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Zimmerman: Players Needed More From Acta

Media availability for the NL all-stars started about half an hour ago, and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made some pointed comments about ex-manager Manny Acta, the ongoing transformation of the clubhouse chemistry and the "sense of urgency" he says the team has been lacking. Here is a transcription:

On Acta's firing: "Obviously, not all of [the blame] falls on him, but I feel confident saying this because I think he'd say the same thing: It's part of his responsibility and part of being a manager. But I don't think he has any regrets and I don't think he'd change anything he did for however many years he was there. He had his ways, and it's not necessarily that his ways were wrong. But I just don't think they worked out like the front office... would have liked."


On accountability: "I think there needs to be some accountability and some responsibility taken. We have the built-in excuse of being young, but I don't think we're really that young anymore. Our starting pitchers have enough innings and enough experience to where they're not young anymore, and I think some accountability needs to be taken."

"There needs to be a little more sense of urgency and kind of wanting to win. I think some people here are so used to losing they don't have that fire to win. That's the next step we need to take, and once we do that we'll get to that next level and start being more competitive."

"We're talented enough to win. You look at our lineup and look at our young pitching. Sure, we have our spots that aren't as strong as other teams. But I think we're way better than what we've done. As bad it sounds... maybe something like this happening will wake some people up and get them to realize, 'Hey, this isn't just about me. It's about everyone.' Unfortunately, it takes someone like Manny, who was a great person and great manager, to lose their job."

On Riggleman: "He's been great all year as bench coach. Hopefully he'll be the same person he's been all year. I think he's obviously ready for the job and had experience before. I don't know if he's the longterm answer -- I haven't spoken to anyone -- but for now he'll be great."

On the front office changing the clubhouse culture: "That's huge. Not to say we had a bad clubhouse or chemistry before, but to kind of get a few people out of there -- not naming any names or anything -- I think that's a huge thing in baseball. To get towards more of a character-driven team is huge for us to become competitive and win day in and day out."

On Acta's perceived lack of "fire": "Every player is different. Personally I don't need that kind of stuff, but I think a lot of players do.... There were some points, sometimes, where some people have said some stuff on our team -- not to him, obviously, but player-to-player -- that they would've liked for him to do more of that.

"Sometimes you have to go out and do that, not just because you're the manager, but because your players want you to step up... He's not going to be Lou Piniella, going out there and throwing bases and arguing all the time, but at some points I think you have to do that stuff. Even if you think your player is wrong, you have to go out and stick up for your player. I think that gives the player the feeling that, 'Hey, this guy has my back no matter what. And he's always going to be there for me, so therefore I'm always going be there for him."

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 13, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Mike Rizzo Quotes On Acta and Riggleman

Comments

... so Ryan says "Sometimes you have to go out and do that, not just because you're the manager, but because your players want you to step up... He's not going to be Lou Piniella, going out there and throwing bases and arguing all the time, but at some points I think you have to do that stuff ..."

... sorry Ryan, but you're wrong. There's no place for stuff like that ... even in baseball.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 13, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Headline overstates
Content, context of entry
"Need more" not main point

Posted by: HaikuMan | July 13, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"not naming any names or anything"

let's see, bad character guy, no longer on the team. I'm drawing a blank. who could he mean??

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Not to say we had a bad clubhouse or chemistry before, but to kind of get a few people out of there - not naming any names or anything - I think that's a huge thing in baseball. To get towards more of a character-driven team is huge for us to become competitive and win day in and day out."

Elijah Dukes? Lastings Milledge? Who else?

Posted by: zstone14 | July 13, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow- some of these are pretty harsh statements. Especially coming from the normally mellow, careful voice of Zimmerman. I don't know if this change will fix anything on the field, but I hope it at least wakes some of these guys up so they don't look like they are sleepwalking through this mess.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

pitchers take accountability...how 'bout hitters - like fly balls instead of double-play gifts...

