November 10, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
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Next: Will Zimmerman bring home the Gold?


Rosenthal also says Davey Johnson has been hired as a senior advisor. Haven't seen that anywhere else...

Posted by: Cosmo06 | November 10, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Though I like Riggleman, I would go with Vallentine. The difference in pay for the guy (which, if that is really a concern for the Lerners, is pretty chincy) will well be worth it as he will garner loads of publicity and will help sell those seasons tickets as it will look as though the club is finally getting serious about trying to contend. Another year of please bear with us while we try to collect some additional peices for our 2013 title run is not gonna fly with the fans. At least not with this fan. I hope the Nats start getting aggressive right now.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Good to have Sheinin in the house. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | November 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of who gets the nod, I will trust the decision more because Rizzo will have had the input into making it as opposed to Jimbo. I favor Riggleman as I think he will squeeze more wins out of next year's squad than Valentine who supposedly has left teams a bit worse off than he found them.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | November 10, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

While I think Valentine is a smug annoying man on ESPN he would instantly raise the profile of this franchise and bring more people to the stadium. That combined with 2 or 3 decent signings this offseason and the Nats could near respectability this year.

Posted by: bigcountry22 | November 10, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Riggleman man, although Valentine would make it entertaining and colorful. They'd sell more tickets as well. But I also think he's a little nuts as well.

Posted by: pstotts15 | November 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Not to introduce a note of Washington intrigue, but I wonder if Riggleman hasn't been the choice all along and Valentine is another Teixeira-type gesture to say "hey, we're really serious about pursuing the best people here." Can't argue with pstotts15, though: the organization needs to do something to keep the stadium from being depressingly empty. But not sure Valentine would go a long ways to doing that.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | November 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

This is like going to a restaurant and choosing between the latest seaweed-infused tortoise-flavored truffles with heavy cream sauce made from virginal cows grown and fed from organic grasses on the south coast of Greenland (Bobby V) and a nice 8-ounce filet mignon medium-rare pink (Riggs).

Give me the filet with a side of mashed potatoes, please.

Let's be real: do we really think the Lerners are willing to OK a $9 million deal for a manager, when the in-house guy works for $1 million, or less? Plus, the team responded to Riggs. Do the deal, Uncle Teddy. For once, being cheap won't hurt.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with the others here - if Riggs was the guy all along, then why didn't they just make that announcement weeks ago.

Now it almost seems as if they just settled for Riggleman. He's our caretaker manager? I don't want a caretaker manager, WTH is that? Let's get the "real" manager in get moving forward. Is this going to be another AAA season?

Posted by: comish4lif | November 10, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Shiner - talking about burgers... have you been to ray's Hellburger yet?

Posted by: comish4lif | November 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

For those who have been wondering, according to Ladson the Gold Glove winners will be announced tomorrow, Nov 11th. What's the over/under on when the Post will get around to covering the story?

Posted by: section309 | November 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's an idea for the Lerners: get Matt Holliday. The guy is the same age as the once coveted Tex, but at about 60% of the price tag. And then hire anyone you want to (under)pay to be the manager.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

It's depressing that the choice has come down to these two. I don't want an unexciting caretaker with only a few winning seasons in his managerial career, and I don't want a publicity seeking egomaniac either. Do folks here really think that people will be come out to the ballpark to see the *manager*? Seriously?

Posted by: Section222 | November 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse


"If they decide not to go for Valentine, critics may spin it as another example of the Lerners being "cheap." But I would view it instead as the Lerners, and their lieutenants, simply not viewing their team as being ready to win anytime soon."

And either interpretation is bad for business.

Posted by: WebberDC | November 10, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Davey Jonson and Bobby Valentine in the same room would make for intersting conversation, I bet. I had been fro Valentine from the beginning, but I am content now to trust Rizzo in the decision.


Posted by: kevincostello | November 10, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Do folks here really think that people will be come out to the ballpark to see the *manager*? Seriously?

