Bowden, Acta and Milledge speak
OK just got off the phone with Jim Bowden, Manny Acta and Lastings Milledge. Some key points.
1. Acta and Bowden were non-committal about which outfield position Milledge would play. Milledge, however, called center field "my premier position." He said he did not feel as comfortable in left or right.
2. Bowden called the trade "very difficult for the Nationals to make," in part because Schneider was "such a leader for us in the clubhouse as well as in the community. ... You have to pay a price, and we paid a steep price to get Lastings Milledge." Acta called it a "mixed-emotions day."
3. Bowden was non-committal on what this means for the Nationals behind the plate in 2008. He said he could see Jesus Flores being the everyday catcher. He said Flores could end up in a platoon. He also said Flores could play every day at Class AAA Columbus. More moves are in store.
4. Acta, the Mets' third base coach in 2006, addressed Milledge's shaky reputation in New York. "I can assure you that Lastings is a good kid," he said. "Lastings came up to the big leagues very young in a very tough spot, to New York, a big-market team. He just wasn't prepared to handle that."
5. Milledge, for his part, said he was happy to be back with Acta. "When I was struggling a little bit up there, and everybody seemed to be against me," Milledge said, "Manny was there for me. He gave me some words of encouragement."
That's it for now. I know you've had some of this discussion, and I'll try to break it down further later on. But I would ask: Do you like the trade - or not?
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