Jim Riggleman is managing the Nationals’ final home game of the season as we speak. But will this be Riggleman’s final home game managing the Nats altogether?
We won’t know that answer for a little while longer. It doesn’t appear there will be any concrete decision announced this weekend or early next week. That said, GM Mike Rizzo suggested this managerial search will be much quicker than the one three years ago that landed Manny Acta in D.C., but not until late November and not until the club had spoken with more than a dozen candidates.
Here is what Rizzo had to say today when asked about Riggleman and the managerial/coaching situation…
How has Riggleman done? “I think Jim’s done a really good job handling the ballclub since the All-Star break. I think he put us on pace to really focus in and bear down on the fundamentals of the game, to play cleaner, more efficient ball. He’s got the guys playing at a high level of attention. I think he’s done the best job he could with the ability level he had on the field.”
How tough to make the decision? “Well, this is an evaluating time of the year. We’re all being evaluated, Jim included. Like I said, he’s done a great job. It’s going to be an intense offseason and a busy one. The process is, the ultimate goal is to make us a better ballclub in 2010.”
Is there a timetable for a managerial decision? “I think we’re going to begin as soon as the regular season ends and get it done as quickly as possible.”
Is Riggleman a candidate? “Jim is a definite candidate to stay on. Like I said, he’s done a great job. I would say he’s a legitimate candidate to be the manager in 2010.”
When will the coaching staff be decided? “They’re obviously being evaluated by me and by Jim Riggleman. The coaches will come after the manager. Because the manager is going to have obviously a lot of input on what his staff is going to be.”
Do you have a different evaluation of Jim because you’ve seen him in action last three months? “I’ll have a much better idea. I’ll probably know Jim Riggleman the candidate better than any candidate that we’ll talk at all to for the job. I’ve had a lot of time to get to know Jim and to see his body of work. So I’ll have a good feel for that.”
Is he allowed to pursue other jobs while waiting? “My policy is, we have an open-door policy. If there’s a better opportunity for one of our employees, we certainly don’t want to stand in anybody’s way. We want people who want to be here. And if that’s the case, we’re not going to stand in anybody’s way.”