clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Get To Know Your Nationals: Bench Coach Jim Riggleman.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Jim Riggleman, who may yet be the Washington Nationals' Bench Coach that never was if Seattle decides to retain him as the Mariners' Manager, is described in a USA Today article by AP writer Gregg Bell entitled, "Mariners fire manager McClaren", as "likeable" and "folksy", back in June of '08 when he was named as the successor (on an interim basis) to the departing John McClaren, who was the second MLB Manager relieved of his duties this season, (after New York Mets' skipper Willie Randolph, who is also currently under consideration, along with Riggleman and others, for the still-vacant Mariners' Manager position)...

So on the same day that Mr. Riggleman told MLB.com writer Jim Street in an article at the Mariners' official site entitled, "Riggleman hoping new GM keeps him" that he was being considered for a position with the Nationals, but didn't, "...want to commit to anything until I hear from Seattle," Riggleman agreed to become the Nationals' Bench Coach with the understanding that he was still under consideration for the Mariners' job...

...So it will be interesting to see who Manny Acta and Jim Bowden's second choice was if Riggleman returns to Seattle, since the DC Manager told Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, as quoted in the most recent "Nationals Journal" post entitled, "About the coaches", (where Mr. Acta was asked, "Who actually picked these coaches?"):

"'Jim and I put together the whole staff,' Acta said. 'There isn't one coach there where I'm not on board and Jim isn't on board. We did it as a team, the best way possible.'"

...The Seattle Mariners were 36-54 after Mr. Riggleman replaced Mr. McClaren on June 16, which left Riggleman at 522-652 as a Manager after starting his MLB managing career in San Diego for parts of three seasons from 1992-1994, and guiding the Chicago Cubs from 1995-1999, even leading the 90-73 Cubbies to a Wild Card appearance in '98 in which they were swept in three straight by Atlanta in the Divison Series. 

In the Nationals' Official Press Release entitled, "Nationals complete 2009 coaching staff", Riggleman is described as, "one of the brightest baseball minds in the game", and it's noted that the 55-year old Coach/Manager has, "... served stewardships under Tony LaRussa, Jerry Manuel and Jim Tracy," after having played 8 professional seasons upon being drafted out of Frostburg State University as an IF/OF by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 93rd overall pick in the 4th Round of the 1974 MLB Amateur Draft. (ed. note - "Though the only player stats I could find for Jim Riggleman were 4 seasons from 1978-1981 in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization, where he hits .278 in 304 games, with 57 doubles, 29 HR's and 171 RBI's in 941 AB's in Double-A--and for 35 games as a 26-year-old, as high as Triple-A--ball.")

I don't think it should concern anyone that MLB.com's Bill Ladson describes Mr. Riggleman, in Mr. Ladson's article entitled, "Nationals add five to coaching staff", as an, "...'old school' manager who loves to bunt and steal bases,"...I mean I don't ever remember Manny Acta making any strong claims about bunting and stealing in describing his personal baseball philosophy or anything...Oh? That's right...

...I guess, there is, for example, this yahoosports.com article by Yahoo! Sports writer Tim Brown from 8/28/07 entitled, "Acta goes the hard way", where Mr. Brown writes:

"...Acta pressed his optimism and core philosophies – fewer outs on the basepaths and fewer sacrifice bunts for an offense that would have difficulty scoring runs anyway..."

Ahhh!l...I'm sure they can work all that out in the Spring...if Mr. Riggleman wants to run and bunt, maybe the subject of tomorrow's "Get To Know Your Nationals", Marquis Grissom can help on the basepaths?...That is...if Mr. Riggleman does actually become the Nationals Bench Coach...Anyway, Welcome to DC, Mr. Riggleman.