Posted by: Bill-CH | July 13, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

So who is the Nats leader? Certainly not Zim.

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | July 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Ryan knows more about what's appropriate that we do, natscanreduxit.

His statements prove that while Acta may turn out to be a good manager one day, he was not the right guy for this team.

Posted by: sec307 | July 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was on the fence about firing Manny. I think that he is probably going to be a good manager (with a talented, veteran roster) and I also thought that making a change wouldn't make this team a playoff contender. However, I also would have liked to have seen him stand up for his players a little more often. Arguing with the umps about a call isn't always about getting that call changed in your favor, or getting the next call to go your way. Sometimes arguing about a call is just to let your own players know that you will stick up for them. Ultimately, you want your players to focus on the game so sometimes it is the managers job to argue about a call so the players can let it go and continue to focus on the game. I don't want to see him throwing bases either, but baseball is an emotional sport and a manager that is completely devoid of any emotion is probably not the right guy for a young team without any experience in winning. It seems than RZ agrees with this statement.

All that said, I definitely wish the best for Manny and hope that he can find a nice veteran team to manage....anywhere but in the NL East.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 13, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Why are we taking shots and Zim? He plays everyday. He plays the right way. If we had 25 RZ's, we wouldn't be in this situation.

As for his leadership qualities... I think you're seeing some of it with these statements.

Posted by: sec307 | July 13, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

So if Manny would have taken Zim out of the game for airmailing his throws into the rows behind first base, then that would have helped the team's attitude and perfromance? Let's hope Riggleman calls out Zim for hitting into another DP with runners in scoring position or moves him from his comfortable #3 spot to his rightful #5 or #5 spot in the lineup. Is this what you're looking for Zim?

For whatever minuses Acta had as a manager, one thing he never did was throw his players under the bus. Nice going Zim. Way to show your true colors.

Posted by: erocks33 | July 13, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Natscanreduxit-

I don't think Ryan meant he wants Acta getting thrown out of games, kick dirt or throw bases; but he wanted Acta to speak up in defense of his players. I agree with Zim there. When Adam Dunn is saying the ball did not hit the overhang in NY, Acta has to at least go out and make a point. Even if you know you will lose the argument, I think there is a reasonable expectation that a manager stick up for his players and be the voice of the team to the umpires and Manny never did that. I completely understand why Zimmerman would be frustrated that Manny never backed his team up.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 13, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, these statements are a real kick in the pants to those who said that Manny didn't have to do that stuff for his players.

One of most even tempered, quiet guys on the team says it is needed. Enough said.

Moral to the story:

If you stand like a statue in the dugout and show absolutely no emotion long enough not only will the birds poop on you but, you will lose your team.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Guys - this is a big deal, and makes me far more inclined than before to think that today's move was long overdue. You can see how carefully he's choosing his words; Ryan doesn't want to be seen as a malcontent. But even with his strain to not be mean, you can see how much people in the locker room felt that Manny was not getting it done. You can say the team never quit on him, but I read Ryan's thoughts as saying the team leaders HAD lost faith some time ago that Manny was the right guy. If a quiet, soft-spoken guy like Ryan says even this much publicly, then you have to think there is MUCH more behind the scenes. The character guys on the team were too professional to say otherwise, but I think this means Manny HAD lost the team.

Posted by: cdstej | July 13, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I like Zim and all, but if I'm a player on team that's trundling along at a .300 pace, and I haven't had exactly a perfect season myself, I think I'd be more inclined to be embarrassed about getting my manager fired more than I'd be inclined to take potshots at him on his way out.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

erocks,

Manny threw his team, mainly his Bullpen under the bus more than a few times in press conferences, don't kid yourself on that one.

