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Acta's Gone; Was This the Right Time?

Manny Acta has been fired by the Nationals, a move some media outlets had predicted would happen weeks ago. Some Nats fans, meantime, probably still hate to see him go. What do you think about the timing?

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 8:01 AM ET
 
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Next: Reacting to Acta: An Opinion Roundup

Comments

See ya Manny...

Posted by: SaveOurTeam | July 13, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

If he was going to be fired, the end of season would have been a better time. Manny deserved to finish the season and see how the young pitchers were moving ahead.

Posted by: Mathguy1 | July 13, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Manny was in 'interim' manager status since last year when they didn't extend his contract. The Nats had no intention of renewing his contract short of a .500 season this year. He was 'done' by the end of May. Nice guy but exhibited very little leadership, situational or otherwise, and he never backed his guys on the field with umpires. He didn't have to scream at them, but he did need to go out and calmly chat with them. It isn't an all or nothing at all proposition. The players became too complacent with losing and they needed shaking up weeks ago.

Posted by: Wallpass | July 13, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Everything is Wallpass' comment is exactly right. You don't have to scream, but you can't appear to sit idly by and watch the team underperform.

Posted by: dutchmcalliser | July 13, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Manny deserved to be dumped after that 0-7 start. When your orgnization is a dysfunctional as this one how in the world did anyone let this go on for as long as it has. I guess when the team is run by Mall-Rats and a Carni Barker 61 down doesn't resonate as loud as seas of empty blue seats and red on the balance sheet.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 13, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

driley says "And yet to me Manny was a horrible judge of talent."

Manny has had to sift through all sorts of marginal talent to find players who semi-deserved to play at the MLB level. Do you think he wanted to stick LoDuca in LF? The GMs have not been allowed to acquire MLB talent. Does everyone realize that the most expensive player acquired in a trade since the Lerners have been here is probably Josh Willingham at $2.95 million salary? Such a policy severely limits the players who can be acquired. So blame the manager.

Well, I was a Manny supporter, but maybe the firing is for the best. Now the Nats have gone through their manager, the GM, the hitting coach, the pitching coach, the 3B coach. Maybe now Nats' fans can see where the responsibility for this low-budget team truly lies. Then again, a few more years of bashing Bowden could still hide it.

Posted by: EdDC | July 13, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Sad, but it's the right move. At 26-61, there's nothing to lose. It can't possibly get any worse than it is right now. Nothing would've changed after the all- star break if Acta was still in charge. I don't know if all the errors are because of a lack of focus or they're just really bad but they don't seem to have their heads in the games, like they're just going through the motions. I don't know if that is Manny's fault or not... but I think he's a great, nice guy and I hope he'll get another chance somewhere else.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 13, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Acta was in a pretty hopeless situation. But I guess you have to fire the coach when the owners won't fire themselves.

No one could have made this team win. If we had a top flight coach, we'd have 30-35 wins instead of 26. Hardly worth caring.

Posted by: hackeynut | July 13, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Many is being hung out to dry for the mistakes of others. Sure, there are areas where he could have done things differently, but he had NOTHING to work with in the last three years. Seriously - only now are you seeing some dividends from these young guys.

So the next manager will come in, while the talent is on a slight upswing, and get the credit. I hope Manny's next team sees through this BS.

Maybe this is Kasten keeping his job?

Posted by: CajunD | July 13, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow...just hearing about this. I thought they were going to give him to the end of the year. I liked Manny and didn't want to see him go but I have to admit there were several times (HR's replays in NY) where I was screaming at my TV for him to get out there and go apesh@t for once! I look forward to seeing who they replace him with and how the team responds.

Good luck Manny. Thanks.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 13, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Manny will find another job, probably back in coaching (would not be surprised if the Mets pick him back up). It was time for a change, however, Riggelman is no bargin, he has a mangerial W-L record of over 100 games below .500 and really has not managed full-time since 1998 (interim last season with the Mariners).

The Lerners and their penny-pinching are also a big part of this mess. Plus Bowden's "legacy" is still evident (Kearns comes to mind immediately).

Patience - and lots of it is needed.

Posted by: DhabaBase | July 13, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"Acta's firing is only the latest example of the constant upheaval and instability surrounding the Nationals since Kasten and local developer Ted Lerner took over the club -- a sale that was supposed to finally bring a semblance of normalcy to the franchise.

Instead, there is now uncertainty on the bench to go along with an acting general manager, Mike Rizzo, who took over day-to-day GM duties shortly after Bowden resigned during spring training. Rizzo still does not have the full title." espn.com

fire the Lerners--that's where the real problem rests

Posted by: fpcsteve | July 13, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

maybe the contrast between the last 2 games was the last straw. We saw what this team can do, good pitching and hitting, and then what it does too often, not as good pitching and no hitting with RISP.
I wish Manny the best and hope this change will lead to a better second half for the team

Posted by: gengreen17 | July 13, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey goodbye! Good move. I know Manny's a nice guy and all, but so was Wayne Fontes. Manny got nothing out of this team. More than 30 games under .500 is inexcusable.

