On the Acta Process
Stan Kasten: "We didn't make a final decision until mid- or late-last week, because we're always sifting through lots of information, but I will tell you that...I knew in the first 30 minutes that this was someone that could be our manager. I mean, I knew right away from his presence, from the ideas in his head, from the way he articulates them, I knew right away that this could be our guy."
Manny Acta: "Right after the interview I just said this is perfect for me, this would be perfect for me....I think if we do things right here, this city will have a winner for a long time."
There is a lot of talk about Acta's Dominican heritage (he became a U.S. citizen in the '90s). Stan Kasten said it can help lure free agents, help build the international scouting operation and help market the team to the local Hispanic community, and said he's proud that he'll have the only Dominican manager in the bigs. Asta said much the same, explaining that the Nats would try to make an impact with Dominicans, Venezuelans and Columbians. He just answered a question in Spanish that must have included several jokes, because everyone started laughing. Someone asked him if he'd ever be as big back home as David Ortiz, and he said no, he'd never be that big, he's only 6-foot-2. But he said people in the Dominican are definitely celebrating his hiring.
He was asked what sort of manager he is; he said he's "aware of everything that's out there," and that he's read "all those books and everything," but that he's his own baseball man and that we'll have to wait and judge for ourselves.
He said he's close friends with Soriano but he's not sure if he's close enough to bring him back here.
Also, someone asked him how to balance being a players' manager with being a disciplinarian.
"I'm not afraid to crack the whip, do whatever is best for the team when it comes down to it," he said. "I go to bed with Cindy," he said, nodding at his wife. "So, you know, whoever is mad at me really doesn't bother me at night."
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