Zim, is being a leader here and he didn't stone the guy for crying out loud he just gave some honest answers in a very nice way.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Here is a somewhat random list of available former MLB managers (these are all of the guys that have managed a team since 2000 and are not currently managing a team; I have left out some names due to age, illness, retirement and/or general unsuitability). Obviously this list does not include any "rising stars" that have not previously managed; query whether the team would (or should) go in that direction again after firing that same type of manager in Acta. Anyway, here's the list, have at it:

Tom Kelly
Buck Showalter
Bob Melvin
Phil Garner
Clint Hurdle
Alan Trammell
Tony Pena
Tony Muser
Bob Brenly
Larry Bowa
Grady Little
Hal McRae
Jimy Williams
Art Howe
Larry Rothschild
Jerry Narron
Davey Lopes

Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

You have to agree with Zim. He puts on the cup everyday ....not us. Acta was too stoic and to a fault.There were and are some players who were mailing it in and they are probably gone and at least one to follow by the end of the month.The culture of losing has to end. It is not acceptable to the fans and it shouldn't be to the players. Someone needs to start holding a kangaroo court and start fining players for bonehead donkey plays and errors and embarass them. They should be called out by their peers and coaches.

Posted by: aspenbubba | July 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

*Now* he tells us?!

Posted by: terrapin31590us | July 13, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Zimm is young. He is away from the team and surrounded by media. And he probably didn't know about this until right before we did. Let's not turn him into some omniscient oracle. Given the circumstances, and the context, he seems to have handled the situation quite well.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Zim is not taking pot shots at all, for goodness sake. He's just giving a few comments about the situation. And stuff about players needing a little more "push" than others is neither surprising nor damning really. Just a style thing that most everyone here suspected could be the case with Manny.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

No Willie Randolph, bobL?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I think I'd be more inclined to be embarrassed about getting my manager fired more than I'd be inclined to take potshots at him on his way out."

Don't think those are potshots. When Manny reads this, "He's not going to be Lou Piniella, going out there and throwing bases and arguing all the time, but at some points I think you have to do that stuff. Even if you think your player is wrong, you have to go out and stick up for your player" I think he will be proud and might learn something as well.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The second half of this season will get ugly if the players start turning on each other. If there is one thing I give manny credit for is keeping clubhouse issues (whatever they were) off the field.

Posted by: Tom8 | July 13, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Upper management stinks. This guy shoulda been gone the 3rd week of the season. Then the 4th and then the 5th. And then 2 lousy wins in NY gives him new life. Kasten and the Lerners are the worst. They are there everyday and they couldnt even see the forest for the trees. If they can't tell the manager is losing the team, and we can, that's pretty sad and says it all.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good for Zim, he is just saying what all of us who have paid attention have felt for months now. This move was long overdue.

Posted by: skippy1999 | July 13, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry, I wouldn't say that Willie Randolph does not deserve consideration for another head coaching job at some point in the future, but given the way he went out in New York, it's hard for me to see him as a good fit for this one.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW I would love for the Mets to hire Acta. Cause I can't stand the Mets. And then when they drop like a rock there won't be any more excuses. This guy can not-- CAN NOT manage.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

For some reason this page is not showing up on the Nats Journal home, I have to go into the comments of another post to see the link to this one exists. Am I the only one having this problem?

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 13, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Go Zimm Go !!! This is the beginning of a leading emerging. It take guts to say this where he's saying it. Good for him. BTW this doesn't make Manny a bad guy or a bad manager. Let's pray he doesn't go to the Mets. He might give us 18 reasons a year to regret this move...

Posted by: Berndaddy | July 13, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe "taking potshots" is overstating it, but still, if I'm a player on that team, the 100 things on my list of comments would be: I got my manager fired.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, I actually think that Randolph might be a pretty good choice, I just think that memories of the Mets collapse are still too fresh and that the Nats will not want that baggage right at the moment. Substantively he makes the grade, but as a PR matter, I'm not so sure.

Posted by: BobLHead | July 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Pretty harsh stuff, and good for Zim.

