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Acta Talks; Willingham on Bereavement Leave [Update]

Just got a few details: Josh's brother was Jon, and he was 27 years old. Josh has gone home to Florence, Ala., for the funeral. This is the somewhat unpleasant news story.

Chico's still reporting on Manny, but called to say that Acta, Rizzo and Kasten are sitting together, shooting the breeze before the game. So I don't think it's happened yet.

Chico also says Frank Robinson is at the game.

And we still don't have lineups. Oh, and remember the game is joined in progress tonight.
--------

Just talked to Chico; he is interviewing people about the Manny Acta rumor and will be with you all soon. Manny Acta told him, however, that as far as he knows, he's still the manager.

In the meantime, the Nats put Josh Willingham on bereavement leave because his younger brother, Jon, 27, was killed in a car accident. Chico said the team was shaken by the news and the clubhouse was silent.

Corey Patterson has been called up. The release from the team is below.

Also, just something to tide you over till game time: Interesting piece from Dan Rosenheck of the NY Times on the pros and cons of giving Strasburg (and Boras) a big wad of cash.

The Washington Nationals today selected outfielder Corey Patterson from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League, placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the Bereavement List and transferred right-handed pitcher Terrell Young to the 60-Day DL. Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
After a slow start this season, Patterson has batted .302 (35-for-116) with eight doubles, six home runs and 23 RBI over a 39-game span in May and June. His eight stolen bases in '09 are tied for the Chiefs team lead.
Over nine big-league seasons (2000-08), Patterson has batted .253 with 104 home runs and 363 RBI in 991 career games. He possesses a rare blend of power and speed, and has posted a stolen base success rate of 74.8 (182 steals in 232 attempts) for his career. The 29-year-old ranks sixth among active major leaguers with 80 bunt hits.
A former first-round pick (third overall by Chicago-NL in 1998 Draft), Patterson signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent on December 18, 2008.
Willingham has batted .294 (25-for-85) with eight home runs and a .635 slugging percentage in his last 28 games played, and he has gone 10-for-28 (.357) with three homers in his last nine games.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  June 13, 2009; 4:29 PM ET
 
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Next: Kasten Won't Confirm or Deny Acta Firing Report

Comments

Wow, it was reported by Fox Sports right before the Yankees v. Mets game.

Posted by: dorseylaw | June 13, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Manny Acta told him, however, that as far as he knows, he's still the manager."

But Manny Acta is on record as never reading or watching anything that might bring him bad news. He's Mr. Positive. Which in fact could make him kind of hard to fire, if he does the Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing!" act even as Rizzo or Kasten is telling him he's history. And you people think Manny Acta doesn't know a thing about strategy...

On a serious note, I think it would be very difficult for them to fire a manager on top of such a major clubhouse tragedy.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Heartfelt condolences to Josh Willingham on his awful loss.

Agreed, any manager shift will wait until sometime after Josh's absence.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I heard it was official,Acta fired. Riggleman named new manager.

Posted by: 6thandD | June 13, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Could you possibly tell us where you heard this?

"I heard" really means nothing. I heard a Nigerian prince was going to give me $10,000,000.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to Josh Willingham and his family on their loss.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

RIZZO: Manny, I have grown tired watching you.

ACTA: You know, Mike, when that kind of thing happens to me I always find Red Bull to be a good pick-me-up. You're older, though, so maybe you should try a cup of coffee. Speaking of cup of coffee, weel we be giving thees keed Strasburg one in September? I need to let Austin Kearns know who he'll be pinch hitting for then. He weel need to adjust his stance accordingly.

RIZZO: Manny, I have grown tired listening to you. What the hell, here's your 2010 extension.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 13, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

That is horrible news. Sincere condolences to Josh Willingham and family.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | June 13, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

June 13 2009 According to foxsports.com Riggleman will replace Manny Acta in a few days as manager of the Washington Nationals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Riggleman

Posted by: dorseylaw | June 13, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about Josh and his so very young brother. Just horrible news.

On Manny, I hope it's not true, but maybe it will help in the long run. If we get another round or two of firings of the manager, the batting coach, the pitching coach and the GM, then maybe we can start to pinpoint the causes of the Nats' woes. The real issues are really among the people doing the firings, not those getting fired.

Posted by: EdDC | June 13, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Why would they announce he will be gone in a few days. If he was going to be fired, they'd do it right away. Being that it is FOX Sports and Ken Rosenthal, think you need to take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by: teamohall | June 13, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now we're citing Wikipedia as a source for this "news."

