Washington, D.C.—The Nationals have won 11 of 12 games and are shocking fans and opponents with their performance on the field. Manager Jim Riggleman made a surprise move himself, resigning after Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. According to Riggleman, he wanted to have a conversation with General Manager Mike Rizzo about his contract status. Riggleman is working on a 1-year deal that runs out in October. He was anxious to have his option year picked up by the team but Rizzo told him he was not ready to have a conversation about the contract.
Rizzo says Riggleman gave him an ultimatum before the game with Seattle, pick up his option or he's done. Rizzo accepted Riggleman's resignation and made the announcement in a press conference after the game.
Here is Rizzo's official statement:
The Washington Nationals have announced the resignation of Manager Jim Riggleman effective immediately after today's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
"I learned of Jim's decision just prior to today's game. He told me that unless his current contract was extended for another season by the end of today's game he intended to immediately resign as manager and would not be accompanying the team on the scheduled road trip to play the Chicago White Sox.
"I believe, and I told Jim, decisions as important as this must be made thoughtfully and methodically. I was not willing to make judgments of that magnitude in the course of a nine inning game.
"I talked to Jim before the season and have emphasized since that no decision would be made on his extension until after the end of the season. I am surprised and disappointed, personally, and am even more disappointed for our players and fans. I was always taught that one of the cardinal rules of baseball was that no individual can put his interests before those of the team.
"Obviously, his resignation comes when all our attentions should be directed toward the field and the impressive performances of our players over the past two weeks, winning 11 of the last 12 games. I met with players immediately after the game and asked that they not allow Jim's decision to distract them from goals we established before the season.
"Given the short notice, final decisions about who will be interim field manager have not been made. I did assure our players those decisions would be made before they take the field in Chicago.
"Again, I am disappointed in Jim's decision and its timing. I would like to assure all of our players and fans that we stand behind this team, are proud of its performance, and will act decisively to fill Jim's position as soon as possible.
"We intend to build the Washington Nationals into a championship contender. Today's actions will not in any way deter us from those efforts."