Now that many longtime Nationals storylines have been resolved (signing Stephen Strasburg, the hunt for a permanent GM, determining the starting rotation... okay, maybe not that one), the biggest question mark is that of next year's manager. Riggleman has made a strong case for himself, turning a team playing less than .300 baseball into a game-above-.500 team, but is he the best solution?
He seems to be in a pretty good place: he was newly minted GM Mike Rizzo's choice earlier this season, he is liked by his players, and he was described by Rizzo as "an old-school baseball guy with a lot of new ideas." Coming from Rizzo, that's a pretty strong endorsement, considering that Rizzo has described himself as a "hybrid," mixing old-school scouting techniques and new-school (?) Sabermetric scouting.
Even when the Nationals have lost under Riggleman, especially recently, the games haven't been unwatchable; other than a slip from August 11-13, they haven't lost a game by more than three runs since August 1. Under Riggleman, the Nationals have been much better about committing errors and have been better with situational hitting. It's always hard to know how much of a team's performance is due to the manager, but unless things change drastically, my money is on Riggleman for at least next season.
There's a lot of great stuff to read today, so if you're lucky enough to have one, close your door and get down to business:
Rob Dibble, a favorite among Nats fans, is now receiving attention from outsiders, too. David Brown, of Big League Stew, writes "Nats analyst Rob Dibble is so bloody crackers, it's funny."
The Post has two stories on Mike Rizzo, both good, both from different perspectives. He seems like an interesting guy, a guy I'd like to hang out with for sure.
Chico Harlan has transcribed what I assume was a press conference on Mike Rizzo, explaining the search. It sounds like Rizzo was the number one choice for quite some time, but President Stan Kasten wanted to make sure there wasn't somebody better out there, and I definitely respect that.
The Nationals will be holding the Stephen Strasburg press conference today at 2 pm, and
Strasburg will be available to chat online at 11:30 this morning. Uh oh... the chat has been canceled due to "unforeseen circumstances."