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Riggleman trashes Tom Boswell of the Washington Post

Jun 24, 2011, 2:45 PM EDT


Reasonable people may disagree about the wisdom of Jim Riggleman leaving the Nationals like he did yesterday, but I think everyone can agree that going on the radio the next day and trashing a well-respected baseball columnist by name is going to make you many friends. Certainly not in the media, but likely not with folks in the game too, most of whom respect the columnist in question and who don’t take a shine to would-be employees who get into scrapes with the press.

But that’s what Riggleman did today while on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio show with host Bruce Murray. The object of his ire being Tom Boswell of the Washington Post, who he felt tried to run him out of town and hated him for not being Earl Weaver. Or something.  The bigger accusation was saying that Boswell printed “half-truths,” and didn’t get Riggleman’s side of the story on everything.

The transcript, via the DC Sports Bog, is here. Here’s the most quotable part:

“I read the papers. I read that nonsense Tom Boswell writes, and I’ll say this: Tom Boswell has tried to be the impetus behind me not being the manager here for a long time. He is a master of the half-truth. A half-truth can be more dangerous than a lie. He prints just enough nonsense that can paint a picture.

“But he’s become such a snake and such an impetus to have me out of there, [and] he’s just written so many snide remarks. That type of stuff from such a well-respected columnist throughout the country, to get away with that nonsense, I’m just bringing it to your attention, that that’s the kind of stuff that gets written that is totally false … he never tells the full story. He’s never interviewed me, he never talks to me and asks me these questions. He just writes negativity.”

Which may have more salience as a criticism if Boswell was primarily reporting news as opposed to offering opinion and insight, which he is more than capable of doing without going to Riggleman for his defense every time his name is mentioned. And hey, if the fair assessment of the state-of-the-Nats is negative — which has been the case for most of Riggleman’s tenure — is Boswell supposed to avoid negativity?

But at this point, Boswell certainly doesn’t need my defense. Riggleman, on the other hand could use a little help.


  1. atworkident - Jun 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Not saying Riggleman is right but Boswell is trash.

    After a while no one takes you seriously when you write things just to be obnoxious…

    … wait why is no one reading my post?

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    I’m starting to like this Riggleman character. I don’t doubt that this Boswell guy was spinning a yarn to fit his own personal opinions while using sketchy assessments and such. Riggleman should have told him this sooner though. Don’t wait until you quit to tell the guy to eat a bag of d***s. Should have told him that in Spring Training.

    • snowbirdgothic - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      Just curious – have you read Boswell or are you just jumping on him reflexively?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:10 PM

        I’m just jumping on him reflexively. Why do you ask?

    • yashraba - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      A bag of D***s?? is it like a plastic bag full of d***s just mashed together like chicken parts, or are they lined up nicely like a bunch of baguettes?

      +10000 for bringing a little Louis CK into my afternoon

      • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:21 PM

        Yashraba, you really need to learn how to construct an elegant grawlix. Asterisks are sooooo last year.

  3. ricofoy - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Riggs must be going through roid rage or something. He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take this anymore! I’ve been there. I love it!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Heh, good reference there. Riggs is riding an 18-wheeler of truth down on all things Nats. I’m fine with anyone trashing anything related to the Washington Post. I also still despise Robert Novak from his grave. Just b/c he’s dead doesn’t mean I can’t still hate the dick.

      • dcburden - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        What the heck are you doing in Robert Novak’s grave?

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        That does read weird doesn’t it? That’s b/c I’m typing underground and fighting off hellfire nipping at my toes.

      • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:22 PM

        He’s spinning in Novak’s grave. See him go from the treadmill to the stationary bike?

      • gmsingh - Jun 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        HBT seems to be okay with people being dicks as long as they are part of the good ole boys club of Baseball. Lame.