Posted by: trezmartin | July 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I like Manny Acta and wish him well. He is a class act and will land on his feet with another team. That said...

Insted of looking at his 2 1/2 years as manager, look at his 7 half seasons here. This team has become worse and worse every half season under his management. The second half of this season we would have been lucky to win 20 games.

Posted by: Batboy05 | July 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I was a halfhearted Manny supporter for the first half of the season. I guess if you're going to fire the skipper, this is the right time to do it.

I won't go so far as to say he's "so good" that he should be given an extended stay pass, but I will say that he wasn't given a fair chance to perform; and that he is being fired as a scapegoat.

I believe this is a move to generate some interest in the team "hey, Washington, look! The Nationals don't just flail around on the field anymore!"

If there is not a non-interim manager in place by the end of the all-star break, I'll be an upset fan.

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 13, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

First and foremost, thank you to Manny Acta for doing the best job you knew how over the past 2.5 seasaons. It was a noble and well considered approach that reflected dignity and grace.

Second, when your winning percentage starts with a '2' it is inevitable that you will be fired. It was a 2 for much too long. An organization just cannot fail to make a change. It had to happen. Not that the next manager will be better or even different. Performance matters.

Third, congratulations to the Nats upper management for making the change at the break. It's a reasonable time. It certainly was not too early, and given the talent level, it seems a reasonable and considered time to act.

Finally, whoever takes over: Best of Luck! You're going to need it. But please remember: a riot is a terrible thing, an its about time we had one!

Posted by: natbiscuits | July 13, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

So when is Bobby Valentine's interview scheduled?

I am just curious how much patience Kasten had when he built Atlanta through their farm system. If this is the path that the Lerners and Kasten want to take, we are going to see several more managers in DC, before the Nats are even respectable...the minor leagues are not even close yet.

Posted by: jro1 | July 13, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

DhabaBase says: "The Lerners and their penny-pinching are also a big part of this mess. Plus Bowden's "legacy" is still evident (Kearns comes to mind immediately)."

Bowden picked up Kearns just after mid-season in 2006. When he was acquired, Kearns was hitting .274 but with a .351 OBP, thanks to lots of walks. He had 16 HRs in a half-year and 50 RBI. So you are telling us that Bowden should have foreseen the Kearns implosion? Really?

Under MLB ownership, Bowden was allowed to trade for Kearns and Soriano, pretty big money guys. All that stopped when the Lerners came to town.


Posted by: EdDC | July 13, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Rosenthal is gloating over on the Fox Sports site. Do other sports reporters typically write in the first-person?

Posted by: ihatewalks | July 13, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Will Dannyboy loan Redskin1 to the Lerners to begin a job search, or will they take the lazy, cheap path and just give it to Riggleman? There may not be too mant trial-tested managers out there in mid-season.

Posted by: AWWNats | July 13, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It would have been the right time if the fact they were going to fire wasn't leaked so far in advance. Regardless of the restrictions on Manny, he was tasked to field a winning team. He didn't do that, so he is gone. That is just the way this business works. I still think he is going to be successful somewhere where they have better ownership.

Posted by: BT23 | July 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

It stinks to have to say it but, this had to be done.

Now, hopefully, this is the first of many moves by the cheapskate owners to get this franchise moving in the right direction.

Note to Uncle Teddy: Open the friggin' checkbook!

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Though it pains me to say it, I guess this was the right time.

I'm so bummed it had to be like this. After what Manny did with that 2007 team, I just knew such a fresh, young, smart, energetic manager was going to take us all the way in no time.

Obviously it has all gone downhill since then, which is bad enough, but I just hate that Manny wasn't able to turn it around somehow. I really, really wanted it to be HIM, all the way.

I'm really sorry about this Manny. I hope a new and improved you can come back to us again. Best of luck to you.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

When in a defeated army the men begin shooting their own officers it is a sign that the society in whose name the army was raised has failed miserably to train, support, equip and lead that army. The failures behind the tragedies of the day began long before, and extend all the way throughout not just the soldiery but the society. So when a good manager is fired by a bad team having an even worse front office, the tragedy is that the field commander is the scapegoat for the stupidities of the high command. Societies do these things but that does not defend them: they are senseless, stupid, squalid and desperate acts. Sports and warfare are social institutions in whose mirrors whole peoples may read their characters. Not always is this a flattering exercise. Vale, Manny. Go win somewhere else where they hire you some troops who can do the job. We'll eventually get better, as we would have if you had stayed. That's part of the senselessness....

Posted by: natty-bumppo | July 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The great thing about predicting that a manager will be fired is that you will eventually be right. Its sort of like predicting that the sun will set tonight. Rosenthal has no right to gloat. He missed by a month.