Posted by: Section222 | November 10, 2009 11:22 AM

No, absolutely not. Furthermore, 90% of people in this area won't even know who the Nats manager is (whether Riggleman or Valentine, are there thousands of untapped arm chair Japanese Baseball League fans out there?), let alone pay to see him.

Give it to Riggs and fire up the hot stove. We need more talent on the mound and in the middle infield, not in the dugout.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 10, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

No manager can win without talent.

Maybe the Nationals can outbid the Yankees for Cuban Aroldis Chapman (L, 102 mph) to compliment Strasberg?

Aren't Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, and Carl Crawford available this off-season?

This town needs a winner!

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 10, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse


The Lerners have owned the team for nearly four seasons and the team has gotten worse every season. If they view the team as not ready to win anytime soon, that is certainly very depressing. Do they think fans live forever? Do they think our patience is never ending? Can't they see the empty seats? What the Nats really need is new ownership. This team is in the same sad state as Danny Snyder's Redskins and the reasons are exactly the same.

Posted by: bupbups | November 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the "hire Riggs for stability now and get a bigger name later (if you need to) for the playoff run". No one has said here why Bobby Valentine would be a better manager for the Nats right now anyway.

And great to see Dave back on the beat - can you please give us some hot stove news... anything??? Things have got to be heating up if only with a some winking going on across the dance floor.

Even if Rizzo's not even going to declare what he wants for fear of tipping his hand, it'd be interesting.

Lastly, when do we finally let go of AK? It'll be a great day in our household.

Posted by: natslifer | November 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Season ticket-holders, now more optimistic with the signing of Strasburg, now anxiously await a decision on the manager. Riggleman means that we probably won't see winning baseball for a few more seasons (not good); Valentine means that the Lerners are turning it on and plan to begin fielding a winner sooner (good).

Let's see what happens.

Go Nats!

Posted by: AWWNats | November 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If money is a consideration, as it always is with the Lerners, maybe the Nats could find a manager from the day laborers crowd milling around in front of a Seven-Eleven.

Posted by: bupbups | November 10, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Lastly, when do we finally let go of AK? It'll be a great day in our household."

Already did, several days ago. The Post just hasn't gotten around to reporting it yet.

Posted by: section309 | November 10, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I see this differently -- I don't think giving the job to Riggleman is a referendum on the Lerners being cheap. Giving the job to Riggleman is pretty much the same as giving the job to Rizzo -- a guy who was there and doing a pretty good job. No one really knows how Riggleman would manage a team from the beginning of a season, with imput on personnel from day one of a season. In his half-season, he used Clippard, Bergmann and Belliard in places that Acta used Colome, Travares and Anderson Hernandez.

Riggleman has a step up on Valentine in that he knows the personnel. The only reason I can think to give Valentine the job is that he is more famous. Ted Williams was more famous than Sparky Anderson in 1970. Who ended up the better manager?

I have confidence in Riggleman. Give him the job.

Posted by: raymitten | November 10, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a Riggleman girl here.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 10, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Riggs or Valentine?

I would rather they hire Valentine. But, no matter who it is they need to open the checkbook in the offseason and bring in some quality proven arms and a 2nd baseman.

They need to stop asking managers to make chicken salad out of chicken crap. We have a nice core of youngsters bring in some vets to mix in.

Come on Uncle Teddy, take a shovel and go out in the back yard and dig up some of that money you buried and

Posted by: Section505203 | November 10, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Word on the street is; Nats field manager choice on hold until after this weeks GM meetings.

Word on the street is; Nats field manager choice on hold until after next weeks Owners meetings.

Word on the street is; Nats field manager choice on hold until after the Winter Meetings in early Dec.

Translation: Mr. Riggleman please pickup the white courtesy phone in terminal number two, your party is waiting for you in the baggage claim area.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 10, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm on record for Bob Brenley, but if this is the choice, then I'm with Kev29 and others--we need pitching and defense. Get that, and the manager will look smart either way.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | November 10, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The real question is not who will be named the Nats manager and when. The question is will Chico Harlan be around to report it when they do?

