DALLAS -- Though Jim Riggleman's midseason resignation from the Nationals over a contract dispute severely damaged his reputation, the former manager does have his share of supporters around the game.
So while Riggleman's chances of managing in the big leagues again are slim, he will get an opportunity to manage again in 2012. In the minors.
The Reds have hired Riggleman as skipper of the Class AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos, a source close to the 59-year-old confirmed this evening.
The gig obviously represents a significant demotion for someone with 1,486 games of major-league managing experience, but it's still a managing gig and it reunites Riggleman with one of his former bosses. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty used to hold the GM position with St. Louis, where Riggleman served as minor-league field coordinator.
Though his teams had winning records in only two of his first 11 seasons managing the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals, Riggleman's 2011 Nats were 38-37 after a dramatic, 1-0, walk-off win over Seattle on June 23 that represented their 11th win in 12 games. But unhappy with the lack of commitment Mike Rizzo had shown him, Riggleman informed his GM he would resign unless Rizzo was willing to talk to him about a contract extension. Rizzo refused, so Riggleman walked away moments after the game, leaving the Nationals' clubhouse stunned.
He did find work soon after, serving as a part-time scout for the Giants (managed by his close friend, Bruce Bochy) for the second half of the season.
Now, another close confidant of Riggleman has given him another chance to manage, albeit two levels down from the big leagues.