Change, In Several Forms
* Manny Acta said today that some on his coaching staff will not be back next season. "Changes are going to be made," Acta said. The manager did not specify which of his assistants would be let go, and said the team was not yet ready to make an announcement. Such a determination, though, marks the first sign of change entering the offseason; last year, at this same time, Acta met with General Manager Jim Bowden and several other front office members and emerged from the meeting by announcing that everybody on his staff would return. All of Acta's assistants have been with the team for at least two years. One team official called the staff the "worst in baseball."
* The scoreboard here at Citizens Bank just advertised a Phillies DVD... with... (get this!)... a bonus DVD featuring video of the Veterans Stadium implosion.
* Ryan Zimmerman isn't in the starting lineup tonight, but he's recovering from his flu, and should be available to play tomorrow.
* Last year, like now, the Nats came into Philly for the final series of the year, happy to have a hand in determining the National League playoff series. Just one thing: This is no replicate scenario. The players with a hand in the outcome last year aren't anything like the players this year.
By my quick count, only seven of Washington's 32 active players tonight were on the team last year: Ryan Zimmerman, Cristian Guzman, Ryan Langerhans, Joel Hanrahan, Jesus Colome, Saul Rivera and Jason Bergmann.
Not a single person in tonight's Washington starting lineup started in the final series last year.
When I mentioned this to Bergmann, who started the final game last season, he tried to recall last year's final Starting 9.
"Well," he began, "the starting lineup last year was Wily Mo... Nook Logan? Center field last year was probably Nook... Kearns... Dmitri Young didn't play last year in the last month... Fick was at first... Ronnie at second... Felipe at short... Ryan at third... I started the last game... and Schneider probably caught the last game. Oh, and Ryan Church played somewhere -- probably center. Damn, that's crazy... And look at our bullpen: Rauch, Cordero. The only guys left from the bullpen are Colome and Rivera."
OK, well he missed on a few. Here was Washington's final lineup last year against Philly:
Felipe Lopez - 6
Ronnie Belliard - 4
Ryan Zimmerman - 5
Dmitri Young - 3
Austin Kearns - 9
Wily Mo Pena - 7
Jesus Flores - 2
Justin Maxwell - 8
Jason Bergmann - 1
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