Posted by: natbiscuits | July 13, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...Well, the inevitable day has arrived.Whether now or ten years hence.Yesterday, watching the post-game I told Greggo the Cop and the rest of our Sunday b.ball watching gang that it appeared that Manny was more emotional. And had a red nose and maybe watery eyes. I suggested that maybe he had been told he had been let go. I told the crew that I thought he'd be gone before play resumed. No rocket science needed there. And having gone from a big Acta fan to a more non-committal position....well. I'm saddened by the turn of events. Mostly because I'm fearful that at the root of this mess are the Slow Learners. And even THAT is a hope-that the Lerners are merely slow at catching on to the obligations inherent in owning major sports franchise. Especially this sport and this location with this history. A symbolic opportunity and a chance to establish a new national brand in the world of sports. A darker view is that our now and future owners are condemning us to decades of mediocrity or worse-with an occasional outlier of contention.Maybe they'll sell when all the development opportunities around the park have been exhausted.I hope this is the start of good things for our beleaguered team.....but the initial forecast is more of the same.What, no comments/statements from the team? No announcement of an interim manager? And now,,,one thing on the baseball playing front. We keep hearing about getting a clubhouse attitude change through new players. Well-seems to me that the "culture" of our clubhouse is epitomized by those guys we lionize for being "traditionalists". Johnson,Kearns,to some degree Dunn and yes, you too, Ryan-pulling up the stirrups on your socks and being professional while accepting, and contributing, to this level of lackadaisical play..well, maybe it's the Dukes and Milledges we need to GET rather than get rid of. Even Lo Duca maybe had the right idea.Of course, their level of play(wildly inconsistent to rotten to over the hill) make them poor choices for the point I'm trying to make, but right now the only sacred cows on this team-excluding the young arms-might be Morgan and Flores.As much as I admire his ability, if Ryan says he is comfortable being the face of this franchise, well...every "face" has an "ass", too and SOMEONE has to be willing to handle that role, too. I know-look at Cal up the road..he was never the vocal clubhouse guy either, and maybe that's how Zim is. But enough talk "about" accountability and professionalism-I thought "professionals" try to WIN GAMES.Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

>Absolute euphoria. This is the best Monday ever.

Posted by: RickFelt

And we have a winner!

To all these marginal misfits who support Manny, or are apologizing for him, or feeling bad for him -

**** YOU

Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Manny should have been fired. Yes, it will make no difference.

It is obvious that the Nationals 1) Have no farm system for developing or correcting talent, and 2) have no ability to improve the staff they have on hand.

Would it matter if Manny stayed on until October? No. We'll be lucky to top 50 wins this year. Our "top" players will want to leave for a team they have a chnace with (if they are competitors), and the nest is empty. Anyone who doesn't want to leave; you have to question their work ethic, and their desire to compete.

Best that the Nationals clean house this fall. Kinda like we need to do in Congress. No incumbents. Everybody out of the pool. Bring in someone who has actually led a winning team with his crew of assistants, and let them pick how they are going to bring this club back.

Posted by: waterloom | July 13, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

zendo: I noticed the red nose and watery eyes also. And talking about being "humble". It was clear to me he was a goner. And yet he still was talking about the pitchers and giving complements to J Znn. That is one class Acta.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow Brue, I guess the night's sleep didn't help you.

Saying that you are going a little overboard, is probably an understatement.

What's with all the nastiness?

People have right to their opinion.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

A manager can only do so much. Its not his fault the team signed eight outfielders and zero pitchers. Acta is extremely smart and an excellent tactician .. terrible decision by teh Nationals. They should have fired that pitching staff.

Posted by: jcuddy | July 13, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

With Riggleman in as interim manager, we are finally going to get some real excitement at Nationals Park. Watch the relief corps blow the hitters away. Watch how the defense tightens up. You'll see some speed on the basepaths. I'm encouraged!

Posted by: EdDC | July 13, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...for sure, N'Gal. Whatever his merits or lack of them as a manager, I get the sense that he's a person you'd want on "your" team. To bad the baseball equivalent on this team is Austin Kearns. I'm not advocating for a modern Ty Cobb...but if only Robby could come back as a PLAYER!.... Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

EdDC: Yeah, it was SO impossible for Riggleman to do any of that from the bench. Manny must have just slapped him right down.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"Acta is extremely smart and an excellent tactician"

That statement is so completely devoid of any factual backing that you might as well have said, "When the Browns win, children in the state of Arizona get on average 1.2 hours more sleep that week."

Posted by: RickFelt | July 13, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Bring Davey Johnson back to the DC area, it seems like the Nationals could use his particular brand of motivation

Posted by: thedorkman | July 13, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hooray - it's about time. Acta should've been jettisoned about two months ago.

But the fact that he wasn't only underscores the bigger problem and that is that the front office/ownership is obviously taking lessons from Dan Snyder. Until those issues are resolved, expect more of the same.

Posted by: SavedByZero | July 13, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

A change in attitude needed to be made. This is the start of turning around a losing mentality that has taken over this team. The is best for Manny and the Nats.

Posted by: Tom8 | July 13, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to Manny in his future endeavors. He was doomed from the get-go with the "resources" he was given. I haven't read the comments in this or the previous thread but in an earlier thread someone questioned the timing (Sunday night). I would suspect that the timing was so that he could say goodbye to his players in person as they split up for the All-Star break.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I think it was a classy move to give Acta until the All-Star break. He got the message a month ago that he needed to do something to shake things up or he'd be gone. One winning series at Yankees stadium was all that he could muster. We need someone to come in here and push these guys to practice, practice, practice their fielding. The other side of the coin is that the Lerners need to make a significant investment in a pitching corps or the greatest manager on earth will be lucky to break .500.