I can tell you when I jumped the shark on Manny. Last year when Kyle Kendrick kept throwing at Zim -- in July, keeping him out about 10 days with a swolen hand, and again on Labor Day. Both times in the second at bat. It was clear that the Phillies were trying to knock out Zim because they were still angry about Lannan and Utley. I found it completely unacceptable that Acta did nothing to stop it dead in its tracks. It told me that he didn't have the players backs. I'm guessing maybe some of the players came to that conclusion too.

Posted by: raymitten | July 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

If Stan Kasten was responsible for both Acta and Bowden, what's keeping him around.
FIRE STANK.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So who's a problem in the clubhouse? As opposed to on the field ...

Posted by: cjohnson1 | July 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

So who's a problem in the clubhouse? As opposed to on the field ...

Posted by: cjohnson1 | July 13, 2009 2:19 PM |


^^^Thats what I wanna know^^

Posted by: FloresFan | July 13, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Raymitten,
I like your point here. I hate comparing the two and I say this only to point out the contrasting managerial styles, but that stuff would not have flown with Frank. He had is flaws, but always had his players' backs. On a side note, what do you think Manny would have done if he were managing during the Scioscia incident? My guess, he would have ignored Guillen and said nothing.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not necessarily advocating for Randolph. I was just curious as to why he was not on your list. I always take getting run out of NY with a grain of salt. They ran Joe Torre out as well. DC would certainly be a "low expectation" place for Randolph to give it a try.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

BTW that line about "hoping" to have all the draft picks signed????? They darn well better sign Strasburg for whatever he wants ot else just shut down the team. They new what they were getting into when they drafted that kid. If they can't sign him, end of story.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"But I just don't think they worked out like the front office... would have liked"

Wow, this is just tremendous understatement. Very British.

Gang, I hate to disappoint you, but this presser is 100% team PR. Face of the Franchise (also, Continuity of the Franchise, his new name henceforth) issues a statement exactly mirroring all the things fans have been griping about?

C'mon, it's just good PR. Who knows what he really thinks. It's about time the Nats did some good PR, though.

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Hire Tony Gwynn!
Keep Strasburg in his comfort zone.

I wonder if Gary Carter has contacted Kasten yet?

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

can anyone here give me one good reason why Stan Kasten should keep his job? Just 1.
thx.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of All Star status, I think Zimmerman needs to point the finger a little more at himself instead of "some" guys. Kid Clutch is hitting .230 wRISP after hitting .206 last year.

Dude talks a good game, but has trouble backing it up. Last year he said guys were "sick and tired of being mediocre" after opening night. To be fair, they are no longer mediocre. He hits a couple walkoffs and gets immunity for life. How about you dont GIDP all the time?

Posted by: makplan20002 | July 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

And on second glance - no Ned Yost either. A Kasten favorite from Atlanta (at one time considered the heir apparent there). Yost turned Milwaukee into a competitve franchise only to be fired because he couldn't close the deal. I suspect he will be on the list of interviewees.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

because then you would have nothing to post about . . .
______________________________
can anyone here give me one good reason why Stan Kasten should keep his job? Just 1.
thx.

Posted by: dovelevine

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

No no no!

Not good for Zimm. You can think all those things. He could dislike Manny but, you stay polite and professional to the end. You didn't hear Manny say "What was I supposed to do? I was given a whole team that can't catch or throw the ball", or "I know I sucked but it's hard to care when the closest thing you have to a gold glove is a man who heaves the ball over the first baseman's head every opportunity he gets" or, "My biggest fear that I would replace my terrible stater with a terrible reliever too soon". No! Manny was quite and polite. Zimm has earned nothing in the league. He has had 3/4 of a good season and nothing else.

Manny may have deserved to be fired but as for Zimmerman, if he want's to be the face of the franchise, he should show some respect and speak like a professional. Talking out of turn, outside the clubhouse, is one of the most disrespectful and unprofessional things a ball player can do. Especially a young one with a patchy record!

