November 13, 2009
After a relatively brief selection process, the owners of the Washington Nationals decided to keep Jim Riggleman as manager. The rumor got spilled [on Wednesday], and the formal announcement was [yesterday.] Other candidates included former Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Bo Porter. Riggleman had been serving as "interim" manager since mid-July, when his predecessor Manny Acta was fired. The team went 26-61 team (.299) under Acta, and 33-42 (.440) under Riggleman, but that was helped significantly by the seven-game winning streak at the end of the season. He was also a sentimental favorite, having grown up in the suburbs of Washington in Maryland. See Washington Post.
I have no problems with that decision. Riggleman seems a bit too passive and mild mannered to provide the motivation the Nationals so desperately need, but the same thing could be said for some very successful managers such as Joe Torre. General Manager Mike Rizzo said Riggleman has "discipline and a toughness to his personality..." I just hope he can get the team on track to a winning record for 2010.
On Wednesday, Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was awarded the Golden Glove (see MLB.com), the first Washington National to be so honored. Today he received the Silver Slugger award, which is given to the top offensive player at each position. The honors are fitting indeed, and a sign that he is emerging as a true superstar.