Posted by: section309 | November 10, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

As someone stated above, I too have confidence in Riggleman, but I want Vallentine to get the job. This club has bent over backwards to avoid risk and has little reward to show for the tactic. It is far beyond time for the club to pry open its teeming wallet and BUY some excitement, BUY some respectability. They could land Holliday and Harden (or Wolf) and Mike Gonzalez and be a relavent club - that is "all" it would take. All meaning about a $150M commitment, but hey, if you want to dance you've got to pay the piper.

I care less about the manager than I do about the roster, so if it is Riggleman, fine. But get some players! DC needs a winner. Kasten cannot sell this club on the HOPES that they MIGHT be a 500 club -- there is no leather left on the souls of those shoes. The Nats need to be BOLD RIGHT NOW.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

For that kind of money Valentine would have to manage AND play second base and win the gold glove on top of that! I am for Riggleman since it seems that Mattingly is waiting on the job with the Dodgers.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | November 10, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

>If they decide not to go for Valentine, critics may spin it as another example of the Lerners being "cheap." But I would view it instead as the Lerners, and their lieutenants, simply not viewing their team as being ready to win anytime soon.

C'mon man, nobody has to spin it - they're friggin cheap. I don't know which is worse - having salary completely dictate who you hire, or the fact that they don't expect to win anytime soon.

Posted by: Brue | November 10, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe anybody comes to the stadium to see Valentine, and nobody can stand him after a couple of years. Riggleman has been professional, there are others. But not this guy, please.

Posted by: markfromark | November 10, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Already did, several days ago. The Post just hasn't gotten around to reporting it yet."

Also not reporting it yet: The Nationals - who still lists Kearns on the active roster - and Major League Baseball.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | November 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Where is The likes of Ted Williams when we needed him. He took an inept struggling bunch of players and turned them completely around. If anyone could turn a hitter like Eddie Brinkman around to be a good hitter is the type of Manager we need. What we do need is a guy like Rigglemen. He seem to get a lot out of the younger players. Go Senators, oh I mean NATS

Posted by: nickava | November 10, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, choice is Valentine providing great quotes and proving his ego is still bigger than anybody else in the locker room, or Riggleman and enough left over for Garland. I just have to think 200 credible innings from an experienced pitcher would have more impact on the w/l than Bobby's chirping, but that's me.

Posted by: advocate2 | November 10, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The Nats homepage has a story about the Nats declining his option. But he still has 15 days to negociate a new deal with the team before filing for free agency. Until he officially files, he's still a Nat on paper.

But again, Kearns is old news. Literally and figuratively.

Posted by: sec307 | November 10, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

MASN says we have a new Assistant GM - a guy from the Pirates in addition to hiring Davey Johnson as Special Advisor to the GM.

This is something that has not been covered, so complain about that, not Kearns (which was also mentioned on a post here).

Posted by: sec307 | November 10, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Like nickava, I remember 1969 as a wondrous year for Washington baseball, but Teddy Ballgame's managerial success was short-lived. By 1970 the Nats had shriveled back from 86-76 to 70-92. So, I'm suspect of having a great player, such as Frank Robinson, Pete Rose or Ted Williams, as a manager. They get impatient with lesser beings who lack their gifts. Remember what Rose told his minions in Spring Training one year? "I'm just like everybody else here... who has 4,000 hits." It's no accident that great managers such as Earl Weaver, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa were washouts as players. They sit, they watch, they learn and they can relate to the grinders. Maybe the answer is a good player who becomes a good manager, such as Bill Virdon or Don Baylor, or Sweet Lou. Maybe someday we'll say the same about Donnie Baseball.

Posted by: Drew8 | November 10, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I am for Riggleman since it seems that Mattingly is waiting on the job with the Dodgers."

Mattingly may be waiting longer than he originally was planning for that Dodgers job. Latest word is that Torre is thinking he might want to stay past 2010 and is talking extension with Coletti. Maybe Donnie Baseball might want to start digging through his Rolodex to find Rizzo's number again...