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

You're way off base, soundbloke. People have been screaming for Zim to be a more vocal leader, and now that he steps up, you bash him?

It's not like he was lying.

Posted by: sec307 | July 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Manny didn't throw his bullpen under the bus -- the bullpen threw THEMSELVES under the bus.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Dovelevine,

But, StanK built the Braves, Schuerholz had nothing to do with any of it. Stan made all the personnel decisions and Schuerholz was the one selling the ticket plans and turning the former olympic stadium into a ballpark.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The second half of this season will get ugly if the players start turning on each other. If there is one thing I give manny credit for is keeping clubhouse issues (whatever they were) off the field.

Posted by: Tom8 | July 13, 2009 2:06 PM
-----
Who cares? At least it will be entertaining. They can't play much worse. These guys stink. They are worthless. Who cares if there are casualties. Although if Zimm gets hurt, we might have to only play with 8 guys on the field next year because the Lerners have already committed all their thirdbaseman money to him.
-------

Maybe "taking potshots" is overstating it, but still, if I'm a player on that team, the 100 things on my list of comments would be: I got my manager fired.

Posted by: joebleux | July 13, 2009 2:12 PM
------

No. Seemed pretty potshotty to me

Posted by: makplan20002 | July 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Zimm has earned nothing in the league. He has had 3/4 of a good season and nothing else."

+++++++++++

huh?

Posted by: NatsNut | July 13, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I think Manny was driving the bus.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Being a vocal leader and taking potshots are two different things. Say, "I and others need to work on our defense" is one thing. Pointing fingers is another. This basically lets the next manager know that he can't really trust Zimm.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm with soundbloke on this. The Continuity of the Franchise shouldn't have said something because of himself personally (esp. given that so many of those errors were his own), but as a piece of politics, I golf-clap the move. Well done, Stan the Plan.

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Not to defend Stan, but JimBo was hired by MLB, not him and kept by Mark Lerner. Most at the time figured Stan would rather have his own guy in there, and now he does - Rizzo.

A lot of Rizzo-bashing going on too, but he did what he could with the bullpen and he keeps rotating guys in and out. He filled an area of need in CF and even managed to get something for Hanrahan without having to DFA him. Let's see what he can do before the deadline, but so far he seems to be doing all he can to turn this thing around.

Posted by: sec307 | July 13, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

506: I think you're giving the front office's pr capability waaaaay too much credit. I sincerely doubt they're smart enough to issue talking points to RZ at the all-star game. More likely he was just trying to be 'carefully honest.'

Posted by: Bethesdangit | July 13, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

makplan20002 is correct. RZimm should take stock of his own performance and (lack of) leadership on and off the field. Despite his web-gem plays on the field, his unforced errors are atrocious! His inability to come through with RISP is also notable. I don't want to pile on RZimm, but he requires a lot of work.

Posted by: AWWNats | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

>You're way off base, soundbloke. People have been screaming for Zim to be a more vocal leader, and now that he steps up, you bash him?

It's not like he was lying.

Posted by: sec307

Of course he's way off base. It's idiotic. You know that if Zim said anything, then it's ten times worse. Always is. Bunch of babies on here crying about how somebody might hurt Manny's feelings. Makes you wonder wtf some of these people do for a living and how they got so friggin stoopid.
Btw, it's not a 'style' of managing, he just flat-out neglected his duties. Incompetent times ten. Like was said before, I hope the Mets jump all over him. He deserves to get abused by the NY media.

Posted by: Brue | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I would golf cap it if I felt that the back up plan as any better. If Foli was put in charge, or someone who was more plausible long term replacement then this is a fine move. As it is it's just more evidence that The Plan is made up as we go along.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Stan wouldn't know a good PR move if it bit him on the backside.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

A number of people also seem to be reading what they want to read in Zimm's statement.
__________________________
I'm with soundbloke on this. The Continuity of the Franchise shouldn't have said something because of himself personally (esp. given that so many of those errors were his own), but as a piece of politics, I golf-clap the move. Well done, Stan the Plan.

