Jim Riggleman is Awesome

Dave · September 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I don’t love all of his in game tactics, but every time we get one of these locker room controversies, he comes out and says brilliant things. From Ryan Divish’s piece in the TNT, we get all kinds of awesomeness. Here’s one good answer:

Divish: Why would someone say stuff like this?

Riggleman: Pettiness, seventh-grade mentality, just pettiness of whatever jealousy, pointing fingers, deflecting responsibility, lack of accountability, just a lack of a character. These things happen when you’re losing; you’re not seeing that happen with winning teams now. But those winning teams go out and lose a couple games and you’ll see it.

And then this is just tremendous:

Rats are the first one of the ship. When the ship is sinking the rats are the first ones off. They’re the ones scavenging everything on the ship when it’s floating good and going good, but when it’s sinking the rats are the first ones to abandon the ship.

Go Jim Go.

Edit: KJR has the whole audio, and it’s so great. Listen to the whole thing. I might go start U.S.S. Riggleman.


39 Responses to “Jim Riggleman is Awesome”

  1. msb on September 25th, 2008 7:10 pm

    I liked “Out of 14 teams, we’re 11th in pitching. And I’ll guarantee some of those people pointing fingers are pitchers … I’d keep my mouth shut if I was somebody saying something and part of that staff. 11th in the league in pitching, I don’t think I’d be saying too much.”

    KJR has a link to the audio on its baseball page

  2. TomC on September 25th, 2008 7:14 pm

    It is clear from Riggleman’s comments that at least some of the backstabbers are pitchers. Silva has already been fingered for griping about Ichiro.

    It is clear that Silva is a clubhouse cancer, as well as a tub of s*** as a pitcher. Let’s just designate him for assignment and spare next year’s team his awfulness.

  3. BrianL on September 25th, 2008 7:20 pm

    Jim, you’re a lousy on-field manager who can’t use the bullpen to save your life. That said, thanks for saying what needed to be said.

  4. terry on September 25th, 2008 7:35 pm

    Now thats reporting….

  5. scraps on September 25th, 2008 7:41 pm

    Boy, you can’t say anything negative about Ichiro at all without Jim Riggleman losing his head.

  6. J.L. White on September 25th, 2008 7:46 pm

    I don’t know if I want him back in 2009, but right now I love, LOVE, Jim Riggleman. I’m glad there is at least one man in the M’s organization that has the balls to confront this stupidity!

  7. JR Ewing on September 25th, 2008 7:52 pm

    This Riggleman quote is not exactly the strongest denial of the events described by Baker.

    “But I can honestly tell you I don’t ever remember any time when I was coaching or managing here that anybody was at the point where somebody was going to go after somebody. I don’t think it got to that point.”

    Is Baker’s “clubhouse insider” the same person as his “team insider” ? If so, the guy appears to be supportive of Ichiro.

    Do Riggleman’s answers confirm all the details, except the “go after somebody” stuff ?

  8. Dave on September 25th, 2008 7:53 pm

    Listen to the audio – Riggleman flat out says that there was never a meeting to talk about Ichiro.

  9. BrianL on September 25th, 2008 8:02 pm

    Just listened to that audio, fantastic stuff from Riggles. KJR also picked up on the whole “we never held a team meeting concerning Ichiro” thing.

  10. isismajor on September 25th, 2008 8:36 pm

    Riggleman (and RR-S for that blog entry, which got taken down) are awesome.

    Funny how Silva(I’m about 90+% sure Silva was one of the “anonymous speakers”) didn’t speak out while with the Twins. Now that he’s got the contract, its free rein for the Buffet King.

  11. terry on September 25th, 2008 8:47 pm

    Who knows if Silva was the turdface in this instance or not (my money is on WFB BTW) but I think it’s clear that Riggelman isn’t impressed with Silva’s leadership ability…

    I just worry about Felix…a young impressionable kid can get ruined by Silva’s brand of leadership.

  12. isismajor on September 25th, 2008 8:54 pm

    terry- Who’s WFB? Washburn?

  13. BrianL on September 25th, 2008 9:08 pm

    isismajor – Willie #*$&ing Bloomquist.

  14. Mousse on September 25th, 2008 9:11 pm

    In his most recent blog, Baker is certainly trying to imply that Riggleman is wrong about assuming that his anonymous sources are pitchers. Don’t know if it’s nothing more than a diversion attempt, but it’s seriously lame. If you’re not going to disclose the source, don’t make veiled comments, either.

  15. scraps on September 25th, 2008 9:25 pm

    This is an object lesson in why quoting anonymous sources in sports journalism is bad practice. If people with contradictory information are willing to go on the record, and your sources won’t, where does that leave you? The sportswriter ends up muttering darkly, If you only knew what I knew… It’s not who you think it is…

    What is that against the open and frank testimony of Riggleman?

  16. BrianL on September 25th, 2008 9:26 pm

    JJ Putz chimes in, echoes Riggleman.

    Courtesy ESPN

    “It’s very troubling if it was a player who said that,” Putz said. “People have a lot of differences of opinion on a lot of things, but to say something like that in the paper and not fess up as to who it is, whoever said it is a coward.