  4. tinker61 - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    I’m probably the last one that should comment on members of the press. Admittedly, I have a very negative opinion of 95% of all members. Print or Broadcast. Whomever coined the phrase “The Pen is mightier than the Sword” was right ON. Instead of printing/broadcasting the facts, a large portion of them lose their integrity, slant things in a way so as to convey their individual opinions. Or, report just enough facts to keep from being sued. Ok, I’ve said enjoy negatives about mainstream Media. I haven’t read one single article written by Tom Boswell. BUT, the folks that subscribe to or read the Washington Post know if Riggleman is Stretching things, or if Boswell has in fact tried to “Run him out of town.”

  5. Jonny 5 - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I just hope his next move doesn’t emulate William Foster. Because unlike Douglas Riggleman really knows how to wield a bat.

  6. Joe - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I believe I’ve read more about Jim Riggleman in the last 24 hours than I had in the last 24 years before yesterday. And I’m already getting tired of it. The more I read, the more he comes off like a douchebag. Confuscious say if you find yourself in a room full of assholes, you are the actual asshole. (Or something like that. May or may not have been Confuscious.) Riggleman seems to keep saying that he’s surrounded by assholes.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      Or maybe the people around you are just assholes.

    • chrisdtx - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Actually, that was Dark Helmet. Common mistake.

  7. canucks18 - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Its about time someone gave the writers a good trashing! They do enough of that to the players, coaches, management etc and its nice to see Riggleman toss that bugger under the bus!
    I loved it!!!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Some specifics would have been nice.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I read the article last night.

    I don’t think Boswell was ever too enthused about Riggleman anyway, and is entitled to his opinion, and it’s written as such. Boswell is not, however, dispensing any half-truths. May get a little worked up at the end, maybe was downing a few Jack and Cokes, but so was Riggleman.

    Or maybe I’m just used to reading revved up big city journalism.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      Having read Boswell’s work in the Post for about three decades, today’s column was unsurprising, with one exception. He didn’t try to throw Rizzo and the Lerners under the bus.

      The column shows two aspects of Boswell’s work covering the Nats and before that, the Orioles:

      1. He changes his mind. Often.

      2. Eventually, he will throw under the bus every manager not named Earl Weaver.

      So Riggleman has reason to believe that, whatever positive Boswell said about him before, this was the bus-under-throwing (or is it under-bus-throwing?) column. Even though, IMHO, Boswell’s pro-Rizzo rant had some good points behind it.

      I think Riggleman can stop talking now.

  9. yankeesfanlen - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Hey, does this mean that the press doesn’;t have Jim Riggleman to kick around anymore?

  10. simon94022 - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    When Riggleman had the interim tag taken off after the 2009 season, Boswell wrote that it was the “perfect hire”.

    In his May 22, 2011 online chat, Boswell rejected the suggestion that Riggleman was to blame for the team’s poor play at that time. In response to the same question, Boswell advocated that the Nats pick up Riggleman’s 2012 option and notes that it was hard to ask him to manage on a one year deal.

    (Sorry, no links, but you can easily Google this stuff).

    Does this sound like a columnist who’s determined to run the manager out of town?

    Riggleman may or may not have been treated unfairly by the Nats. But both parties signed the contract, and Riggleman was the one who wasn’t willing to honor it. His behavior since quitting has been entertaining but also nuts. He is just lashing out erratically at everyone, killing his career.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      I could not agree more. I’m surprised at how so many people think he’s the man for acting like a midlife crisis jackass.

      • kinggw - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:41 PM

        I guess some people support him because deep down they want do the same things at their respective jobs, hopefully unlike Riggleman they are smart enough to actually go through with it.

