As expected, Jim Riggleman will be at the helm of the Washington Nationals in 2011. General manager Mike Rizzo officially made the announcement on Tuesday.
MLB.com previously reported in late September that Riggleman would return to his current position as manager next season. "Yes, he will be back next season. He has done a terrific job," Rizzo told MLB.com at the time.
The 57-year-old Riggleman was named the Nationals' third manager on Nov. 12, 2009. He first assumed the helm as interim manager on July 14, 2009. Last offseason, Riggleman agreed to a two-year deal, but only 2010 was guaranteed. This will be his 19th season as a Major League manager or coach. He also managed the Mariners, Cubs and Padres.
A number of Nats players voiced their support for Riggleman, including shortstop Ian Desmond and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
"I'm glad he gets to be a part of it for [at least] one more year," Desmond said. "It's good to know that next year he is going to be here. Coming into Spring Training next year, hopefully he has little bit of security. It's going to be good."
This past season, the Nationals had a 10-win improvement from 2009, tied for the fourth-largest increase in Major League Baseball, trailing only San Diego (+15), Cincinnati (+13) and Tampa Bay (+12). The club's improvement last season is just one of the reasons that Rizzo wanted Riggleman to return.
"He is a terrific baseball manager," Rizzo said. "He has great respect from his peers in this game. When the game starts, he is as good as anybody in the game. He has the respect in the clubhouse. He is a diligent worker and he is a loyal employee."
Riggleman grew up in nearby Rockville, Md., and is a graduate of Frostburg (Md.) State University and Richard Montgomery High School.
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.