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Tag:Jim Riggleman
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:41 pm

Pepper: Oswalt hints he may be done

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Just why did Jim Riggleman ditch his job? senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss Riggleman, Ubaldo Jimenez and more. Check it out.

OSWALT END?: It's not just that Roy Oswalt is hurt -- leaving Thursday's start with the Cardinals after just two innings -- but that he may have pitched his last game ever.

Oswalt will not only likely miss his next start, he could also be done. He's already hinted at retirement and with a back injury, it may not be worth it for Oswalt to come back.

After Thursday's outing, Oswalt sounded anything but confident in his return. David Hale of the News Journal has a full transcript of Oswalt's postgame comments, and they don't sound like the comments of someone who is confident it'll be an easy road back.

Heres' the question and answer that says it all to me:

Q: Do you allow yourself to think about your career at this point?

A: I've had a pretty good one.

That sounds like someone who is content with walking away if he gets bad news soon.

We may know more Monday after his scheduled MRI.

HOT SEAT: Edwin Rodriguez didn't last a full calendar year as the Marlins manager and the Cubs' Mike Quade could follow that lead. Quade's on the hot seat (even if general manager Jim Hendry's seat should be hotter). [Chicago Tribune]

LI'L' GOOSE: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle compared closer Joel Hanrahan to Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, and after stifling a laugh, John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times takes a look at the comparison and sees some parallels.

SCOUTING DARVISH: Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was scheduled to see Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish's start on Friday. Darvish may be the top free-agent pitcher this season if he comes to the United States, as expected. The Braves and Twins reportedly had scouts at his last start, when he picked up just his second loss of the season. It was one of his worst starts of the season and he still gave up just one earned run, allowing nine hits and striking out 10 in eight innings. []

A'S OPEN TO DEAL: The sharks are circling in Oakland, as scouts have been checking out outfielder Josh Willingham, infielder Mark Ellis and left-handed relievers Craig Breslow and Brian Fuentes. [San Francisco Chronicle]

ANOTHER LOOK: Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter, he of the tomahawk motion, looks forward to facing teams another time so he can prove he's more than a gimmick pitcher. We'll see. []

NICE RIDE: The Toledo Mud Hens players are going to miss Brandon Inge, who was activated by the Tigers on Thursday. During his rehab trip with Detroit's Triple-A team, Inge sprung for a limo for several players to take them from Louisville, Ky., to Columbus, Ohio, skipping the planned bus ride. [Detroit News]

DEJA VU: A St. Louis ace 1-7 through June? (Well, now 2-7 after Thursday night's 2-7) It's been done before. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch  compares Chris Carpenter's 1-7 start to that of John Tudor's 26 years ago. 

CABRERA'S CASE POSTPONED: The hearing for Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera's DUI arrest has been postponed again and rescheduled for July 12. That's the day of the All-Star Game. Cabrera, however, isn't required to be present for this hearing, though, so he can still go to the All-Star Game. [Detroit News]

NO DECISION: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he'd prefer not to negotiate during the season (and that doesn't make Jim Riggleman happy), but said it's not a rule. Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm has said he'd like to sign an extension to stay in Pittsburgh. []

GARDNER'S D: A cool story here from's Mark Simon looking at the defense of Brett Gardner by talking to scouts, players and stats folks. 

BUCCO FEVER: If you haven't noticed, the Pirates (yes, the team in Pittsburgh) are in a pennant race. Sure, it's not even July yet, but we're talking the Pirates. The folks in Pittsburgh are beginning to take notice. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

LAWRIE DELAYED: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie was all but set to be called up at the beginning of the month, but before he could get the call, he was hit by a pitch and broke his left hand. Now he's having trouble gripping the bat and may not be ready until August. []

FIGGINS DILEMMA: If you're following the Mariners, there's plenty of positives around the team -- including a record just a game under .500. But there's one big concern, Chone Figgins. The question for the Mariners is what to do with Figgins, who has two years and $17 million left on his contract. [Seattle Times]