Posted by: Menidia | July 13, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...and oh, by the way...looks like you all have once again conspired to prevent me from attending to my "bizzness". Now I'm gonna be glued to the Gang 'til I have to go to work.This could be the all-time game for posts! Keep 'em coming!-who wants to pay bills?(I actually like my job.)And for what it's worth, I say bring up Foli. And when will His Lordship Boz weigh in? Lookin' forward to some wimbly-wambly middle of the road stuff from him.(All beautifully written, of course! And as a native of 50+ years, I'm a fan of his.)Now, for feet to the fire comments, I look to "Heavy T." at the "other" rag. And to all of you!
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Look at last year's team photo. Only a few players and zero staff remain.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

No,no a bad move. Manny knows baseball and how to build a team for the long run. This years frustrations are minor and in a year or two we would have a pennant contender. My concern is that with his firing we are off on a long series of moves and zigs and zags that will repeat the 15 year failure of the Redskins to build a team. At age 74 I do not have have that long a time to wait. Patience was needed. This is not a good move.

Posted by: Bobwhoisfrustrated | July 13, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Acta is going to be a fine manager. Lucky for him it will be with another orginization.

The Nats stink. Acta has made the right moves. But when you are given a bullpen that can't hold or save games, 7 outfielders who should be DHing in the minors and infielders who can't field, what can any manager do?

Acta suffers from "Bowden Stink" and that is what did him in.

I hope Manny catches on with a real baseball team and kicks butt. He, like Frank Robinson before him, desered much more from this orginization than they got.

Posted by: tzj20874 | July 13, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Manny is like a rookie pitcher who was getting rocked and he should have been pulled a long time ago.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I cannot understand the delight some people feel becausee Acta lost his job.

All I can say is please let me know when someone in your company gets laid off or fired, so I can celebrate. And when you get let go, please let me know, so I can have a party!

Posted by: grforbes | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

In the immortal words of NatsNut: "Huck fope!"

Thank you, Manny and best of luck to you. Kudos too to Rizzo and Kasten for waiting until the break. If he was going to get fired - this is the classiest time to do so.

So much for the second-half of the season. We are now officially back to square one.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

This is the first step in a massive housecleaning, and the Lerners better be prepared to overpay for a good GM and manager. That's the only way to bring good people into this Devil's Island of a franchise. CHANGE THE CULTURE!

Posted by: VPaterno | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I see a new "defining moment" commercial in our future.

Posted by: Juni | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"In a cost saving move, the Washington Nationals have decided to replace Manny Acta with a scarecrow.

Posted by: Cartaldo | July 13, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Good luck, Manny.

Posted by: Section220 | July 13, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...Two points to Juni and Cartaldo!

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

>"In a cost saving move, the Washington Nationals have decided to replace Manny Acta with a scarecrow.

John Cleese:

'The finalists to replace him were Manny's 75-year-old mom - Mammy Acta, a retired circus clown, a donkey, a malignant dwarf, a makeup artist, a lawyer, two ex-cons, kermit the frog, Bert and Ernie, and that damned dog on Conan O'Brien - Triumph. But they all wanted too much money.

Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

VPaterno,

What's the benefit of overpaying for a good GM if the new GM is not allowed to spend for the good of the team? Please explain.

I doubt that Kasten, Rizzo, Bowden or Manny was the engineer of all the low-budget moves.

Oh well, it won't be long before we get back to the JD Martin controversy, as if any of those kinds of moves of marginal players can make a real difference. It does provide the illusion of progress.

Posted by: EdDC | July 13, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Not to incur more pleasantly worded wrath from the poet Brue but, I really hope the search for a new manager does not ruin our chances at a good trade deadline run. Right now all the GM's are at the all star game and Rizoo should be focused on making good deals for out spare part players. Not to mention the necessity of spending man hours negotiating with Scott Boras.

As this is done I hope to heel they have a replacement lined up.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"I cannot understand the delight some people feel because Acta lost his job."

Boz addressed a similar issue in his chat last week; about how when things are going bad, some fans just have to pick a player and heap all the problems of team on that one person (like Kearns this year).

The manager's the ultimate scapegoat for this type of fan. I guess it beats thinking.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Jim Riggleman, 9 year managing career, Padres, Cubs, Mariners

0 winning seasons

522-652 (.445)

The Nationals are 26-61 right now. Making the idiotic assumption that a manager is entirely responsible for the record of a team, look forward to Riggelman leading this team to a 59-103, or a 33-42 second half of the season.

If you, on the other hand, believe the make-up of the team plays an important part, well, I look forward to your glee over Riggelman’s non-hiring, too.

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

>"I cannot understand the delight some people feel because Acta lost his job."

The manager's the ultimate scapegoat for this type of fan. I guess it beats thinking.