  11. jimbo1949 - Jun 24, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Boswell has a Shirley Povich complex, not half the writer Povich was.
    He thinks because he championed the return of baseball to DC, he should have a say in how the team is run. Since they hired Riggleman, Boswell has opined that Riggleman was OK for now but when the team gets good you need somebody else. Boswell has never failed to snipe at Riggleman whenever he feels that his ideas and schemes do not measure up to what Boz thinks is right, just like any hack sportswriter would do. He never fails to mention his credentials as a high school and college player as if that should qualify him for something.
    The headline on his self congratulatory column today:Jim Riggleman proves he wasn’t the man to manage the Nationals.
    Way to suck up for access, as usual, as expected.
    Too bad for Boswell that there are other media outlets in DC willing to air opposing opinions and let Riggleman speak.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      Actually, before the Nats arrived, he thought he could tell the Orioles how to run their team.

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM

        Still does

    • minnesconsin - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      I don’t know many who’ve been even half as good as Povich.. I guess I’d put Angell in the same league… but Boswell is most certainly in the upper echelon of the sportswriters of his generation.

      And Riggelman is most certainly in the lower echelon of the managers of his generation.

      So, Riggelman: Is Boswell’s writing “half truth” or “totally false?”

    • Panda Claus - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      I haven’t read Boswell regularly for about 4 or 5 years, but you’re 100% dead-on when you point out Boz thinks he is the final authority on all things concerning DC baseball.

      Being in a unique position of being a well-known columnist for a world-famous newspaper, that puts in a position where only readers (and now bloggers) can openly question him. He does know a lot about baseball, but not nearly as much as he thinks he does.

      I don’t know about the accusations Riggleman is making about Boswell personally, half-truths specifically, but the honor to use half-truths is generally what columnists do. Not saying columns are packed with lies, but these guys are paid to write their opinions. And since I have no reason to not believe Riggleman when he says Boswell never interviewed him, then those half-truths he speaks of are probably just opinions.

      Some columnists have the ability to make their opinions sound like fact, and Boswell is one of those.

  12. sportsdrenched - Jun 24, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Is it me, or is Riggleman having a Charlie Sheenesqe Midlife Meltdown?

    • Panda Claus - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      For that comparison to be complete, he’d need a mugshot taken and perhaps to take his show on the road. Wait, he’s already doing that last part.

    • snowbirdgothic - Jun 24, 2011 at 5:29 PM

      Riggleman was never good at the whole “Winning” thing.

  13. foreverchipper10 - Jun 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Trashing the columnist by name IS going to make him many friends or is not? I think you mean is not. Unless I am reading this incorrectly….

  14. metalhead65 - Jun 24, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I love how the media can say and write anything they want about players/managers but the min. somebody fires back they are the ones in the wrong and being petty.

  15. stevem7 - Jun 24, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    I haven’t lived in DC in 20 years now but even back then Boswell was known as the Keith Olberman of sports. Boswell, much like Lupica in NY, is just another over opinionated Ahole who someone is dumb enough to pay money to.

  16. schmedley69 - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Gotta agree with some of the other posters. Boswell is trash. I don’t even bother reading his columns anymore.

  17. macjacmccoy - Jun 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    I know it probably wasnt the smartest thing to do but as far as trashing someone goes this is the tamest attempt I have ever seen. He didnt say he was untalented or a bum or anything he didnt even say he was bad at his job In fact he said he was a well repected columnist and didnt even question why he is. Which tells me on some kind of level he sees why the guy is so well respected.

    I think he legitmately felt like the guy was targeting him for some reason. People all the time accuse the media of trying to stir up controversies or printing lie and most of the time those people are just blowing off steam or they are competely bias and see any criticism of their team as a conspiracy to bring them and their image down. I dont see Riggleman and what he said fitting into either 1 of these categories. I just think he really felt that way.

    Now I dont know if what Riggleman claims is true. I havent read much of Tom Boswell’s work. I do agree calling the man a “Snake” is completely immature and unprofessional and will probably cost him a few job opportunities in the near future. But I dont believe it was as bad or as big of a deal as a lot of people are making it out to be. He didnt rant like a mad man and kept it pretty much pg. I just think he is hurt by the Nationals and Washington in general and is taking what he perceived as a lack of respect pretty hard. Its no excuse but its understandable I think.

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