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Reacting to Acta: An Opinion Roundup

Not surprisingly, the Natosphere has plenty to say today. Here's a selection of local and national comment on Acta's firing -- we'll be updating this all day.

More Acta Firing Reaction Links

By Jon DeNunzio  |  July 13, 2009; 10:59 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Acta's Gone; Was This the Right Time?
Next: Hamilton at Nats Presser (Formerly Live)


Hey Gang....oooh, me first!

Posted by: zendo | July 13, 2009 11:00 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

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | July 13, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey gang-I'm re-posting my last semi thoughtful addition...hope that isn't a faux-pas....

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 11:08 AM | Report abuse

hey gang...also Ms. Hamilton has a new piece on this:

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

Nice column on the firing, Chico. Boswellian, even. I look forward to the story.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Timing was right for both parties: All Star break. Manny has time to clean out and close out (with the appropriate exit interviews), all non-rushed. Club has time to take a deep breath and reset.

Posted by: joemktg1 | July 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Tip 'o the hat to CiL. Always a worthy opponent, thanks, man.

For Brue and his ilk:

"About midnight that steak was cut and cooked; and lighted by two lanterns of sperm oil, Stubb stoutly stood up to his spermaceti supper at the capstan-head, as if that capstan were a sideboard. Nor was Stubb the only banqueter on whale's flesh that night. Mingling their mumblings with his own mastications, thousands on thousands of sharks, swarming round the dead leviathan, smackingly feasted on its fatness. The few sleepers below in their bunks were often startled by the sharp slapping of their tails against the hull, within a few inches of the sleepers' hearts. Peering over the side you could just see them (as before you heard them) wallowing in the sullen, black waters, and turning over on their backs as they scooped out huge globular pieces of the whale of the bigness of a human head. This particular feat of the shark seems all but miraculous. How at such an apparently unassailable surface, they contrive to gouge out such symmetrical mouthfuls, remains a part of the universal problem of all things. The mark they thus leave on the whale, may best be likened to the hollow made by a carpenter in countersinking for a screw.

"Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a sea-fight, sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship's decks, like hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved, ready to bolt down every killed man that is tossed to them; and though, while the valiant butchers over the deck-table are thus cannibally carving each other's live meat with carving-knives all gilded and tasselled, the sharks, also, with their jewel-hilted mouths, are quarrelsomely carving away under the table at the dead meat; and though, were you to turn the whole affair upside down, it would still be pretty much the same thing, that is to say, a shocking sharkish business enough for all parties; and though sharks also are the invariable outriders of all slave ships crossing the Atlantic, systematically trotting alongside, to be handy in case a parcel is to be carried anywhere, or a dead slave to be decently buried; and though one or two other like instances might be set down, touching the set terms, places, and occasions, when sharks do most socially congregate, and most hilariously feast; yet is there no conceivable time or occasion when you will find them in such countless numbers, and in gayer or more jovial spirits, than around a dead sperm whale, moored by night to a whaleship at sea. If you have never seen that sight, then suspend your decision about the propriety of devil-worship, and the expediency of conciliating the devil."

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Acta was a better manager of people than he was of game situations, and I was more critical of that aspect than anything else, but it appears over the last few weeks he's lost this team.

And when a team tunes out the manager, the manager never gets them back.

Acta is a quality professional who will learn and improve from this. I'm not sure he's big league Manager material, but he's a professional and he'll have a long career in baseball.

Hopefully whomever replaces him will emphasize fundamentals and mental discipline - I think Acta allowed the team to regulate themselves in that area and I think they've shown they're not capable of it.

Posted by: kingrob76 | July 13, 2009 11:14 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 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Prior to Opening Day, I wrote these four items:

1. Lastings Milledge should not be leading off for the Nats. This is a disasater waiting to happen.
2. Austin Kearns should be let go. He stinks.
3. Daniel Cabrera is not a major league pitcher. He should be cut immediately.
4. Manny Acta should be fired.

Hmmm. Wonder why it takes the Nats so long to realize pretty obvious stuff. Maybe I should be running this dumb franchise.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes you need Billy Martin and sometimes you need Bob Lemon. There are horses for courses, and Manny was not the horse for this course. Given the state of the franchise and its culture which is a result of the Lerner/Kasten/Bowden triumverate, the team needs a "rattle the cage" sort of manager; think Earl Weaver.

On my list of concerns, I still put this issue though below the horrible position player drafting that they've done the past four years. I see people asking to trade for "higher-salaried" players. The fact is you need talent in the system to do that. They still don't have that and I'm about ready to stop blaming it on MLB for "ruining the franchise". The Nats have had enough time now to dig out of that hole. The Lerners and Kasten don't impress me. I think Rizzo is in the Dave Littlefield class of mediocre GMs.


Posted by: db423 | July 13, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@ 506 - Well played.

