The unemployment rate is awful and the real estate market is worse than that.
Homes are foreclosing as often as Lindsay Lohan shows up in court, and
economists say a double-dip recession is looming just over the horizon.
With that said, if you've already been fired three times from a market place
that has only 30 jobs of its kind, would you walk away from one that paid you
$600,000? That's exactly what Nationals manager Jim Riggleman did last
Earlier that day, Riggleman requested to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo
about having the option of his contract picked up for next year. The Nationals had
won eight straight games, and were at the .500 mark, so Riggleman must've
felt he had some leverage. Rizzo told Riggleman this wasn't the time to talk.
Just minutes after beating the Mariners for their ninth straight win to get over
the .500 mark for the first time since 2005, Riggleman said that's it, that's all,
I'm done. He said he felt disrespected and the pressure of not having security
affected his ability to manage the team, especially when making a measly $600,000.
Rizzo said fine, thanks for playing.
Riggleman was wrong on all accounts and didn't get any support or sympathy
from anyone in the game. Disrespected? If every person in the work place quit
because they felt disrespected, the employment rate would be 75%. Pressure?
Millions of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck while trying to feed a family
and put their kids through college. Pressure and security? Try being a nuclear
engineer in Japan knowing that you'll be exposed to such high-levels of radiation
that you're life expectancy will be reduced to just three more years.
I've heard people argue that Riggleman was one of the lowest-paid managers
in baseball. Well, that's what usually goes with being one of the lowest-rated
managers in the game. Riggleman has never won anything and has certainly
lost a lot. A winning percentage of .445 in 12 years of managing is not exactly
a good track record. And don't tell me the Nats payroll kept him from being
successful in D.C. When Fredi Gonzalez was managing with Marlins, he won
87 games with a team payroll that is comparable to the one at your local Subway
Taking on management in the world today is akin to playing Russian roulette
with a bullet in every chamber. It's stupid and suicidal. Give management an
excuse to say, "Next", and they'll do it. If they hold the hammer and you have
a pea shooter, you're done. There are plenty of managerial candidates waiting
outside the door, there's no way they're going to tolerate demands from
an employee, especially one with Riggleman's track record. Everyone in
every company in the country is replaceable. How's Dan Rather doing these
Riggleman said his actions were a matter of principle. That might've been well
and good for manager in the 1980's making $80,000 dollar, but come on, suck
it up Jim, you were making $600,000 a year to put nine names in the line-up
on a daily basis. Players win games, not managers. I've never heard anyone
call Joe Girardi a great skipper, despite that fact he has a World Series
championship on his resume. When you have A-Rod, Texiera, Cano, Granderson,
Jeter, etc, etc, etc, it's not all that tough.
There is only one "great" coach or manager in the game who truly makes a
difference, and that's Bill Belichick, who could take 11 homeless guys off
the streets of South Boston and win 10 games. The value of managers in
baseball is truly overrated.
Riggleman might be saying, "See, that'll show them." Followed by "now what
do I do." If a potential employer finds out that someone quit on their co-workers,
team, and company, chances are they won't hire you. Riggleman has been fired
by three teams in baseball and quit on another. He won't get another chance unless
his Dad buys a team. As he said shortly after resigning, "I know I'm not Casey
Stengel, but I do know what I'm doing." Riggelman was right on the first part,
but one really has to question if he really knows what he is doing or just did.
By all accounts, Riggleman is a really good guy. Unfortunately, he made a real
bad decision that he'll come to regret.