BROXTON'S RETURN: Even when Jonathan Broxton comes off the disabled list, he won't automatically return to closing for the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly said. [Los Angeles Times]

RETURN OF THE SPITTER: Here's an interesting theory (that I'm pretty sure I don't buy, but still interesting to think about) from Mat Kovach of the Hardball Times -- is the rise of pitching because of the return of the spitball?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:25 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:12 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Marquis wins in manager's last game


By Evan Brunell

3 upChris Carpenter, Cardinals -- Chris Carpenter hasn't been able to figure out how to win a game all season. Who knew the solution was to take Albert Pujols out of the lineup? Carp dropped the Phillies by a score of 2-2, rolling for seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits, walking one and striking out seven. It's just his second win of the season, taking his record up to 2-7. We'll revisit this game again in a minute.

Jason Marquis, Nationals -- Marquis now has the honor of being the starting pitcher of record on the day Jim Riggleman seemingly killed his career (more on this in a bit). Kind of funny, given Riggleman and Marquis had a public spat a few weeks ago. The righty was dazzling, limiting the Mariners to just three hits and three walks while punching out four and lowering his ERA to 3.54. It's an impressive bounceback season for someone many left for dead last season.

Tim Lincecum, Giants -- Yeah, it was the night of the pitcher, apparently. There were several other strong pitching performances on the five-game night, but Lincecum grabs the final spot with a dazzling performance that sent Minnesota to its second-straight loss. He threw gas for seven innings, whiffing 13 and giving up zero runs, limiting the Twinkies to just five baserunners on three hits and two walks. San Francisco ended up winning the game 2-1.

3 DownWily Mo Pena, Diamondbacks -- The more things change... Pena, who was recalled by Arizona to serve as the team's DH, blasted a home run in his first game. His second game was an 0-for-3 outing, and now his third game has a 1-for-4 performance, but no home run and... wait for it... three strikeouts. Yep, that's Wily Mo, who laid waste to Triple-A but seems right back to his old habits in the bigs. Still, what he did in Triple-A deserves more rope. He'll have to start hitting more if he hopes to stay with the club when Arizona ends interleague play.

Danys Baez, Phillies -- Roy Oswalt didn't do himself any favors by allowing four runs in two innings. Kyle Kendrick was able to stave off the bleeding with a two-run, four-inning effort, then Juan Perez got through a scoreless outing. At this time, the score was 6-1 and Philly at least had some home for a comeback. Not when Baez was finished, giving up six runs on four hits and two walks and just one K. But hey, this is Danys Baez, after all.

Jim Riggleman, Nationals -- By now, you probably know the story. Riggleman abruptly resigned as manager on Thursday as he was unhappy with his contract. On one hand, his actions were understandable. He did not feel wanted, felt shut out and was doing a fine job in this, his lame-duck last season. But the backlash has been rather severe, and Riggleman probably will get frozen out of any job of significance from hereon out, ala Mike Hargrove when he tendered his own resignation, saying he was just fatigued by baseball. (Riggleman actually ended up replacing John McLaren the next season; McLaren replaced Hargrove in Seattle and is replacing Riggleman for the weekend series coming up.)

Hargrove went on to manage a semipro team and is a special advisor to the Indians. It seems Riggleman will be lucky to get such a cushy gig, but things will probably blow over given time. But even if Riggleman was upset over his contract status, he should have had the foresight to manage the rest of the season, then either extract some serious security from the Nationals or walk away. And if he walked away, he wouldn't have had any issues finding a coaching job, and probably coud have interviewed for some manager's gig. But all that's probably gone now. It's a shame, as Riggleman is a good guy by all accounts. You wish he could have found a way to stick it out. To his credit, though, Riggleman seems to know exactly what type of repercussions his actions will have and was at peace with it. That's all you can really ask for.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:28 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:31 pm

Nationals consider Davey Johnson as manager


By Evan Brunell

The Nationals have found their temporary replacement for skipper Jim Riggleman, who resigned in a shocking move earlier Thursday.

