Friday, June 24, 2011

Did Riggleman really do that?

Not sure if Jim Riggleman is a Turkey of the Year candidate for walking away from his Nationals managing job just as the team was getting halfway decent ... or if he deserves plaudits for standing up for what he believes, regardless of the consequences.

Riggleman thought the Nationals should have picked up the option year on his contract. He thought he deserved that much, and he's right. The team thought otherwise. So he quit.

No matter what you think of quitters, you have to agree that it takes cajones to walk away when things are pretty good. I mean, anybody can quit when things are rotten, as Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella have. Repeatedly.

I always liked Jim. When he was the Cubs' manager from 1995 to 1999, he was the ultimate straight-shooter. I can't imagine any manager handling the wild Sosa-McGwire season of '98 better than he did. Tony La Russa didn't handle it better, that's for sure.

Of course, La Russa had a great track record before that and has a great one since (despite being McLiar's enabler-in-chief). The same can't be said of Riggleman.

Still, Riggleman knows that everything in baseball is recycled. Even in the unlikely event that he never manages again, he'll be some team's third-base coach or bench coach as long as he wants to stay in the game.

Turkey? Nah. It's hard to resist a guy willing to tell his boss, "Take this job and shove it."

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