Friday, June 24, 2011

Washington Nationals Win 11 of last 12, Manager Riggleman Quits

Yesterday, after sweeping the Seattle Mariners, Jim Riggleman decided it was time to negotiate an extension with Nationals' brass. It didn't go so well. Today the Nationals named John McLaren interim manager. Riggleman felt that he was being used as a place-holder for somebody else and that his current contract was "disrespectful". With the National's recent success he felt it was a good time to discuss an extension but when the club refused, he walked. A fairly bold move for a manager with a career winning percentage of .445 in nearly 1500 games. He never won so much as a division title. His best year was 1998 when he led the Cubs to a wild card berth.

As a player Riggleman was unspectacular as well, spending most of his career at the AA level and never making the majors. In 1979 on the AA Arkansas Travelers he played with future big-leaguer Tito Landrum.

Tito was played in the 1985 World Series along with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ozzie was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1977 and in 1979 he was teamed with fellow hall of famer Gaylord Perry.

Perry made his major league debut in 1962 on the San Francisco Giants. His teammate, Jack Sanford, led the team with 24 wins and came in 2nd in Cy Young voting behind Don Drysdale.

In 1957 Sanford won the NL Rookie of the Year while on the Philadelphia Phillies where he played with Hall of Fame centerfielder Richie Ashburn. 

Ashburn spent 2 seasons on the Chicago Cubs playing with Ron Santo including 1961.

Starting with Jim Riggleman losing(?) a game of chicken and ending with Ron Santo in 6 degrees.

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