    “You have something to say about somebody, step up and say it. Don’t hide behind [a writer]. Anybody can sit around and talk behind somebody’s back. I think it’s ridiculous.”


    “You’re talking about a guy who is more prepared to play than anybody probably in this game,” Putz said. “He goes out every single season and has 200 hits and scores 100 runs. All of a sudden people talk about knocking him out. That’s the one thing that’s usually sacred in there. You have something to say about somebody, you walk up to them and say something.”

  17. terry on September 25th, 2008 9:26 pm

    Baker seems to be operating under the assumption that he’s guarding absolute truth.

    I’d have to assume that Riggleman is a more reliable keeper of the orb in this regard.

    It’s true that Riggelman may not correctly know who Baker’s sources are but the actual important issue is whether or not Riggelman has a more accurate understanding of the clubhouse than Baker.

  18. terry on September 25th, 2008 9:29 pm

    By the way, I finally agree that there are chemistry issues in the Ms clubhouse.

    Baker seems to be interviewing a good many of the problem children.

  19. mstaples on September 25th, 2008 9:37 pm

    Baker is desperate for attention.

  20. Mousse on September 25th, 2008 9:39 pm

    First Riggleman denies it, and now JJ.

    I really, really hope this doesn’t turn out to be a Jayson Blair thing.

  21. Breadbaker on September 25th, 2008 9:49 pm

    I don’t think much of Riggleman as a game manager and I seriously believe that everybody who can be cleared out from this shipwreck of a season should be.

    But I admire Riggleman as a man willing to say what he believes. Why can’t he replace that idiot Steve Phillips on ESPN? He’s articulate, interesting and says things that don’t feel like spin.

  22. Teej on September 25th, 2008 10:54 pm

    How the hell is this all coming down on Baker? He has a source, and he quoted him. Geoff Baker is not saying these things. The guy he’s quoting is, according to Geoff, a big Ichiro fan. But there is apparently a good deal of animosity in the clubhouse, and Geoff is reporting on it. This is most certainly news.

    Can we please separate Geoff the Analyst (not that good) from Geoff the Reporter (pretty damn good)?

  23. mln on September 25th, 2008 10:59 pm

    Somewhat funny comment from the ESPN comments section on one of the M’s wanting to whack Ichiro:

    “Don’t worry Ichiro no one on that team can hit so you’re probally safe.”

  24. dnc on September 25th, 2008 11:04 pm

    I’m with Teej, blaming the messenger is a bit below this community.

  25. scraps on September 25th, 2008 11:05 pm

    It’s coming down on Baker because he’s responsible for it. If the source won’t take responsibility, then it’s on Baker. We have to take Baker at his word, over Riggleman and now Putz. I’m not willing to do that.

    Nobody made Baker do a controversy-stirring story with no on-the-record sources. It is not a requirement of sports journalism to write such weak pieces. He chooses to do so because it’s a good story: i.e., people will talk about it. He benefits from making that choice, so he can take the blowback, too.

    The only justification for anonymous sourcing is matters of public importance. What we are talking about here is not. It’s not whistleblowing. It’s not corruption. It’s gossip. A self-respecting journalist should be above that.

  26. scraps on September 25th, 2008 11:13 pm

    dnc, it is not “blaming the messenger” to point out that there is no real message being delivered.

    Baker has not been obliged by the ethics of his profession to report an unpopular truth. He has chosen by the low objective standards of his profession to pass on an anonymous piece of shit-slinging. It is not the unpopularity of the message that is being attacked; it is the lack of responsibility behind the message, which Baker has abetted for his own gain. Controversy was what he wanted. He’s got it.

  27. Mothy on September 25th, 2008 11:19 pm

    I’m afraid I’m with scraps on this. With a story that is essentially just pot stirring I think as a journalist you’ve got to have more than an anonymous source, or at least know the manager and one of the more popular figures in the clubhouse weren’t going to publicly deny your story. Baker put himself in a bad situation here. If he gets some bad words thrown at him I won’t feel sympathy. He should have (and probably did) known that it was a distinct possibility he would end up without a leg to stand on. That’s the danger of anonymous sources.
    I wonder if this will effect his access to the players. I know if I was a player, whether I liked Ichiro or not, I wouldn’t appreciate him starting this shitstorm.

  28. Teej on September 25th, 2008 11:22 pm

    If the source won’t take responsibility, then it’s on Baker.

    You’re a frequent commenter, and I swear I’m not trying to be confrontational, but what? If you don’t believe him, then don’t believe him. But sports journalism is not exempt from using anonymous sources. The rule is (at least from my experience working at a pretty large newspaper): You go to your editor. Most times, you have to tell your assigning editor who the source is. SO those are usually the two people who know who is being quoted. Reporters are seldom allowed to get a story into print without at least one editor knowing who the source is.

    It all comes down to trust, obviously. If Geoff had no history of being a good reporter, then we could dismiss it.

    Nobody made Baker do a controversy-stirring story with no on-the-record sources.

    He had a good piece with sources that wouldn’t go on the record because they are either players or they work for the Mariners. A lot of these guys are obviously not going to talk on the record. While the anonymity makes the story harder to believe, it’s often necessary.

