Jim Riggleman gets unexpected second chance

Brian Tinsman
April 19, 2018 - 9:49 pm
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Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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When Jim Riggleman resigned his post as skipper of the Washington Nationals nearly seven years ago, he broke one of the golden rules of baseball: don't quit on your team.

Riggleman told the media that he was tired of operating on such a short leash and wanted to control his own fate. It was widely speculated that this would be his last big league post as a manager.

But on Thursday morning, he got a rare second chance, taking over after the Cincinnati Reds fired Bryan Price after an abysmal start to the season.

Riggleman, who has a long and lengthy relationship with Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, got the nod to take over on an interim basis, after serving as Price's bench coach. 

The situation mirrors his opportunity in Washington, where he took over for the dismissed Manny Acta in July 2009. This is the fourth time that he has been named an interim manager for a team.

"The opportunity to manage – it’s something I love to do,” Riggleman said on Thursday. “I’ve taken on that challenge with various clubs. It’s a passion for me. I look forward to it. This is not circumstance that you want it to happen in."

Riggleman has also managed the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners, dating back to 1992. He has never registered a winning record at any stop, and is not expected to over the balance of the 2018 season in Cincinnati, but he can improve on his .445 career winning percentage.

Without throwing his previous boss under the bus, he tried to balance his excitement for the new opportunity.

"I'll try to stress the details of the game, which is what Bryan was trying to do. But an exclamation point on the details of the game," Riggleman said. "The hitting and pitching – the two biggest areas of the game – they have to take care of themselves.

"We coaches and managers can really try to pick up a win here and there with some things we stress pregame."

 

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