So far, it's only come from Rosenthal. A scan of other online sports sources yields nothing.

But I heard that some interior minister in Ghana died and left his daughter $100,000,000 US, and that I get a piece of it. I could probably look it up in Wikipedia and confirm.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Is the fact that Frank is there important, or is it just random information?

Posted by: amorris525 | June 13, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

nunof1, whatever your feelings about Manny Acta are aside, your use of "pidgen spanish" in your post earlier is insulting, reprehesible and irresponsible.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | June 13, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Is this better?

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9677990/Sources:-Acta-out-as-Nats'-skip-soon,-Riggleman-in

Posted by: EdDC | June 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

condolences to the willingham family. as long as frank is in town, how 'bout giving him another shot at managing this club?

Posted by: surly_w | June 13, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

amorris, I threw it in as random information. Wasn't meant to connect the dots.

Posted by: traceeh | June 13, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Why would they wait "a few days" to fire him and replace him with a guy already with the team? They want to give him a chance to see St. Petersburg? Why not let him stay and see the new Yankee Stadium?

Why fire him now anyway? I know they're not getting better, but are they getting worse? Didn't we just decide, through Bos, that the team hasn't quit on him? What's the point especially if you're just going to put in a caretaker?

Oh well, guess I just put all this aside and figure out how I'm going to spend those millions I got from that Nigerian prince (he sure knows a lot of people).

Posted by: baltova1 | June 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Is the fact that Frank is there important, or is it just random information?"
=============================================
No doubt he's there for the post-game Ludacris concert, 'free' with purchase of game ticket.

Had Frank opted to delay his visit for two weeks until 6/27, he would have been primed to see Pat Benatar.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | June 13, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, St. Clair, Acta....movin on up. Now the clock starts at Stank Asten. Tic Toc Tic Toc......Now we're finally making progress....Tic Toc.......

Posted by: dovelevine | June 13, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

EdDC, that is still the one and only actual source that's been cited today: Ken Rosenthal on the Fox Sports website.

So no, it's really not a whole lot better. It certainly doesn't offer any new confirmation of this alleged firing. And as Tracee told us above, Acta's chit-chatting with Rizzo and Stan, so he's still at the Trop instead of cleaning out his office in DC.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 13, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

bottomfeeders10, mah southern cuzzin thinks y'awll are makin' too much of a big whoopee about nuthin. Y'heah?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 13, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Condolences to Josh. No one should have to go through that.

Sad to see the back of Acta, if it's true, but he really didn't leave the management with any other choice. I think he may be a good manager some day.

Also, hands off my Nigerian prince you money grabbers!

Posted by: soundbloke | June 13, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

bottomfeeders has a point.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

My guess is they are not going to "fire" him they are planning to "promote" him. I have seen this in the business world at poorly run companies in the Auto and Airline world.

Acta becomes Asst VP for "special projects reporting to Kasten. He has always said he would get another job and he did not really care what it was. This makes Lerner's happy becuase they are not eating another salary. It makes Acta happy because he saves some face for the next job interview in October. Makes Rizzo happy because he does not have to look at him on the bench any longer. A real Win Win for a real Lose Lose Organization. EdDC is correct.....Lerners are the real problem here long term.

Posted by: JayBeee | June 13, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

shepdave,

I didn't say it was definitive. It's just a better source, when a major sports network puts itself on the line. I hope it is not true, actually.

Posted by: EdDC | June 13, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

nunof1, you aren't funny in the slightest. continuing racial stereotypes are insulting and stupid.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | June 13, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Best news of the Day. I don't even know if Riggleman is more capable of managing the team - although he can't do much worse - but This teams needs something to boost morale. It hasn't all been the starting pitching, the relief pitching the bats, the defense. Each of these things has been a problem or a assett at one point in the year, and Acta was incapable of getting all the pieces working together to be even anywhere near the next worse team in all of baseball. He should have been out after April.

Posted by: vo_37 | June 13, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, I see the vultures are out, pecking not only at the dead meat (St.Claire), but the ambulatory (Acta, Kasten) as well. If Rosenthal's report on Acta, based on his web-surfing & speculation proves to be true, then so be it; Riggleman inherits the same disfunctional club that Acta tried to lead for 2+years. Either way, it's all about luck, because skill (at least defensively) isn't part of the equation for most of this club.

Posted by: BinM | June 13, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

bottomfeeders has a very good point.