Posted by: section309 | November 10, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

it says here on (

"Austin Kearns, Ron Villone and Dmitri Young all filed for free agency on Friday, thus taking care of the entire slate of eligible players for the Nationals."

Posted by: Elbaryn | November 10, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

BA latest issue has the Nats top ten:
1. Strasburg
2. Norris
3. Storen
4. Desmond
5. Espinosa
6. Marrero
7. Kobernus
8. Maxwell
9. Burgess
10. Hood

Seems about right, though I might swap out Perez for Maxwell.

Posted by: goexpos2 | November 10, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see how Valentine is worth the money. We evaluate players this way all the time. Even assuming Valentine is a marginally better manager for this team (and I'm skeptical of that proposition), how many wins will he add to the total in the next few years? Five? Ten seems like a real stretch. Is that worth the extra $7 million? I don't think the decision speaks to how ready the team is to win. The issues are whether Valentine is a significantly better manager, and if so, whether the improvement he brings is worth his substantially higher salary.

Posted by: jcj5y | November 10, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The Post did report on AK's situation--I read it out loud to my husband and we had a little celebration over coffee. Then we felt bad because AK is a nice guy but just a total bust here. We wish him well somewhere else. As for
"colorful" senior personnel, Jimbo has put me right off that for some time! I am in the go with Riggleman and put the extra money into pitching and middle infield camp.

Re the comment comparing the Lerners to The Danny--not fair. They would have to continue to make the exact same stupid errors over and over and over for an entire decade to get there. Their moves last year suggest they may be starting to learn from their mistakes in a mere 3 years. We shall see if they spend a reasonable amount to go with last year's draft signings, Dunn and Zim contracts. If they do, there is hope. I am so hopeful in fact that I'm about to renew my ticket package. Don't let me down now, Uncle Teddy!

Posted by: NatsFly | November 10, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Surprised not one minority candidate interviewed for manager. I thought baseball had a rule or policy that says if you go out of the organization, you should interview at least one such candidate. Maybe that is a sign that it is really Riggleman and that Valentine is not the favorite.

Has anyone from the Post asekd if the Nats have interviewed a minority candidate?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 10, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Apparently all you Riggleman fans are awfully short-sighted. Yes, he did a decent job taking over for Manny this past season. But let's look at the numbers:

Riggleman has 7 full seasons as a manager with exactly ONE season over .500 and ONE playoff appearance. His lifetime winning (if you can call it that) percentage is .444, making his average season W-L a sad 72-90. He is 139 games UNDER .500 as a manager.

On the other hand, Valentine has 12 full seasons as a manager with 9 of those 12 over .500, two playoff appearances and one World Series trip. His lifetime winning percentage is .510, making his average season W-L a respectable 84-78. He is 45 games OVER .500 as a manager.

One other note: Riggleman has been with 4 different teams, only one more than two years. Valentine has managed only two teams, six plus seasons with each.

These things being said, I like a winner, some stability, and I don't give a damn about his ego.

Posted by: RPrecupjr | November 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@jca-CrystalCity -

Sheinin noted in the dead tree edition that a minority candidate needed to be interviewed to follow MLB rules. The assumption is that Uncle Stan didn't reveal any candidate names other than Riggleman to Sheinin -- minority or otherwise. The further assumption is that we'll know who the candidates were after the process is over.

Posted by: WebberDC | November 10, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Happily, I see this as choosing between two good options. Different, but good. (You take the blond and I'll take the one in the turban). If the answer is not Riggleman, I will be disapointed for him and regret that the decision came so late that he may have missed other opportunities. But, Valentine brings more than charisma - He brings a winning record, a deep knowledge of the Japanese/Asian market, a motivational form of leadership that has been missing since Frank Robinson left, and a disciplined approach that would likely mean an even higher level of accountability amongst our players and coaches. If Riggleman keeps the job we'll get consistent day-to-day performance of his duties, a continuation of progress already begun, and a proven commodity in the Nationals clubhouse. Either choice should be viewed as a minimum 2 year commitment.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 10, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are ensuring they will remain the #4 sports team in town.