That'll be the day when I take my cues from jumped up adolescent named Joe Blow on the internet. You need to pay more attention to the games, son. Free your mind and your ass will follow.


Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

LERNERS! KNOCK, KNOCK! ARE YOU READING THESE COMMENTS?

I sent you a letter 2 months ago thinking that you haven't heard directly from a disgruntled season ticket holder, but I have not heard back from you.

HELLO? ANYONE HOME?

The comments from these many disgruntled fans -- the people who are the most ardent supporters of this team -- are asking, begging, pleading, demanding that you do something positive for this team, and do it now!

NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE THE DIFFICULT MOVE OF LOOSENING THE PURSE STRINGS. NOW IS THE TIME TO HIRE A REAL MANAGER WHO CAN LIGHT A FIRE UNDER THESE UNDERACHIEVERS.

NOW IS THE TIME TO TRADE FOR SOME REAL TALENT.

Do it now, or you won't have anyone in the stands come August.

Posted by: luv2bikva | July 13, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Manny had to go. He may well be a good, successful manager someday, but he was the wrong guy for the dysfunctional players put on the field by an even more dysfunctional ownership team. The Nats were the wrong place and time for him.

It's beginning to look like the Learners are Bud Selig's revenge. He didn't really want to bring baseball back to Washington, so by installing owners who seem determined to do everything on the cheap, he's guaranteed failure. How long do you think before he's saying, "I told you so; Washington isn't a baseball town".

Of the four major league teams in Washington, only the Caps have an professional owner who isn't second rate - and not coincidentally, only the Caps are winning. It's going to be a long, long, long time before the Nats are respectable. Since firing the Learners isn't an option, firing Manny won't change that.

Posted by: BethesdaDad | July 13, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It's an interesting point. I think a psychiatrist would consider it a form of projection. The more vehemence they express, the more of their own impotence they are try trying to cloak.
______________________________
The manager's the ultimate scapegoat for this type of fan. I guess it beats thinking.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 10:21 AM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The only question that remains now is which team will have the honor of its cap being worn by Manny Acta when he enters the Hall of Fame as a coach?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 13, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...SIX points to Luv2bikva!
Go Nats.....

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The good news is Acta's overwhelming, continued incompetence and gutlessness has guaranteed us the #1 pick next year, regardless of if Riggleman can help drum up some respectable play in the 2nd half. I guess there was some rationale behind withholding the axe until now after all. Great long term move after all Kasten, you sniveling sheister.

Posted by: RickFelt | July 13, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I think one of the things that will irritate me most about this situation is that the Nats have underperformed their Pythag to this point. If they seek their level in the second half, thereby increasing their winning percentage, some people will point to the new manager as the reason, and I will be left slamming my head against the desk and drinking.

Posted by: Section220 | July 13, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, someone finally saw the light now i'm not big on retreads(Riggleman) but Manny had to go and don't worry he'll be just fine unlike a lot of people in this economy he isn't facing a loss of income,foreclosure, or any of the problems that some of us are dealing with, that being said Riggs is no nonsense and i look for improvement in all facets of the game. I am a little miffed that Tim Foli wasn't selected but maybe Riggs is just a temporary stop gap until the end of the season. Finally some closure, now lets turn this second half around AND Jackie Robinson used to say "lets go". Go Nats

Posted by: dargregmag | July 13, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, I think a lot of people have fallen into the trap of finding a single flaw they can understand and fixating on it Mr. 506.

Three months ago everything was Bowdens fault and he needed to be hung drawn and quartered. Then, when that was not a cure-all the mob focused on Acta.

In order to fix this team we need to appointan architect and let them design a house and hire a team to build it. I like Rizzo but, until we have a GM we are simply (and I'll repeat the metaphor because it works) rearranging the deck chairs on he titanic.

I do have to say that the level of vitriol speaks badly of us as a fan base. It stinks of a people who would rather be righteous about what is going wrong that see the team win.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Its very sad that on 10:30 Monday morning, every interested sports news outlet and blog has covered the story. But there still is no "official" announcement from the Nats organisation or web site.

Same way management handled Bowden & Frank Robinson. Wait until the last moment to make a definitive statement.

Pretty pathetic on the side of ownership.

Posted by: nattydread1 | July 13, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Just by regression to the mean, the 2nd half Nats will be better than the first half Nats.

Posted by: eric22 | July 13, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Manny "Actless" Acta should have been fired a long long long time ago. His high water mark here was 74 wins and he went down hill from there.

Some said "that was the first year the Nats didn't finish in last place in DC" They weren't in last because the Marlins were rebuilding that year, look at the Marlins now. The Nats best season in DC was 81 - 81 by the way in 2005.

Actless Acta had no stragedy at all. Hit and run, bunt, double steal..... do something... come on!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | July 13, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"I will be left slamming my head against the desk and drinking."

Wow, you're not there yet?

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

BethesdaDad says: "Manny had to go. He may well be a good, successful manager someday, but he was the wrong guy for the dysfunctional players put on the field by an even more dysfunctional ownership team."

