Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Sum of All Fears

You can imagine my heart sinking when I found this turd in my inbox.

Once again, my point is this: how does this improve the on-field management situation from the previous three (or five) seasons? It doesn't. Riggleman has a history of taking contenders and riding them into the ground. His managing highlight is winning a tie-breaker to sneak into the playoffs, only to be swept within a few hours. I curse the Atlanta Braves for rolling over the last week of this season. A four win downswing and instead of courting the cute, spry junior who would probably be smokin' hot without the glasses for the prom, the Nats going after Riggleman would be settling for the knocked up skanky senior that that gave her last three boyfriends crabs. Hey guys, the crabs are still there!!

My guess is that this decision came down to money. The Nats knew they could get away saving a million dollars by staying within the organization. It is damn near impossible to put a worse product on the field (though Riggleman will dare to prove me wrong), and the Nats obviously see this next two-year period as a bridge to respectability, allowing their draft bounty to mature. The Nats will not compete under Riggleman, and after 2011 they will go after a baseball mind to push them up in the standings. There is no reason to bring in a big name or a young visionary when the goal is ninety losses. So what is they make it to eighty-seven? Is it worth an extra two million dollar commitment? Of course not.

Happy 57th birthday Jim... you got the job. The bar is set low, so please do not trip over it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ryan Zimmerman Wins the Gold Glove


As Nationals observers, we have witnessed Ryan filling the highlight reel for some time. It is about time the rest of the league noticed. Gold Gloves are a reputation award, as most writers and fans, as well as some baseball managers, don't believe there are methods of measuring defense. Well, Zimmerman finally bridged the gap this year and found his way to the top of the heap, most likely for the first of many.

I hope to be back up and writing more now that the post-season is over. There is nothing more irritating than watching the baseball playoffs without a team to root for... the only thing that kept me mildly interested was the chance Cliff Lee would throw a perfect game in there. Now that it is all done, hopefully the rebuilding process can continue. The payroll is starting to shape up and Rizzo should have the authority to bring in a player or two.

The next four weeks should be exciting as the Nats acquisition strategy unfolds heading into the winter meetings...


It has been reported that there are just two finalists for the Nationals managerial opening: Jim Riggleman and Bobby Valentine. Now I know that this has been one of the thinnest free agent markets for managers for as long as I remember. That was proven when two teams went toe-to-toe to outbid each other for the services of the tenth-worst manager in the history of Major League Baseball.


The Nationals winning percentage increased from .299 to .440 under Riggleman (I won't give a nickname to a person I don't believe should be attached to the organization for long). A feather in the cap? Not so fast. The team spent the first half of the season toiling with no starting pitchers, save a couple good starts from John Lannan, no relief pitchers, and a historically bad defense. Those were immediately addressed by the front office, and in the second half of the season, Riggleman was the beneficiary. Had the Nats not pulled off a seven game winning streak to close the season, this discussion does not take place. The point to remember is that the Nationals won more games because they had better players, and utilized them to mask their weaknesses (ie moving Dunn to 1B). Honestly, the .299 number should be more attributed to Jim Bowden, and the .440 to Mike Rizzo.

The easiest, most telling question Mike Rizzo should ask himself when he is alone in the office is this: Is Jim Riggleman even as good as the guy I just fired?

I don't know, man. The guy you just fired just got caught in a bidding war for his services. Nobody is bidding for Jim Riggleman.

Rizzo has gone outside the organization to get guys before, so this isn't major change in philosophy... and yes, Bobby Valentine is a better manager than Manny Acta.