The tickets are the SEVENTH highest per average in major league baseball and these guys in ownership have been cashing in by fielding a team with a payroll many times smaller than clubs that have lower season ticket prices.

Don't expect that to change anytime soon.

The Lerners like Abe Pollin made their money in construction/real estate development, a tough business where you drive the next guy out by low-balling numbers and not overpaying.

That is exactly the way to LOSE as an owner of a pro sports team in this era.

The Nationals were drawing 30,000 plus their first year here when the team was decent.

It appears their goal is go get back to around .500 with the likes of Strasburg and Storen on their rookie deals and keep raking in the cash.

The question is will these guys step up to the plate when and if this team is ready to move ahead and become a contender?

Or will they allow players to leave via free agency and trades as the Pirates, Padres and Royals have done for the past 15 years?

Will Washington merely be a feeder team for the Mets and Dodgers in the NL?

Posted by: leopard09 | November 10, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

>in addition to hiring Davey Johnson as Special Advisor to the GM.


A heartbeat away from the manager's office. Get in there Davey. GET IN THERE

Posted by: Brue | November 10, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

In addition to the current Managerial debate, there are reports filtering in from various sources (NFA, FoxSports, MASN) that Squire Gilbreath is out as VP-Baseball Administration for the Nats, and that Brian Minnetti (Director, Baseball Ops -PIT) has been hired for a VP position, and Davey Johnson is on-board as a Senior Advisor to the VP, replacing Moose Stubing.

Rizzo sure seems to be surrounding himself with some proven baseball knowledge.

Posted by: BinM | November 10, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

RPrecupjr -- good info on the managerial stats for each guy, but Riggleman's career record at this point is darn near identical that of a youngish Joe Torre way back when, so maybe Riggleman is due to start climbing the winning percentage curve in a big way. Who knows. That said, I am with you -- I'd rather the splash of Bobby V than the calm of Riggleman.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 10, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Squire Galbreath is a part owner of the team, so he may be just losing his active role in the front office - putting him on the same figurehead footing as CBS Sports guy James Brown, who is also an investor in the franchise.

As for Riggleman, you've got to figure that he's been guaranteed a job somewhere in the organization if he doesn't end up getting the manager gig. Otherwise he'd be a fool for not seeking out other work while he's waiting, especially seeing as how he got screwed over by Seattle in the same situation last year.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | November 10, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

thanx for the update, dave. even though you covered all three rounds of the playoffs AND the world series.

Posted by: surly_w | November 10, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Please, not Valentine. I fail to understand the love affair. He has had a very limited run of success as a manager. Had he done his second MLB stint in Kansas City instead of NY, no one would know who he was.

And I disagree with your analysis, Dave. I think that hiring Valentine is an acknowledgement that this team is not going to win anytime soon so why not hire a "personality" - someone whose name will put seats in the stands. If, on the other hand, the front office believes that the team is close to competing than I think they will try to hire a real baseball man. Someone with the requisite knowledge to tweak the necessary details and win games/series that they might not otherwise. Valentine has never done this; indeed, an injury-ridden Braves team beat out his Mets in 1999 in both the regular season and the play-offs despite the Mets having a superior talent advantage.

If the choice is between Valentine and Riggleman, give me the latter.

Posted by: lowcountry | November 10, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

>If the choice is between Valentine and Riggleman, give me the latter.

Posted by: lowcountry

I just think that someone like Riggs who says 'I can't tell from the dugout whether a starter is losing his stuff or not, that's why I have a pitching coach' really isn't the answer. You want someone who not only can make those decisions, but WILL. Hands down you want someone with the ability to motivate a starting 8 every day. That's the key imo. Nobody's gonna listen to Riggs. Not for a whole season.