Who is the right guy to manage "dysfunctional players"? How about Frank? He might be able to squeeze out a few more wins, but with all his voluntary outs (all the sacrifice bunts and caught stealings) maybe not. Who knows? But Frank was undoubtedly unpopular with the front office. I am sure he demanded "functional players" and demanded them daily and loudly. Frank had to go for that reason. Riggleman will be more respectful than Frank ever was. Riggleman is already on the payroll, so he is the most economical choice as well.

Posted by: EdDC | July 13, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I thought there is a press conference happening soon?

Posted by: Tom8 | July 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

First and foremost, thank you to Manny Acta for doing the best job you knew how over the past 2.5 seasaons. It was a noble and well considered approach that reflected dignity and grace.

NatBisquit

***************************************
I echo this sentiment. Vaya Con Dios, Manny, and may we see you managing in the World Series within the next two years! Your grace and dignity will be rewarded.

Managers tend to spend 10-12 hour days at the park. I don't see Davey Johnson with his irregular heartbeat putting himself through that at this stage of his life. Rizzo saw Bob Melving take the Diamondbacks to the playoffs with an unnatural number of one run wins only to lose to clint Hurdle's red-hot Rockies. Both Melvin and hurdle are available. I see one of them coming here.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Manny will be the one to take a bunch of kids and mold them in to a World Series contenders. Unfortunately, now it won't happen here. The Nats are the only losers in this.

Posted by: FanOfTheNats | July 13, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I would argue that such vitriol comes from particularly vocal and vehement elements of the base and is not representative of it as a whole.

---

I do have to say that the level of vitriol speaks badly of us as a fan base.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 10:33 AM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...points to Nattydread...also soundbloke....altho I find that negative,self-righteous stance to be prevalent, unfortunately, in people as a whole.
It's ALL just a game, y'know! Enjoy the show!
Go Nats.....

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Tom8, WTOP is anticipating a press conference later this morning, perhaps at 11:30.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame Manny had the take the fall for this terrible team. With the lack of talent here, NO ONE could win with this team.

Posted by: nicklyaine | July 13, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I remember was Bos wrote in chat recently: firing Manny isn't going to turn this team around, so why do it? The problem isn't Manny, and to some extent its not even the players. Its the mess of a front office and ownership, who needs to man up and admit their repeated failings. Firing Manny isn't going to turn this into a winning team; this is not going to be like the Capital's worst to first cinderella turn-around. It's going to be like the Wiz: worst to, oh, look, still worst!

Posted by: RedBirdie | July 13, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a Manny apologist, but when they chop off a head and the crown starts cheering, it gets a little ugly. A little dignity and grace would be appropriate.

Some positive things that Manny accomplished - in his first year he when he had relief arms to use he was applauded for his handling of the bullpen. Frank - it was said - warmed up the pitchers too often and had no defined roles. Manny was touted for establishing roles and sticking with them.

Manny brought a statistical basis for his strategy. Frank - it was said - made erratic decisions such as bunting with his cleanup hitter, trying to steal a base with the tie runner on 1st and less than 2 outs, not using left/right matchups, managing with his gut. Manny went by the sabermetrics book.

Manny brought calm to the clubhouse and seldom if ever called out a player in the press. If a player was misbehaving he dealt with it quietly.

People criticized Manny for not making the right moves with pinch hitters, sticking with players too long, and pulling the starting pitchers too soon. But he did not have a strong bench. He was consistent. And he followed current wisdom on pitch counts.

Manny did not win. He had to be let go. But lets be clear if you're next up as the captain of this ship and the last captain just walked the plank, you probably have a slightly uneasy feeling.

Posted by: natbiscuits | July 13, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

There's now an item on the team site and it specifies an 11:30 presser.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"We blew another one. Our bullpen let us down again, our top two guys, but overall I feel good." -- Manny Acta at 25-60, July 10, 2009

For all the Manny apologist out there, the above seems to say it all.

Manny Acta the hardest woeking man in MLB, "I feel good". hahahahhha!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 13, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

>I would argue that such vitriol comes from particularly vocal and vehement elements of the base and is not representative of it as a whole.
---
I do have to say that the level of vitriol speaks badly of us as a fan base.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 10:33 AM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1


Oh, kitty kat wants to play too - you must feel like your forum has been co-opted by someone who's not playing fair by letting you dictate the rules. It's an open forum, there are millions of people who have access to it, and if you don't like what I have to say, then shows some balls and some intelligence and tell me what it is that I'm wrong about, because I haven't seen it. I don't take 26-61 lightly as you can plainly see. And I don't play pattycake with self-serving fools either. I'm all about change - in the manager's box, and today it happened. All this petty pissing and moaning about what a great guy that troll was is nauseating. Been watching that loser for almost three solid years now. Makes me sick I had to wait 38 years for this ****.

Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Brue ol' buddy (as Ray Knight likes to say), I feel your pain. What's your story? You pitched some college ball? I guess 38 years ago? Wow, that it a long time to watch your life descend from its peak at age 19. I can absolutely see where all of your pointless bitterness comes from. God bless you, child.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Manny as he was dealt a lousy hand by the ex-GM and there was little hope that this team would turn things around in the 2nd half. I credit Manny for not blaming the players or the front office when it was obvious that it wasn't his fault the team wasn't performing. Maybe the team would have won a few more games with Joe Torre as manager, but this is essentially a crew of misfits, has-beens, and kids who were slapped together by a front office and owner who didn't want to spend any real money the last 3 years to build a competitive team.

Both Manny and the fans deserved better. It's sad to go to a beautiful new ballpark with lots of empty seats and no real hope for improvement in the near future. To me, the season is now just an extended spring training to try to figure out who might help the team next season. Riggleman won't get any more out of a horrible bullpen and poor fielding team than Manny did this year.

Hopefully, the next manager will be given some more talent to utilize and all of the deadwood from the Bowden era will be a thing of the past.

Good luck Manny - you won't be out of a job for too long.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 13, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to Manny. I honestly don't think he showed here that he is a very good manager and tactician. Perhaps time will tell, if he gets another managing gig. In any case, this was a change that needed to be made, and should have been made a long time ago.

As for those criticizing commenters' enthusiasm for Manny's firing: you may disagree with their views, but I would say that Manny brought a lot of that on himself, through his often sarcastic and ridiculous comments that he made about the team, along with his complacency. This is a team that a lot of people as fans invest significant time and emotional energy into, and Manny really didn't demonstrate any sense of urgency or emotion about the team's lousy performance. Comments like his "all of a sudden I got smart" comment after winning a single game, or his "winning this game makes losing 5 worth it" comment after Martis pitched a CG against the Cards. Even Chico subtlely called him out in today's gamer for a ridiculous comment:

"They sustained such a shoddy pace that their manager, after wrapping up the first half with a seven-game, six-loss road trip, said, 'We have played already better over the last month or so, so we're headed to a better direction.'"

I would not be surprised to start seeing some negative Manny anecdotes come out in the weeks and months ahead. It's too bad when that stuff comes out after-the-fact to fulfill someone's agenda to discredit a guy, but that's the way things seem to work around here, especially with a slimeball like Kasten at the helm.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 13, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, what?

---

Oh, kitty kat wants to play too - you must feel like your forum has been co-opted by someone who's not playing fair by letting you dictate the rules. It's an open forum, there are millions of people who have access to it, and if you don't like what I have to say, then shows some balls and some intelligence and tell me what it is that I'm wrong about, because I haven't seen it. I don't take 26-61 lightly as you can plainly see. And I don't play pattycake with self-serving fools either. I'm all about change - in the manager's box, and today it happened. All this petty pissing and moaning about what a great guy that troll was is nauseating. Been watching that loser for almost three solid years now. Makes me sick I had to wait 38 years for this ****.

Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 10:57 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

BTW, there is a new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

First of all - good luck to Manny in all of his future endeavors. I certainly don't take pleasure in one man's firing. However, as an MLB manager, you are hired to be fired.

I am pleased that the Nats have the opportunity to become a better team and hope that they can play with more focus and more discipline under a new manager.

I have a question for the group - 13% of 1,189 voted that "He's so good that it's a bad move at any time" - that is 154 from the NJ group here. Can you folks defend that position? I've heard the argument that the players are bad and the players are not his fault. Fine. Does anyone have anything else?

Posted by: comish4lif | July 13, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Next-up on the NJ guillontine . . .

Mob rule - ain't it great?
_____________________________
especially with a slimeball like Kasten at the helm.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking |

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

To borrow Boz's analogy, the Nats are a car without wheels, and they have now tried to solve that problem by firing the driver. Manny's main emotion this morning should be relief. The rest of us are still stuck with this junkbucket.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Amazing all of the tear jerkers on this sight opining the thought that it wasn't Manny's fault.

You don't know what you are talking about!
Baseball is a game of adjustments, he who can adjust succeeds. Acta had no capacity to adjust and he is soley responsible for making sure he has his team ready to play everyday. Not the owner, not the carni barker and not the GM. Its all on his shoulders as soon as his charges arrive for work.

Since the local sportstalk media here in DC couldn't tell the difference between good baseabll or no baseball. Tune in to Sports Radio 66 WFAN New York and spend a few hours listening to people who at a minimum can spot the lemmings and decimate the weak. Manny Acta would have not lastest 2.5 years in NY. Only here have we had to put up with his shenanigans.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | July 13, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I got the distinct impression you were all about repeating yourself, insulting people, and kicking guys when they're down.

Yeah, it's a free forum, and all that. You're free to rant all you want. No one here can stop you, even if they wanted to. And other people get to rant back, including saying "STFU" if so moved. Invoking free speech to complain about being criticized is, well, disingenuous.

And I mostly *agree* with your actual points. "No, Walter, you're not wrong ..."

**********
I'm all about change - in the manager's box, and today it happened.
Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 10:57 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

>I have a question for the group - 13% of 1,189 voted that "He's so good that it's a bad move at any time" - that is 154 from the NJ group here. Can you folks defend that position? I've heard the argument that the players are bad and the players are not his fault. Fine. Does anyone have anything else?

