The New York Mets will interview former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman this week for the bench coach vacancy on manager Terry Collins’ staff, a source has confirmed to the Washington Times.
Riggleman, who resigned from his position as Nationals manager following an 8-1 homestand on June 23, has been working as a scout for the San Francisco Giants since just after the All-Star break. His resignation came as a surprise to most as the Nationals has been playing some of their best baseball at the time but Riggleman, unhappy with the status of his contract (which was for the remainder of 2011 with an option for 2012) decided he could not continue without a firm commitment for the future from the Nationals’ front office.
Davey Johnson was brought in to replace Riggleman after then-bench coach John McLaren served as interim manager for three games. McLaren was then reassigned within the organization as a scout and his name was brought up as a candidate for some of the Mets coaching vacancies last week as well. The Nationals also parted ways with first base coach and a close friend of Rigglemans, Dan Radison, shortly after Johnson took over the manager’s job.
The Mets made sweeping changes to their coaching staff last week when they removed bench coach Ken Oberkfell, first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach John Debus. Mets third base coach Chip Hale also left New York to join the staff of the Oakland Athletics. They have already filled the third base and bullpen coach spots leaving just bench coach and first base coach to be decided.
Riggleman is expected to head to New York to interview for the position mid-week, a source said, and is excited about the possible opportunity to join Collins’ staff. Riggleman served as a bench coach three other times in his career: for the Nationals in the first half of 2009 (before taking over once Manny Acta was fired), for the 2008 Seattle Mariners (before taking over after McLaren was fired) and from 2001 -2004 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.