Posted by: Brue | November 10, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@lowcountry: I tend to agree with you here. Valentine is the "sexy" name in this horse race, and would be a lock if the Danny owned the Nationals; But he doesn't (thank the heavens).
Riggleman's done a competent job here, has shown some fire, and deserves a real shot at managing a franchise that is moving up in the world, imo.

Posted by: BinM | November 10, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they completely bypassed Tim Foli damn,damn,damn, i had hopes since they are not ready to compete(or are they?) then Foli would be my choice listen Riggleman's time has come and gone as pointed out in an earlier post,he's had one winning season,for what it's worth i don't dislike him but you know what you're getting, why not give Foli a shot. Bobby V? you can have him i've never been a fan of his and not sure if he has the paitience to manage this team as it is presently constructed Foli did an excellent job at Syracuse and i think he would serve the club well plus he's familiar with the young players that are in this team's minor league system.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 10, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

>Looks like they completely bypassed Tim Foli damn,damn,damn

I really cannot believe that they didn't give him a legitimate interview. He's a prime candidate in the middle of his knowledge base - he's the right amount of time away from the game, got plenty of high-level experience, he's the right age, he hasn't pissed anybody off, and he has a lot to offer. Or maybe he did offend somebody. An organization in this situation has to be grateful for guys like Foli. Probably just wasn't dynamic enough.

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

@Brue: As I stated earlier, Valentine is the high-visibility, "sexy" pick, but I don't understand why - Here's his MLB records and JPL history to date...
1985-(TEX): 53-76 (Interim; 7th-AL West)
1986-(TEX): 87-75 (2nd-AL West)
1987-(TEX): 75-87 (6th-AL West)
1988-(TEX): 70-91 (6th-AL West)
1989-(TEX): 83-79 (4th-AL West)
1990-(TEX): 83-79 (3rd-AL West)
1991-(TEX): 85-77 (3rd-AL West)
1992-(TEX): 45-41 (??-AL West; Fired mid-season)
Result = 7+ years, no playoff appearances.
1996-(NYM): 12-19 (Interim; 4th-NL East)
1997-(NYM): 88-74 (3rd-NL East)
1998-(NYM): 88-74 (2nd-NL East)
1999-(NYM): 97-66 (2nd-NL East; Lost NLCS)
2000-(NYM): 94-68 (2nd-NL East; Lost WS)
2001-(NYM): 82-80 (3rd-NL East)
2002-(NYM): 75-86 (5th-NL East; Fired, end of season)
Result = 6+ years, 2 playoff appearances, 1 WS appearance, no championships.
JPL results: 6 years (1994, 2004-2009) = 1 JPL Championship (2005); 1 Asia series Championship (2005); Released at end of 2009 season.

End result = One NL Championship, one World Series appearance, one JPL Series Championship in 20 years. Valentine could bring a quick spike in team performance, but would eventually prove a detriment to team performance, imo.

Posted by: BinM | November 10, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

In my book, Riggleman gets a 2-year contract, and Foli replaces Corrales as bench coach for the Nationals in 2010, FWIW. Bobby V. keeps his job as an ESPN "talking head" & fights with Showalter for screen-time & the next MLB Manager opening.

Posted by: BinM | November 10, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a Riggleman girl here.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 10, 2009


As a manager or love interest? Since you expressed that side of things in the past?

Posted by: periculum | November 10, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

My take is its going to be a "Mike Rizzo" guy. It will mostly be Mike Rizzo's pick. Do you think Rizzo would pick Valentine? I don't. When you see Stearns let go ... and Foli replaced in Syracuse. Makes you wonder. I'm not so sure its just down to Riggleman and Valentine. But I guess you never know?

Posted by: periculum | November 10, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like either Brian Oliver has database problems ... or he is refurbishing things during the break.