Posted by: EdDC | June 13, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Lineups:

WASHINGTON
--------------------
C. Guzman ss
N. Johnson 1b
R. Zimmerman 3b
A. Dunn dh
E. Dukes lf
W. Harris cf
A. Kearns rf
W. Nieves c
A. Hernandez 2b

J. Zimmermann p


TAMPA BAY
-------------------
B.J. Upton cf
C. Crawford lf
E. Longoria 3b
C. Pena 1b
B. Zobrist 2b
P. Burrell dh
G. Gross rf
M. Hernandez c
R. Brignac ss

A. Sonnanstine p

Posted by: Ted_Striker | June 13, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Why in the blazes did an article that I read about Willingham,not mention his brother was in an accident. Maybe I did read the article too fast. All it seemed to say was that he was going on Berevement leave, that he had the flu and would be gone 3 to 7 days. The article made it sound like no one had died but that he needed leave for 7 days. Makes me look dumb when I ask the question as to why he's on Bereavement leave if no one died.

So sorry to hear about the loss. A loss is a loss no matter how it happened.

It's also really dumb to announce something and have it not become official from the team!

:<(

Posted by: CALSGR8 | June 13, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

MASN2 is not showing the game till 7 because of FOX owning the rights to all baseball games being shown. Awful, why not just start the game at 7. Morons.

Posted by: dominic10464 | June 13, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

It's on the radio now (and evidently it's early enough in the day that I can actually pick up the signal here).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman just homered (solo, 2 out).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't remember, Riggleman took over the Mariners last year as interim manager and the M's were last in the AL. I like Riggleman, however, don't think that he could do a better job than Manny. I hope that Manny stays.

Things are looking up, however, our record does not show it. We are in EVERY game now (except last Sunday because of 1st inning struggles by Stammen), but each game it is close and exciting. There is one thing that happens that cannot be blamed on Acta. If NJ hadn't dropped the ball last night, chances are Nats win. NJ doesn't usually drop the ball, things happen. They just seem to happen to at least one player in every game! :)

Posted by: ilovethenats | June 13, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Tampa wanted to start the game earlier because they're having a concert at the park afterward.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"why not just start the game at 7. Morons."

Yep; except that the morons here are MLB (i.e., Bud Selig). If you can't televise the game until 7:05, then teams shouldn't be allowed to push the start back before then.

Posted by: joebleux | June 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The release never mentioned the reason for the bereavement leave; Chico called me with the brother's information but I don't think either of us knew the circumstances until I Googled his brother's name.

Thanks for the lineups, Ted_Striker. Maybe my email is down; still don't have 'em.

Posted by: traceeh | June 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Oops, typed this in the wrong thread.

Dunn k's to end the inning.

To start the Rays half, Upton reaches on a Johnson error, then steals second.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

And now the Runnin Rays are on base with an error by NJ and have already stolen a base.

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I think that calsgr8 may have been referring to an article on the team site.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah JZim! Big K

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Eat that Pena. Another K for JZim.

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Peña k's as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

heh, too slow because I was looking for the diacritical.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Wooo! Zobrist k's as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

(high fives self)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

JZim, strikes out Zobrist too. Clutch coming off a skipped start and responding well to adversity. NickJ you've got to give us some offense tonight...

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Folks, our blind squirrel has found his nut. Of course this kind of meaningless two out hit would be that nut.

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh well. Nieves took care of the end of the inning by grounding out.

Nice to listen to Charlie and Dave, at least until the game starts up on tv.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

JZim is making some real clutch pitches today. So many of his pitches have been one or two first inning pitches away from being really strong. Let's hope today is one of those days the light goes on.

Posted by: souldrummer | June 13, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Hope so.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost heartfelt sympaty to Josh Willlingham and family, losing a sibling is an unbelieveable loss. Fox sports.com is reporting that Acta will be forced to resign and that Riggleman will be named the new manager.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 13, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Longoria k's (on strike 4 per Dave) to end the 3rd, escaping another jam. It's almost tv time. Basement sports-watching lair, here I come!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 13, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

New post; Chcio'a early story from the paper...

Posted by: traceeh | June 13, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow. That was Chico's early story from the paper.

Deadline typing. Sorry.

Posted by: traceeh | June 13, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

WoW!

J. Bergmann (tonight vs. Rays):

5 match-ups...
5 runs...
5 year career over!

WoW!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | June 13, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Last!!!!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | June 14, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Condolences to Willingham and his family.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 14, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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