The Washington Post reports that John McLaren, Riggleman's bench coach, will take over until the Nationals can find a permanent replacement for interim manager, but not one who would necessarily manage beyond the year. So McLaren is an interim interim manager, while Washington searches for a permanent interim manager, I guess?

Funny thing about McLaren taking over for Riggleman is that Riggleman was the man to replace McLaren in Seattle back in 2008 when McLaren was handed his walking papers. Oh, baseball.

But guess who the Nationals are considering as permanent interim manager. Just like Jack McKeon was a blast from the past, so is Davey Johnson.

That's right, the Team USA skipper who last managed a major-league game in 2000 might get back on the bench. The Post says that Washington is considering asking Johnson to take over. This may surprise you, but Johnson is "only" 68, so it's not as eye-popping of a move as it was for McKeon to return to his managing ways, but it's still a surprising move.

Johnson's last stint as manager was with the Dodgers from 1999 to 2000, when he posted a 163-161 record. Prior to that, he had two years with the Orioles from 1996-97, breathing new life into the franchise but feuding with owner Peter Angelos. Prior to that, he skippered the Mets for seven years from 1984-90, earning a World Series ring in the 1986 fall classic before moving onto the Reds from 1993-95. All told, his managerial record rests at an impressive 1,148-888.

Johnson's only season below .500 was in his first year with the Dodgers, and while the club bounced back to register a nine-win improvement and finish second, the former major-leaguer was still handed his walking papers. Since then, Johnson has managed Team USA in both the Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic and has served as a senior advisor to the Nationals since 2009.

Here's the thing: If Johnson had wanted to continue managing after the Dodgers, he could have. He chose to walk away from the game and could have had his pick of many openings in the years that passed. In fact, he was linked to the Orioles back when they had a vacancy in 2007, a position that ultimately went to Dave Trembley.

If Johnson doesn't agree to man the bench, there are two other front-office employees who have managed in the past: Bob Boone and Bob Schafer, to ask, the Post notes.

As part of the speculation surrounding Riggleman's resignation has been the idea that Washington is looking for a bigger name to be manager. Johnson would certainly be that guy.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 6:16 pm

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigns


By Evan Brunell

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned Thursday after Washington edged to one game over .500 with a walk-off, 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

"If you're going to do this job, you have to be totally committed to it and you've got to feel there's a commitment to you and I just didn't feel that way," Riggleman told the MLB Network, pointing to being in the final year of a two-year contract and essentially serving as a lame-duck manager.

The 58-year-old had a club option for 2012 that the team had yet to pick up, and refused to do so when Riggleman issued his ultimatum.  "I just wanted the option picked up. I want to make something clear: I wanted to have a conversation. I didn't say pick up my option or else. I wanted to have a conversation when we got to Chicago and they didn't want to do that.'"

"I'm 58. I'm too old to be disrespected," Riggleman later said to the Washington Post.

GM Mike Rizzo also appeared on MLB Network to explain his side of the story.

"Jim and I had a discussion before the game today and he told me of his displeasure over his contract situation and he told me if something wasn't done about the contract, he was going to resign after the game," Rizzo said. "We accepted his resignation."

Rizzo would later send out a press release that said "I am surprised and disappointed, personally, and am even more disappointed for our players and fans. I was always taught that one of the cardinal rules of baseball was that no individual can put his interests before those of the team." Rizzo also noted that Riggleman demanded an extension in order not to resign, while the skipper says he only wanted to talk about it.

Riggleman was in his second full year as Nationals manager. He replaced Manny Acta for the final 75 games of the 2009 season, posting a 33-42 record. He followed that with a 69-93 mark before starting 2011 with a 38-37 mark, which included victories in 11 of the last 12 games. The Nats did stumble to an 11-18 record in May, causing Jayson Werth to lash out, saying "changes need to be made," as's Scott Miller recalls.