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 2:41 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Makes ya long for the good old days of Frankie Rob.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse


dovelevine wrote:
can anyone here give me one good reason why Stan Kasten should keep his job? Just 1.
thx.

1) Braves history
2) He is a minority Nationals owner

Posted by: anyone1 | July 13, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"I think you're giving the front office's pr capability waaaaay too much credit. "

Hey, trust me, I know a well-planned leak when I see one. It may not have been Stan, but this entire set of statements by Zimm was all planned, and not by him.

Look how perfectly it matches Stan's. If it was truly original, you would expect at least one incongruity.

Posted by: Section506 | July 13, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Acta deserved to be fired. As Joe Gibbs said, you are your record. 62 losses at the All Star game. Just think about it.

Zim showed leadership. He said what needed to be said in a diplomatic way.

Posted by: SonicBlues | July 13, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

This management is incapable of making a move. The FBI fired Bowden, the team didn't. Otherwise Bowden would still be this team's architect. And 2 teams with way better records than the Nats fired their managers this year before we did. This team is in a state of paralysis.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine.....Bowden was Mark Lerner's "boy" not Stan Kastens. Bowden was able to cozy up to Lerner early on when they were still being evaluated by MLB as the next owners of the Nats. Stan had the unenviable task of having to tolerate Jimbo until everything started to unravel with Rijo, the kid from the Domician Republic, etc this past spring.

Posted by: CHAMP1464 | July 13, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Friggin stoopid Brue?

Really? Once more in English please.

Anyway, my concern is not Manny's feelings, it's the continuing perception of the ball club as a disjointed shambles. In a crisis a leader steps up and takes responsibility. He does not whine that it was all someone else's fault. All Zimm has done is let the next manager know that he is not all that loyal and doesn't take the responsibility that the a real club house leader needs to.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 13, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"The GM says he's pursuing a "cautiously aggressive" course in the contract negotiations with Strasburg and his advisor, Scott Boras, but said that aside from an initial conversation around the time of the June 9 draft, "Honestly, we haven't really talked since then." (From SI.com)

Really? Wow. That's not good. A whole freakin month and not one word. So long Strasburg.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

New posts.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"I like Zim and all, but if I'm a player on team that's trundling along at a .300 pace, and I haven't had exactly a perfect season myself, I think I'd be more inclined to be embarrassed about getting my manager fired more than I'd be inclined to take potshots at him on his way out."

My thinking, too, joebleux

"The second half of this season will get ugly if the players start turning on each other. If there is one thing I give manny credit for is keeping clubhouse issues (whatever they were) off the field."

Exactly, Tom8.

Now you'll hear our MASN on air commentators start crawfishing like they did with Randy St. Claire. Bad mouthing him every night, then when he's gone it's all "I really respected the guy." Our own on air guys throwing the staff under the bus!

Posted by: P522 | July 13, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Really? Wow. That's not good. A whole freakin month and not one word. So long Strasburg.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If Strasburg is really going to ask for 50 million, he is already gone. I would never put that much money into a rookie pitcher.

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

I don't think Zim was overly harsh, just giving some diplomatic thoughts on things and he didn't leave out the front office either bu making inferences about Milledge and Dukes influence in the clubhouse. The team clearly lacks any real strong leaders in the clubhouse. Dunn, Johnson, Guzman, and Belliard have all been around the game long enough to provide lockerrom leadership. Zimmerman is in his 4th full season and has the contract to justify being a leader in the clubhouse.