Posted by: comish4lif | July 13, 2009 11:05 AM |

Comish -- I think that's the default choice for "it's not his fault that the team sucks, this hasn't been a fair test of his managerial skills." I bet a lot of those voters take that position and do not necessarily have arguments to support the view that he is "so good."

Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Do not start picking on 1a. As best as I can tell 1a is our best, most consistent contributor. You're a horrible person. Go away.

Posted by: natbiscuits | July 13, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of how good a manager is (and I believe Manny Acta is a very good one) there comes a point when so many losses pile up that a manager's ability to inspire and his credibility are severely diminished. The Nats have many problems, many of which were not of his making nor were they anything Acta could control.

Still, a new start is needed. Actually, I think the Nats may need to go through still another managerial change before systemic problems are righted and a manager has his ducks lined up in a way that will allow a good manager to succeed.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | July 13, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of how good a manager is (and I believe Manny Acta is a very good one) there comes a point when so many losses pile up that a manager's ability to inspire and his credibility are severely diminished. The Nats have many problems, many of which were not of his making nor were they anything Acta could control.

Still, a new start is needed. Actually, I think the Nats may need to go through still another managerial change before systemic problems are righted and a manager has his ducks lined up in a way that will allow a good manager to succeed.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | July 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse


Blufish, what do you see (did see) that makes you say that Manny is a very good manager?

-------------------------------
Regardless of how good a manager is (and I believe Manny Acta is a very good one) there comes a point when so many losses pile up that a manager's ability to inspire and his credibility are severely diminished. The Nats have many problems, many of which were not of his making nor were they anything Acta could control.

Posted by: Bluefish2012

Posted by: comish4lif | July 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I was/am a big Manny supporter but while watching the Colorado series and then the Houston series I said to myself they would make the move during the All Star break. It's a clean break, a fresh start with the half the season remaining, and it will give Riggleman three days to get acclimated. I'm expecting a couple more moves also - with Alberto Gonzalez showing so well I think CGuzman may get moved to maybe Boston since they want an offensive minded SS - and I'd hate to see it and I think it's a mistake but I think Nick will go too. I see him as part of the nucleas they need to keep though. Dukes is also some good trade bait especially now that he's apprently tearing up AAA pitching - some team will view him as having vast potential and give us a couple promising players. Put the first half behind and focus on this second half. I'm going to get a snicker the first time Riggleman kicks dirt on home plate.

Posted by: AsstGM | July 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The first time that Riggs comes out and gets in an Umps face at Nats Park - he'll get a standing ovation.

Posted by: comish4lif | July 13, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What needs to be replaced is Mark and Ted Lerner. It is obscene that a club that lost 102 games last year was the second most profitable in the game. Sell the club to someone who cares about winning rather than about making money. The Lerner family probably spent more money on jewelry than on relief pitching.

Posted by: bobsullivan | July 13, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

These poll choices are a joke, and none of them capture how I feel. That last one is a really unnecessary shot.

Posted by: zstone14 | July 13, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I felt the same way about the poll design, zstone. None of them fit for me, either, and the last does seem like a cheap shot.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Fire the Lerners.

Posted by: nodebris | July 13, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The list of screw ups by the Lerners is far to long to write about. Firing Manny Acta solves nothing. Team cohesiveness comes from playing together as a team. How many fielders and pitchers ? How about experienced catching to guide wild youngsters ?

Posted by: rcwpdp | July 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Manny Acta. Phil Palmer

Posted by: rcwpdp | July 13, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixedmingle dot com--- All singles there are seeking interracial relationships and sports friends. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

Posted by: sallyworking2006 | July 13, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Manny's philosophy of not pushing the players harder and letting them slide on bloopers and errors because they are "grown" adults is what ultimately led to his firing. A "player's" coach is the worst coach for an undisciplined and young team like the Nationals. All the front office want to see is that the team is progressing to the right direction, even in losses, but consistent errors and not performing even the most basic things (like bunting or running hard) are the worst sign for this ball team.

Posted by: JohnWWW | July 13, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

NATS' PAYROLL is 28TH in the league - one notch up from the PIRATES at 29TH - so of course it was time to dump Acta, who I'm sure was overpaid an exorbitant salary by the spendthrift NATS owners (who won't pay rent on the park that DC built just for them). That'll fix EVERYTHING!

Posted by: digtlartst | July 14, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

He should have been gone at O-for-XX to start the season.

I wish they would have kept him to see if Dunn could have hit more home runs than the Nats got in wins! Not sure Dunn has a chance now.

Twins have a small payroll but they seem to win with no problems.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | July 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

So far, they've canned the GM, all the coaches, and the manager. Only person standing in the way of a championship season is the owner. As soon as they fire him, the better chance they will have.

Posted by: drrisk | July 14, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If you have a policy to rebuild a team, you are gonna be sorry until the team gels. In major league ball, its rare when no one gets over 2mil a yr, so the best players are on other teams and are the ones beating the Nats almost every night.

Posted by: j_belljr | July 14, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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