Jim Riggleman's interview with "The Sports Junkies" on 106.7 The Fan began with the crew praising his cajones for backing up his guarantee to resign as the Washington Nationals' manager because he didn't get a contract extension. Riggleman's response?
"It sounds like a country song, doesn't it?"
It only got better from there, with Riggleman teeing off on Mike Rizzo, his critics and anyone who was wondering why he was out partying Thursday night (OK, maybe not the last part). Here's a transcript of key quotes.
First thing's first: here's his take on his partying.
"I was solving the world's problems last night at Caddies," he said as the hosts laughed. "I had to get down there and let those girls get a look at me. There's some beautiful young ladies in that place. Unbelievable. Chris and Dave I believe it is, the owners there, I went in there a while back and I was in there at a time when it was just pretty much me in there, visited with them. And I popped in there last night, they had a great crowd. Hey, I was big in there. My face is up on the screen and everything."
As to how many drinks he had, don't worry folks. He said he reached his limit of two.
As to more general stuff, Riggleman said the move was brewing for a while, and said he expected Mike Rizzo to say no to his demand.
"We never had any friction," he said. "I just don't think that, In a day and age of players with multi-year contracts and total security and so forth, having a one-year contract, I don't believe in it. As a young manager, you take those opportunities and run with it, but if you put your time into the game, you get to the point where you say 'You know what? It's disrespectful to not even talk about extending the contract.' If we're not gonna talk about it, that means that the future doesn't include you."
"That's my opinion," he said later. "It doesn't mean I'm right, but with my time in the game, I think my opinion should mean something. I've seen a lot of great managers come and go, and I know every one to a man would say you don't do this job on a one-year contract."
He also riffed on the incident earlier in the year when he sparred with Jason Marquis about being taken out of the game to prevent him from getting a win.
"Nothing that doesn't happen on every club," he said. "I remember one time I was talking to Jim Leyland about this, I said, 'You know, you take the starter out and they're always mad you took them out, you didn't let them pitch through a situation and so forth. And it just so happens I leave our starters in more than just about anybody in baseball. They don't think that, but our starters have a lot of innings, which means I must not have too quick a hook.
"But in talking to Leyland about it, he didn't even let me finish the conversation. He says, 'Hey, don't even go there. He says You know what Rig, I tell ‘em hell with ‘em. I tell these pitchers ‘Hey, I've had this conversation a thousand times, don't tell me about you should have been left in the ballgame, get out of my office, I don't want to hear it.'
And then, he went on even further with his line of the interview (emphasis mine).
"So when you go the hard line with them, next thing you know they're calling their agents, their agents are calling the GM [and they're saying] 'Jim disrespected me, he didn't leave me in the game.' You're losing games, so people start questioning.
"You know what? Some of these people who question what you do can't even spell manager, never mind act like one?"
And then Jim Riggleman fled in a racecar, never to return...
(As first transcribed by D.C. Sports Bog)