Posted by: Section220 | July 13, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

ummm, where's the selection?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

great column, Tracee.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Hear, hear - props and love ya', 506! As for you, dovelevine, you self-promoting ignoramus, we had to tell you that the team got Jordan Zimmerman and another good minor league arm as a compensation pick for losing Soriano, whom you were complaining should have been traded. You're not even qualified to run your clueless mouth, and, frankly, you should consider some humble silence and atonement. A good man has been fired, and it's no cause for rejoicing.

Posted by: flynnie2 | July 13, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, CiL; I don't see folks critizing enthusiasm for his firing as much as the ad hominem, kicking-a-guy-when-he's-down tone of some of it. Baseball culture, as I know you know, is particularly sensitive to that, being a sport predicated on failure.
There's only about half a dozen or fewer who seem to do that consistently. If they're pleased to call Manny or Kearns or whomever names, they shouldn't squeal so much when they're the target, is all I'm saying.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse


as usual a solid, spot on post.


You should take a lesson from CiL, he can make a point that is negative in thought and not make it sound so personal and nasty. Never any **** You in his comments.

I too can take a lesson from him, he can be on the other side of the argument without making the other party feel like a POS. IMHO of course.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Listening to presser now.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"A good man has been fired, and it's no cause for rejoicing."

An incompetent has been fired. One who was making and will continue to make a quite hefty salary no less. There are plenty of things to be somber about in this world. This isn't remotely close to being one of them.

Posted by: RickFelt | July 13, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Seems like they are just changing for change sake. Haven't heard him give any concrete reason why he thinks this guy will be an improvement. Is he smarter, more knowlegable, more inspiring, more aggressive, what????

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Memorial Day should never have seen Manny in uniform here.
But we shouldn't have seen Hanrahan as a closer, or lots of other ill-conceived, penny-slot-machine gambles.

Doesn't matter whether it was Manny's fault. (I think it's Kasten's, personally, but I'm starting to give the Lerners more credit for bulldozing him than I thought anyone could.) The team was playing <.300 ball, so he goes. No, it's not fair. The next guy won't do much better, if at all, with this roster. The point is, it wasn't going to improve under Manny, regardless. He was toasted here by all the losing.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

To Fans of the Washington Nationals,

No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago. Our hope was that solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.

We definitely do see significant pieces materializing for the future, and there have been many close, exciting games and optimistic bright spots: Strong outings by John Lannan, the home run and RBI production of Adam Dunn, the All-Star selection and 30-game hitting streak of Ryan Zimmerman and the recent addition of speedster Nyjer Morgan. Much of the season, however, has been defined by weak relief pitching, poor defense, and youthful inconsistency. We have tried to work through this period with patience and focus but now we are faced with mounting losses which are beginning to take a toll on our entire roster. Clearly, some changes are required as we prepare for the second half of the 2009 season and, more importantly, build for a competitive future.

Today, we announced that manager Manny Acta is being replaced on an interim basis by Jim Riggleman, veteran manager, and currently the Nats bench coach. Both the Ownership and the entire Washington Nationals organization have the highest respect for Manny Acta and the role he has played in the short history of the Nationals. However, it is our belief that a fresh attitude and approach is necessary as we set out to improve our performance for the remainder of the year. We want to send a strong message to our clubhouse and our fans that the status quo is unacceptable. We believe that more is expected of everyone in the organization.

Baseball operations will be reevaluating all our players and our options for improvement over the next several months. We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline. We hope these new additions will join an already exciting Nationals youth movement headed by the likes of Lannan, Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen on our current roster, and the likes of promising Minor League stars like Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris and Drew Storen, among many others. But, we also will be determining the viability of trades or roster upgrades that can be made without doing damage to the farm system or the developing talent we expect to blossom within the next two years.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Did I just hear him say Manny didn't have anything to do with what happened today? ROFL. Really?

Posted by: Nats_Lady | July 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season - just under three years ago - we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington, DC community. Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.

We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we've spent together at Nationals Park. We are getting better. We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington. Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream.

Washington Nationals Baseball Club

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Ok RickFelt you and some others think he was incompetent. Got it. Personally, I feel for the guy but, I also think this was long overdue.

But, my question is why all the name calling and vitriol?

What purpose does it serve at this point?

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The email sent out to fans, as reposted here by dclifer97, includes this gem:
"Our hope was that solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks."

Ah, yes, those intangible combinations... That's a plan for running a major league franchise if I've ever heard one.

Posted by: nickgb | July 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Washington Nationals Baseball Club

They can't even sign their own name? Says it all.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together."

Well, the first thing you can do is get rid of the presidents' race -- not the mascots themselves, mind you, just the race. The tired "Teddy never wins" shtick has run its course, pardon the pun.

Posted by: VPaterno | July 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The Nats actually fired Manny in early May but they had to go through the Houston series to complete the job.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | July 13, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans - Sell Baseball hockey tickets....

It's the only way to keep your sanity.

Posted by: SA-Town | July 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this, Jon.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 13, 2009 1:55 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

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