    If you refuse to believe any story with an anonymous source, that’s cool. It’s quite understandable. But I find it very unfair to imply that Baker is running a story purely “because it’s a good story,” based on, what, made-up quotes?

  29. Mothy on September 25th, 2008 11:31 pm

    It’s not that it’s made up quotes it’s that we now have to choose who to trust. Riggleman and Putz or Mr. X. Since I have no idea who Mr. X is and I have no reason to doubt Riggleman and Putz I lean towards believing them. Since Baker wrote the piece I am now less inclined to take Baker’s words at face value. Therefore by using an anonymous source he has damaged his reputation. Now, that’s not to say he can’t do it or it was immoral to do it (I know journalists do it all the time). I just think it was stupid to do it. If you have an anonymous source about a corrupt government official, sure go for it. But an anonymous source on who is disliked in the clubhouse of a team that really sucks? Why risk damaging your reputation for that? Baker must trust his source a lot, but without knowing who it is how can we?

  30. scraps on September 25th, 2008 11:37 pm

    I’m not accusing Baker of making up quotes. I’m saying that the identity of the source is crucial to the credibility of the quote. Justifying the use of uncredited sources requires matters of real impact on lives, real danger for sources. Yes, some sports journalism might require anonymous sourcing — an investigation into gambling, say. This is just a matter of team personality conflicts. It is gossip. This is not a case where anonymity is “necessary”.

    I very much doubt that Baker would deny he’s responsible for what he writes. Do you think it’s a defense of Baker to imply that he’s a mere conduit? He’s a professional. He is responsible for what he chooses to report, and how.

  31. Teej on September 25th, 2008 11:39 pm

    I’m not accusing Baker of making up quotes.

    Didn’t mean to imply that. My bad.

  32. scraps on September 25th, 2008 11:50 pm

    Teej, no offense taken.

  33. JMHawkins on September 26th, 2008 12:58 am

    I won’t accuse Baker of making up quotes either, but I will accuse him of stirring the pot and egging on the player(s) who are saying these things. If Baker wasn’t willing to provide an anonymous venue for players to trash their teammates, this wouldn’t be happening.

    Anonymous sources are BS. Responsible journalism has no place for anonymous sources of unverified info. Some whistleblower wants to anonymously tell a report that Senator Stickyfingers is taking bribes? Fine. The reporter needs to go find evidence. If he can independantly corroborate the charge with evidence that can be examined by other people, then he can run the story. If all he has in an anonymous source, then all he has is a claim he can’t back up. A claim nobody else can validate one way or the other. In short, all he has is BS.

    All he has is BS.

  34. pinball1973 on September 26th, 2008 1:22 am

    I see much more about Riggleman, of whom I expected something pretty lame, coming in as he did and all, than I could ever have expected to like.
    If a new FO and a reasonable GM decided to keep him on as manager it wouldn’t either bother or surprise me much at all.

  35. Wolfman on September 26th, 2008 8:32 am

    I don’t understand the Baker animosity either. He’s a good reporter that’s actually quite interesting to listen to as well. NO reporter gives up their sources…ever. If they did, soon they’d have no sources! No?

    This whole Mariner fiasco just keeps getting worse and worse. I really hope the rumors are true and the Japanese ownership may be selling. Get rid of Lincoln and Armstrong immediately! After all, the fish rots from the head down!

  36. scraps on September 26th, 2008 9:49 am

    NO reporter gives up their sources…ever. If they did, soon they’d have no sources! No?

    If you’re talking about anonymous sources, it’s true that if you reveal them you’ll have fewer anonymous sources in the future.

    But most stories aren’t anonymously sourced, for damned good reasons, as noted above. I’m not criticizing Baker for refusing to reveal his source; I’m criticizing him for going with this story with nothing but an anonymous source. Once he made that decision, sure, he’s stuck with it.

  37. JoeM on September 26th, 2008 11:48 am

    I definitely have to say that I really like Riggleman at least in comparison to everyone else they’ve paraded around the last few years.

  38. galaxieboi on September 26th, 2008 12:06 pm

    Oo! Here’s my favorite so far.

    from ESPN:

    “People takes shots at people in the paper. You get a feeling for who those people are and you try to eliminate those people.”

    (Emphasis mine)

    I hope this isn’t just tough talk. There should be some cracking of skulls over this.

  39. Paul B on September 26th, 2008 2:21 pm

    I had been thinking, in recent weeks and long losing streak notwithstanding, that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Riggleman was brought back to manage next year.

    I don’t agree with everything he does, but at least he knows what a platoon is and how to use one (unlike McLaren or Hargrove). He’d probably be a neutral-impact manager over the course of the year, which, again, would be an improvement. He also seems less inclined to put up with bad players just because they are veterans.

    Stuff like this bruhaha sort of reinforces the thought. Of course, the new GM may decide to bring in someone else, but if not it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    As to who to believe, I’m in the camp with those who side with Riggleman and JJ as opposed to Mr X (especially if Mr X turns out to be the Buffet or the Bus).

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