Mike Rizzo 'very comfortable' with Jim Riggleman
Manager Jim Riggleman will enter the 2011 season in the final guaranteed year of his contract, a circumstance General Manager Mike Rizzo said today he feels comfortable with.
"I am very comfortable with Jim as our manager," Rizzo said. "I hired him as the interim manager. I hired him to be our manager. So I am very confident with Jim leading our team."
The Nationals signed Riggleman to what was technically a two-year contract in the 2009 offseason with an option for the 2012 season. The Nationals could have bought Riggleman out of the deal for the relatively small figure of $100,000 this offseason, but after a 10-win improvement the Nationals decided to bring him back.
Riggleman is 102-135 in his Nationals tenure, which began when he took over a team with a 26-61 record at the 2009 all-star break. Riggleman has managed 237 games for the Nationals, and their record in the 237 games before he arrived was 82-155.
Riggleman's lack of security following this season could become a point of speculation this year, particularly if the Nationals have a slow start. The Nationals and Riggleman, according to a person close to the situation, have not begun any talks in regard to next season.
Asked if he had any plans to begin discussions, Rizzo said only, "I'm comfortable with our manager."
Any manager operating under an uncertain future faces issues, such as maintaining authority in the clubhouse. Riggleman has indicated he will not allow his contract status to become a distraction.
"I haven't really thought of it like that," Riggleman said when asked if he felt 2011 was a must-win season. "I think we look it more like the game in hand, the day at hand. Let's have a good day. Let's play good baseball. Let's try to win the game. I really haven't thought of it in terms of anything particular on me or anybody else."
| February 20, 2011; 3:01 PM ET
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