The Nats finally made good on that rumor that came out weeks ago, they fired manager Manny Acta. It’s not shocking, except for maybe the fact that everyone thought this was gonna happen weeks ago. Why the wait? Just to say rumors aren’t true? Who knows. Anyway, there are reasons, legitimate reasons, for both keeping him and firing him:
- The bullpen he was given was destined to be awful.
- Starting pitching, other than Lannan, was either very young, very bad, or hurt or some combination of those things.
- This team wasn’t constructed to play much defense.
- They were still able to hit – as late as early June they were still 3rd in the NL in runs scored.
- They would continue to stink enough to snare the number 1 pick again.
- On the field play. This to me is the biggest strike against Manny. They couldn’t field, they couldn’t throw to the right place, they didn’t run the bases well, they didn’t try to pressure the defense and make opposing outfielder make good throws, the young pitchers seemed lost as to what to do at times… This is Manny’s biggest indictment. They are not a team of dumb players that don’t know how to play. It’s the manager’s biggest influence, other than in-game lineup changes. It’s like in football when you have a talented team that doesn’t block and tackle. That is the coach’s fault.
- How about the record? 25-61 this year so far is just plain embarrassing. There is no other word for it. And it’s not like the record last year (58-102) was any better.
- Early on they could hit but couldn’t pitch. Now they’ve started pitching better and can’t hit. Nothing happens at the same time. A better manager might have helped.
- Attitude. I’m not saying these players didn’t want to win. I can’t imagine Ryan Zimmerman or Adam Dunn or anyone else being content with a loss. But they certainly didn’t seem fired up. Maybe their fire was hidden. But it shouldn’t have been. This team stinks, at least demonstrate to the fans that you care.
I’m sure there’s more on each side. Anyway, a few weeks ago when this rumor first came about, I was pretty indifferent. But it’s that first negative, the way they play, that has annoyed me more and more. I don’t know if there wasn’t the right accountability, practice or what. But they didn’t look like pros out there. I think if that can improve this team will be a bit better. Unfortunately, even if they play crisp baseball all the time, they still aren’t going to be a very good team. That was the main reason for keeping Manny around, not positives, just remember why the negatives were there. But that ship has sailed.
By the way, the press conference will be today (Monday July 13) at 11:30 pm. It’s gonna be broadcast on MASN, I don’t know if masnsports.com will have it live, but I’m sure they’ll have the footage later.