"I felt the time wasn't right for me to pick up the option at this time," Rizzo added. "And today the way it was put to me, I can't make that decision as a knee-jerk reaction. I'm the guy who hired him as the manager of the club, and I've supported him every step of the way."

Rizzo added that players were unaware of the move until after the game, when Riggleman confirmed that nothing had changed -- he would resign if his contract was not addressed.

"It's been brewing for a while," Riggleman told the MLB Network. "I know I'm not Casey Stengel, but I do feel like I know what I'm doing and it's not a situation where I felt like I could continue on with such a short leash, and every little hill and valley is life and death. The game's not fun that way. I just wanted to have a conversation when we got to Chicago and Mike wasn't ready to have that conversation.

"I feel like it's them saying, 'you know, you're not the guy.'"

The resignation ends Riggleman's tenure with his fourth team. He also managed the Padres from 1992-94, the Cubs from 1995-99 and the 2008 Mariners to finish out the season after then-manager John McLaren was fired. Riggleman's overall record is 662-824 and was set to be part of Giants manager Bruce Bochy's staff at the All-Star Game, which is unlikely to happen now.

Interestingly, bench coach McLaren may end up replacing Riggleman in Washington -- at least for the next few games. McLaren is the most likely candidate to fill in on an interim basis, although Rizzo said he is unsure who Riggleman's replacement will be.

This is a surprising blow to the Nationals and is definitely a step back for a team that had been improving on the field with results finally showing. It's understandable if Rizzo didn't want a gun to be held to his head in making a decision, especially with no warning as to how dissatisfied Riggleman was. At the same time, Riggleman certainly was deserving of having his option picked up, and it's curious that Rizzo wasn't willing to do that.

"I thought after 10 years, I earned the right to have a little bit of a longer leash," Riggleman said. "I may never get another chance, but I'll never do it on a one-year deal again."

Riggleman had been viewed as a lame-duck manager for quite some time thanks to his contract and his stature as 'just another manager;' someone who wasn't part of the Nationals' future.

He certainly isn't now.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 27, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 2:28 am

Riggleman doesn't think Werth called for his job

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jayson WerthOn Wednesday Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth made some interesting comments that the team needed "change." After the team's off day, he met with manager Jim Riggleman, who many interpreted to be the target of the changes Werth wanted to see in D.C.

Did Riggleman feel -- like many -- that Werth was asking for the hatchet to land on Riggleman's head?

"The short answer is no," Riggleman told reporters, including Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. "The long answer is, you know … 'changes.' We've got to start winning ballgames. The losing that has taken place here for a couple of years, that's got to change. We've got to change some things with how we play. That's as long as I'll get on that, I guess. But to answer your question, no."

To recap: After Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Brewers, Werth told reporters, "Things need to change."

Later he added, "I've got some ideas obviously, and some thoughts, none I really want to share with the world. I think it's pretty obvious what's going on around here."

When asked to elaborate, he said, "I'm not really going to get into it right now. It is what it is. It's unfortunate. We're a way better ballclub."

Riggleman said Werth shared some of those thoughts and ideas with him and felt it was a positive discussion.

"I'm not going to tell you what he said, but yeah, he's definitely on board," Riggleman said. "It was a really good conversation. He had some ideas. I had some ideas. I think it was a very good conversation."

Werth didn't discuss the meeting until after the Nationals' 2-1 victory over the Padres.

"What was said, however it was said, what happened from there, where it was taken from there, that’s way out of my control," Werth told reporters, including Kilgore. "People put my words in my mouth, and people not even there to hear what I say, coming up with all these different things and scenarios I have nothing to do with or what I was talking about.

"Changes need to be made -- we need to start winning ballgames, we need to start hitting the ball, we need to do what we got to do to win games. That’s all it was. What happened from the end of the game in Milwaukee until today had nothing to do with me. That’s just people making up stories and saying things that they don’t even know what they’re talking about."

