Author Topic: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing  (Read 105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline welch

  • Posts: 15013
  • 2019: Won the fight
Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Topic Start: September 03, 2022, 01:12:11 PM »

From The Athletic:

Sunlight peered through the clouds as if nothing had ever happened, allowing Jim Riggleman, gray hair poking out from his hat, the chance to hit ground balls to his infielders.

A first time for everything, even now. Riggleman, who will turn 70 in November, has been in baseball in some capacity for nearly 50 years, including stints as a major-league manager with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners, Nationals and Reds.

Riggleman watched from the dugout of Wrigley Field in 1998 when Sammy Sosa hit 66 home runs, and saw Tony Gwynn flirt with .400 firsthand in 1994. On this afternoon, though, he is about as far away from the big leagues as you can get.

Riggleman is in his first season as the manager of the Billings Mustangs of the independent Pioneer League, which has teams stretched across Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado; routes traveled on buses that slip past small towns in the middle of the night, like knots on a string.

The Mustangs are one of 43 minor-league teams that were contracted by Major League Baseball in 2020, including every team in the Pioneer League. All the teams have gone the independent league route, filling a void for baseball in towns like Billings, Great Falls, Boise and many others.

I’ve come here to ask Riggleman the most obvious question of all questions: What is he doing here?

“I definitely sometimes still ask it,” said Jalen Garcia, an outfielder for the Mustangs, before a recent game in Kalispell against the Glacier Range Riders.

You won’t find any chartered flights in the Pioneer League, no suites at the Four Seasons and no envelopes stuffed with cash for meal money. But it seems baseball is still in Riggleman’s blood, no matter where it is played.

“When I first read the story about him doing this, I had the same question — why,” said former Padres general manager Randy Smith, who worked with Riggleman in 1993 and ’94. “But the more I thought about it, it’s an awesome opportunity to get back to the kind of baseball he likes.”

A phone call, the offer of a unique challenge and the chance to pilot a team again were factors that brought Riggleman — or ‘Riggs’ to his friends and players — out of professional hibernation and back into his element.

He’s been joined by his longtime friend, 71-year-old Dan Radison, who coached with Riggleman in three stops in the big leagues and, essentially, leaving his retired life in Florida, dropped what he was doing to join his buddy this summer.

“I was happy in retirement,” Radison said. “But it’s Riggs, you know? Riggs loves being a manager, loves his relationship with the players. He’s never been a big status guy and it’s not about money.

Full story, and it's a good one, at

Offline Five Banners

  • Posts: 1742
Re: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Reply #1: September 03, 2022, 04:02:04 PM »
Not a bad plan for Radison to be in Montana over the summer rather than Florida

Offline welch

  • Posts: 15013
  • 2019: Won the fight
Re: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Reply #2: September 03, 2022, 05:06:08 PM »
Riggleman has to find players for this team, too. He talks about going through lists, talking with other managers. He loves teaching his players. Was thrilled when one of them was signed across to someone's farm system.

Offline Senatorswin

  • Posts: 651
Re: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Reply #3: September 04, 2022, 12:09:39 AM »
It's a shame he ruined his managing career with a moment of stupid.

Offline Count Walewski

  • Posts: 2605
Re: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Reply #4: September 04, 2022, 07:00:49 PM »
Nationals fans in the comments of that Athletic article are ripping Riggleman to shreds over his 2011 resignation. Very nasty people.

I can't really get too upset about it. You can't expect somebody who is already financially set for life (assuming he didn't fritter away his Cubs money) to continue working for a boss they don't think respects them. It hardly hurt the Nationals franchise to have Riggleman leave like that and even Riggleman got one more MLB managing job afterwards, even if just an interim one.

Offline Smithian

  • Posts: 11272
  • Sunshine Squad 2022
Re: Jim Riggleman cannot stop managing
« Reply #5: September 06, 2022, 11:37:07 AM »
It's a shame he ruined his managing career with a moment of stupid.
He bounced back better than expected, but damn what a dumb moment. We don't know all that happened and I'm certain Rizzo could have handled it better, but Riggs was crazy for leaving.

Let's say that team ends .500 and Riggleman walks. His stock would have been higher than at any point of his career to that point. I don't think the Nats could have let him walk. Then that 2012 team was just rolling out the baseball and getting out of the way, which worked until Davey Johnson in Game 5 forgot to walk the hitter infront of the pitcher.