The O's clearly have holes, but their manager has held the team together in a much tougher division and they play the game the right way. I don't think Manny had the makeup to call out the players or even support them on the field like Trembely does in Baltimore. Hopefully, Riggleman will hold more of the players accountable and be tougher on all of the mental mistakes made by the team.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 13, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

the team didn't respect manny that's why he got zero backing by the players when the rumors he was going to be canned from rosenthal first surfaced, the team had taken on his personality of being comfortable with the losses

Posted by: bford1kb | July 13, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Scrapiron Phil Garner would have the players begging for Frank to come back. He's the anti-Acta. AND he won a pennant with HOU (!) in 2005. Now that I think of it, I'd be intrigued with him as GM (let Rizzo go back to Farm Director).

Interesting how the face of the franchise "turned" on Acta, seeing as how Frank's relationship with his players (they hated him) was supposedly the reason for a change.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 13, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I amend my previous comment: hire Showalter as GM, bring in Garner as manager. THAT wold be a change of culture of the first order.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

having watched stan Kasten with the Braves, what you have seen of him and the nats is not the Kasten I am familiar. I would have to say this is the Lerner's approach. Kasten knows what he is doing. i'll give him time, but it really appears the Lerners are not onboard for advancing revenues in order to win. They are bordering on being overly cautious.

Posted by: simplewords999 | July 13, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Zim bad move you have hit into more double plays with runners in scoring position than anyone in baseball shame on you ,was Manny up there swinging your bat , you are the supposed face of the franchise well guess what Zim better look in the mirror.
I would bet that although you think your a bit on top , not really , Manny will be around a lot longer than you really a poor sell out for your pathetic owners and GM

Posted by: kjmoon | July 13, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Zimmerman. He was extremely tactful, actually, but he made his point. It was great to read.

Posted by: paulkp | July 13, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

people attacking zim for his double plays are retarded, the man hits the ball hard on the ground big deal look at the other names atop the gdp

Posted by: bford1kb | July 13, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Really? Wow. That's not good. A whole freakin month and not one word. So long Strasburg.

Posted by: dovelevine | July 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If Strasburg is really going to ask for 50 million, he is already gone. I would never put that much money into a rookie pitcher.

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

=============================

So they draft him again next year!! Great plan for Strasburg!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | July 13, 2009 8:37 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 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Zim wasn't throwing anyone under a bus . . . who didn't deserve it, and he spoke honestly yet diplomatically about the season to this point. The questions weren't about his performance - knowing how he plays, I'd bet he cares well enough about the airballs and GIDP to work on whatever mechanics or mental cramps that lead to them. He spoke up, as befits someone who's growing into a leadership position, but without rancor. He's the type of person most franchises would want around, someone thoughtful, honest, hardworking, and willing to stand up and say things that need to be said. Good for him. He's not a buttkissing Yes-man.

Posted by: samantha7 | July 13, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ryan, is it Manny's fault that you hit into double plays every time there's a man on 1st Base? Seriously, you are possibly the worst situational hitter in the league. While I agree that Manny's lack of "fire" is agitating to the diehard Nats fan and now I see, to his players. But, how about some personal accountability? You all are professionals, correct? Actually, I take that back, professionals go about their job with a sense of pride. I think Joe Beimel said it best when he said the way you all lose is simply "embarrassing".

Posted by: d-35 | July 14, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Ryans comments lead me to believe that in some ways Manny had lost this team. His comment that players talked to one another and not to Manny about his not defending his players leads me to that assumption. I've always wanted Manny to get out of the dugout at times and question things, he didn't, and his players (as I) noticed.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 14, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

One more air ball to first....one more double play.....one more 0-5.....

What have you done for us lately, Zimm? Perhaps you should have been taking up the mantle in the club house yourself. You could be a leader. Impress us and do some butt kicking yourself. Or are you going to be satisfied with some more double play balls and some more errors while your batting average quickly sinks to around .245?

Zimm, how many games have you personnally been responsible for losing? For winning? How many has Manny been responsible for? Think about that for awhile.

Posted by: crimsonmac | July 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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