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 7:25 pm
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Posted on: May 19, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 8:37 pm

Bad call costs Nationals

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Phil CuzziAnother day, another blown call controversy.

Today's episode of bad umpiring comes courtesy of Phil Cuzzi, who called Jayson Werth out at first for the second out of the ninth inning in the Nationals' 1-0 loss to the Mets. Werth may have not only beat the throw from third baseman Jacob Turner, but first baseman Daniel Murphy also pulled his foot off the bag. (See the play here.)

Had the play been called correctly, the Nationals would have had runners at first and third with one out and in position to tie the game. Instead, with two outs, Adam LaRoche grounded out to end the game.

After the game, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reported one Nationals player saying, "I want to be an umpire when I grow up -- no responsibility, no accountability."

Several Nationals argued with umpires as they walked off the field, but only starter Livan Hernandez would go on record.

"What did I see? He was safe. He beat him two times," Hernandez said. "He was safe when the guy got off the bag and he was safe because he beat the throw. I think he made a big mistake, the umpire there, because it's not about his foot is off the bag, it's safe because he beat the throw. He was safe two times."

Nationals manger Jim Riggleman appealed to home plate umpire Manny Gonzaelz, but he refused to offer an opinion. Looking at the replay, Gonzalez was watching the play, but he was outside of the baseline, behind the plate, so he may have been blocked by Werth from his angle.

"I wanted to see if, from his angle he could see better maybe that the first baseman came off the base," Riggleman said. "He's got a good look at that. … Maybe the home plate umpire can get a better look. He just refused to do that."

To be clear, this wasn't a Jorge Orta/Don Denkinger level bad call, it took some super slo-mo and HD cameras to tell that Murphy's foot was indeed off the bag. In the past, it would have been maybe too close to tell, but now we do know better. Technology has improved so much that we can see for sure when the umpires err.

Many people complain about umpiring (and, well, a lot of times it's justified -- cough, Joe West, cough, Bob Davidson, cough), but the more you watch, I think it's amazing how much the umpires get it right. And that's why I'm for replay on a limited basis -- these guys are so good at what they do (for the most part), they should be able to finish a game and know they got them all right. Ask Denkinger or Jim Joyce how much their missed calls bother them, and you'll hear from someone who is bothered by it more than any Cardinal fan or Armando Galarraga. The ego of the umpire may not want instant replay, but their conscious just may. In the end, it's about getting the calls right -- that should be the goal of any umpire and it should be done by any means necessary.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 9:38 pm

Riggleman won't name closer

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jim RigglemanThe Nationals still don't have a closer, manager Jim Riggleman told reporters before Thursday night's game -- and it has nothing to do with Sean Burnett's four-run ninth on Wednesday.

"I don't think I even want to use the word," Riggleman said, according to Ben Goessling of "I just what to get outs in the ninth. Let's finish the game, get outs. I'm not going to get too caught up in who gets the save. I just want us to get the save."

Good for Riggleman -- who even though his radio ads shun sabermetrics, he's going with prevailing sabermetric theory that the closer is overrated and the save stat is silly.

I'm actually more neutral in the debate. I understand the argument against the closer and think the rules to get a save are arbitrary and silly -- but I do believe a guy who can handle the last three outs is rare. Just because a guy usually goes into the ninth inning doesn't make him a closer. A closer has an attitude and brings an attitude. If you have a closer -- and not a lot of teams do -- you use him.

But if you don't have a closer -- like Riggleman -- why not go with matchups, like the Nationals manager says he will.

"If it's a situation where it's predominantly right-handers, definitely it would be Drew [Storen]," Riggleman said. "If it's predominantly left-handed, I would want to have Burnie there, but I would also want to do is not eliminate Burnie from being available in the seventh or eighth."

It would seem by conventional standards, Storen would be the choice -- he's saved each of his last four save opportunities (including Thursday's win over the Mets) and Burnett has allowed six runs in his last seven innings. But when you don't have a closer, why name one? Kudos to Riggleman.

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