June 23, 2011

Nationals manager quits after win over Mariners

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned on Thursday, just shortly after the Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON — Manager Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned after the surprising Washington Nationals beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 Thursday for their 11th win in 12 games.

General manager Mike Rizzo said that Riggleman quit after he requested the team pick up the option on his contract for 2012 and the club declined.

The team will name an interim manager Friday before the Nationals face the White Sox.

Riggleman has been seeking more security for some time. He had a $600,000 contract this year and the nationals held a team option for 2012 at $600,000. He took over for Manny Acta on an interim basis during the 2009 season.

“I know I’m not Casey Stengel but I do feel like I know what I’m doing,” Riggleman said.

Rizzo said the Nationals were stunned by the move that comes as the Nationals were playing some of the best baseball in the big leagues. The victory Friday gave the team its first winning record this late in the season since the next-to-last game in 2005.

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez unexpectedly quit Sunday, but Florida was in the middle of a horrible slump.

Riggleman’s resignation came moments after Laynce Nix hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, pushing Washington (38-37) over .500 for the first time since April 20

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