Posted by: periculum | November 10, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Several random observations:

- National media has a very very bad record of mis-reporting and incorrectly predicting Nationals news. (point against Valentine)

- Recent Nationals hires have demonstrated a willingness to go with highly credentialed / top talent (leans Valentine)

- Davey Johnson has signed on as a special advisor to the Nats. Valentine coached on Davey Johnson's staff - along with Frank Howard (point Valentine)

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 10, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

i'll manage the team for only 125k a year, plus benefits, much cheaper than riggleman. I could use a spring in sunny florida. And i could do just as good a job of watching a bad team play bad as he can. i'll even sweep up the dugout after the game to save on janitorial expenses.

Posted by: stevie2 | November 10, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

This teams needs some presence in the local media. Heck, Virginia Tech gets more front sports page presence than the Nats year round. What's up with the Nats .. it's a big time of the year .. manager, free agents, young pitchers, they should be in the news. Instead WTEM still spends like the entire day talking Redskins. Seriously, what else is there to say?

Hire Valentine. He'll be a walking PR man year round for the team. The real future for the Nats, as it was for the Orioles all those years ago, is to build new generations of fans .. capture the young kids now and grow with them. You can't do that if you disappear for months and months every year.

We gave you a stadium, now get moving Nats.

Posted by: tslats | November 11, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps someone else already caught this and posted it, but it was news to me -- from the Palm Beach Post, Randy St. Claire landedd the pitching coach job with the Marlins. The full short story:

The Florida Marlins, who earlier this month dropped pitching coach Mark Wiley, have a replacement.

Randy St. Claire, who was fired June 1 as pitching coach for Washington, will take over for Wiley, a source said this morning.

St. Claire, 49, had been pitching coach for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals for six-plus seasons.

St. Claire was a journeyman major-league pitcher for nine seasons, pitching for five teams and going 12-6 with nine saves and a 4.14 ERA.

The Marlins have not yet named replacements for three other coaching vacancies: first base, third base and the bullpen.

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

Also, the D'backs are reported to have interest in Livon Hernandez. I love Livo, but if he can get a good deal from the D'backs, he shoudl take it and the Nats should let him. He's got a great VORB (Value Over Replacing Balester), but if the Nats can fill that slot with sub 5.00 ERA veteran starter they should take the upgrade. (Still, I am big fan of Livo even if he is a little over the hill)

Posted by: natbisquit | November 11, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm less than excited about either candidate, but I could come around.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 11, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the St. Claire news was posted here some time ago (probably in the comments section - oh, no, I didn't!).

As for the manager search, I hope that the time that has passed indicates that the team has performed a serious, thorough search and will select the best candidate for the long term. also I hope that the price tag isn't the biggest factor in their choice.

On a somewhat related note, I was surprised to see no responses re. Boom-Boom's endorsement of Rosenthal as the best reporter in the business. cough... sputter...tilt!

In other news, if today was any indicator, the NL Gold Glove winners announcement should come around 3 p.m. ET today. Yeah, baby!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

er, I mean if *yesterday* was any indicator.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Like John, I'm not particularly excited about the candidates, but could come around once the decision is made.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I would pick Valentine myself but only as a lesser of two evils. Riggleman has a fairly well documented history of not protecting young arms and frankly with our staff and injury history I just don't see that as an acceptable trait in a manager.

It just seems so incompatible with Rizzo's philosophy of team building. Not that I'd presume to know Rizzo's philosophy better than he does...

Posted by: soundbloke | November 11, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the chances are of a mystery candidate. I would love to see Rizzo pull a manager out of his hat. But who could that be?

Posted by: big_game_lannan | November 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and this


I would love to see Rizzo pull a manager out of his hat. But who could that be?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 11, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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.

Posted by: flynnie2 | November 11, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I would be fine with either manager. they both have their pros, Riggleman has things about him I like, the local ties to me is a big pluss. Valentine has the obvious credibility. I respect what Riggleman did to try and fix the obvious problems the team had on defense last year.

But you want a winner its not that guy who will matter anyway, its makeing sure you have Dunn, Zimmerman and Morgan healthy and productive and bringing in better pitching.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 11, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

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