Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Baseball Quitter

Earlier this week, I wrote about Edwin Rodriguez quitting as manager of the Florida Marlins. I couldn't remember a skipper walking out on a team after so short a tenure with no obvious push from his employer.

It's didn't take long for another manger to quit on his team. And Jim Riggleman's resignation from the Washington Nationals is even harder to figure. The Nationals, a perennial doormat, have been on a hot streak. They've won 11 out of 12 games and are above the .500 mark.

But, according to the club's GM, Riggleman was upset that the Nationals wouldn't extend his contract beyond this season. So he gave them and ultimatum. The team accepted his resignation rather than accede to his demand for the extension. (Riggleman says the only ultimatum was his wish to talk to the owner about an extension.)

Am I missing something? While I can understand the wish for job security, this could be a career killer for Riggleman. If he had stayed and the Nationals continued to play well he likely would have received a new contract. If the Nationals didn't want him around, surely another team would have jumped at the chance to hire a man who helped mold a young team into a group that plays hard and was on the rise.

If I was a general manger I would never hire Riggleman as a manager. I'd wonder if he was truly committed to the job and the team.

Maybe we really are becoming a nation of quitters. Politicians leave terms half finished; baseball managers quit even when their teams are doing well. Meanwhile, millions are begging for jobs and finding none available.

It really is hard to figure.

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