The End Of The Final Act(a) In DC: He’s Out
Posted by representingpuroresu on 07/13/2009
If you had July 12 in your office pool, you win. That was the date that my Washington Nationals finally pulled the trigger on manager Manny Acta. Fired. Read on for my quick take and thoughts on the news that broke overnight.
At least that’s what Acta told ESPN Deportes-that he got Das Boot after last night’s loss to Houston. He’s been on the hot seat for the better part of at least 6 weeks now as the team’s been up-and-down even though their record is only 26-61, still the worst in the majors by at least 8 games. The season has basically been punctuated by a beyond-atrocious bullpen that has, to this point, 20 blown saves. That’s a lot-actually, too much BS. That’s roughly 15 lost wins there. Although there are rotation issues too-only one starter has an ERA under 4.45 (John Lannan, 3.70). 3 have ERAs over 5 (one just got demoted). The one pitcher that averaged a K or better per inning is no longer with the team. Maybe the one reedeming factor is the starters combined have 4 complete games already and are starting to pitch deeper into games, which again highlights the big problem: IT’S STILL THE BULLPEN, STUPID! Yeah, hitting’s going downhill too but that’s largely due to Adam Dunn’s BA reverting to near it’s usual level (he’s dropped from around .300 early on to .266, still above his usual level) and there are power issues as well-only 3 guys have more than 6 HR so far, but there have been signs of improvement on defense recently thanks in large part to the Nyjer Morgan trade-this kid can play OF. He’s showing a lot of hustle and making great plays already plus he’s got speed. But all the hitting in the world isn’t any good without pitching, and it’s made this year a lost cause already and thus Manny is the scapegoat. Yes, they drafted 2 top-notch pitchers in the draft and one’s already signed and in the minors, but we all know Strasburg won’t pitch this year at all if he even signs (Boras). True, Acta may not have been the best manager given his record was only 158-252 and 73-89 was his best year, and he had the inenviable task of replacing popular manager Frank Robinson, but he deserved better than having to manage a team still in flux and management seemingly unable or unwilling to fix the real problems (and apparently still quarreling with the city). I have no hard feelings towards Acta and wish him well in future endeavors. Word is bench coach Jim Riggleman takes over but that’s not confirmed. Only question now is can the Nats somehow win 50-they’re on pace for 48, at least ahead of the all-time worst mark ever of only 40 wins. But these are the “Natinals”, so who knows…