By the time the Washington Nationals' outfielder Corey Patterson struck out to end the Nationals' 44th loss tonight in Tampa Bay, the whispers about DC Manager Manny Acta's imminent firing had grown so loud that Nationals' team President Stan Kasten felt the need to address them directly. Washington Post writer Chico Harlan writes, in an Nationals Journal post entitled, "Kasten Won't Confirm or Deny Acta Firing Rumor", that when Mr. Kasten was asked, "...directly if the organization supports Acta", Mr. Kasten responded:
"'We always support everyone here and always will. But, you know, we're all just together trying to win every day, trying to turn it around. And we're going to continue to try until we figure it out. We know the future is bright but we're not waiting for the future to get here. We're going to do everything we can to speed it up.'"
February 23, 2009. Washington Post writer Chico Harlan asks Nationals' team Presiden Stan Kasten, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Bowden Denies Wrongdoing", "...directly about support for his general manager", Jim Bowden, who would leave the team a week later, and Mr. Kasten replies:
"'Listen, I support everyone who works for the Washington Nationals all the time, period. But we're not going to talk about things that are going on away from here that I have no control or involvement in. I've told you, I am gonna allow the process to play out. We'll allow the chips to fall where they may, and we're going to look at things honestly and deal with them as is appropriate.'"
(ed. note - "It's Not Manny's FAULT!!!")
The Rumors -
Manny Acta is likely to be fired soon, perhaps as early as Monday, a "National League source" confirmed.
Citing Major League sources, FOXSports.com reported that the Nationals will dismiss Manny Acta as manager and replace him with bench coach Jim Riggleman. However, two team sources said the report is premature and that Riggleman has not been told he would take over as the club's skipper and, further, that Acta is not out.
HEADLINES - (For Tomorrow's GameThread)
Bergmann vs Tampa? Not A Good Idea In '06 Or Now...
Zimmermann Racks Up K's At Least...
For The Completists, Full Game Report (currently unedited) After The Game...
DWDT - 5
Nationals now 16-44.
Washington Nationals At Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Game 60 or 61 of 162.
Cristian Guzman grounds out to first to give Andy Sonnanstine his first out of the evening. Nick Johnson grounds back to the mound for out no.2. Ryan Zimmerma...THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! 1-0 Nationals early. Adam Dunn K’s to end the top of the first....Nick Johnson just plain misses another grounder which might be #60 on the year for DC. B.J. Upton on and running, stolen base of WIl Nieves. Jordan Zimmermann walks Carl Crawford. Evan Longoria gets a two-strike slider from Zimmermann and K’s chasing. Carlos Pena K’s swinging. Ben Zobrist goes down the same way, Zimmerman’s third K.
Andy Sonnanstine pops up Elijah Dukes and gets a grounder from Willie Harris before giving up a single to Austin Kearns. Wil Nieves grounds out to third, Evan Longoria’s throw ends the DC second...Pat Burrell singles to center to leadoff the home half. Gabe Gross works the count full, and K’s swinging for Zimmermann’s fourth K. Miche Hernandez grounds to Hernandez to Guzman to Johnson, double play to end the second.
Anderson Hernandez bunts his way on in the third. Cristian Guzman singles on a line drive to right in front of Nick Johnson. Nick Johnson has a Discerning Eye, and he uses it to draw a walk to load the bases. Ryan Zimmerman grounds into a force at second, but Reid Brignac bobbles and settles for one out. Adam Dunn K’s swinging through a fastball and Elijah Dukes flies outto end the threat...Reid Brignac doubles to left, barely beating out Dukes’ throw. B.J. Upton doesn’t want to sac, but he bunts in front of the plate, and Wil Nieves makes the play at first. Ryan Zimmerman fields Carl Crawford’s grounder and throws him out at first. Evan Longoria K’s chasing a full-count change.
Willie Harris is thrown out by Reid Brignac. Austin Kearns flies ot right. WIl Nieves K’s and it’s 2-0 DC in the fourth...Make that 2-1, Carlos Pena takes Jordan Zimmermann shockingly deep for his 20th HR. Ben Zobrist K’s looking for Zimmermann’s 6th K. Pat Burrell flies out to the Amazing Willie Harris in center. Gabe Gross works a two-out walk out of Zimmermann. Rays’ backstop Michel Hernandez grounds to Anderson Hernandez, no relation.
Anderson Hernandez grounds back to the mound to start the fifth. Cristian Guzman grounds out to Longoria at third. Nick Johnson flies out to Carl Crawford, Sonnanstine holds the Rays close through the top of the fifth...Cristian Guzman leaps and reaches, but can’t get to a leadoff single from Reid Brignac. B.J. Upton grounds into a force at second, but Brignac breaks up the DP opp. Wil Nieves’ throw is there, but Cristian Guzman drops the throw to second on a succesful SB attempt by Upton. Zimmermann’s had enough of Upton, and he picks him off second, nailed!! Anderson Hernandez throws out Carl Crawford to end the inning.
Ryan Zimmerman K’s chasing junk from Sonnanstine. Adam Dunn flies out to the warning track in left center where Carl Crawford makes the grab. Elijah Dukes flies out to center...Jason Bergmann takes over for Jordan Zimmermann, and promptly surrenders a line drive single to left center. Carl Crawford embarrasses the dramatic shift with a bunt toward third, and Ben Zobrist makes it all worse with a 3-run HR off Bergmann, 4-2 Rays. Bergmann walks Bergmann walks Pat Burrell. Full-count sinking fastball that’s up at the belt and Gabe Gross belts it, two-run blast, 6-2 Rays. Jesus Colome gives up a single to Michel Hernandez. Brignac flies out to Willie Harris in center field. Ryan Zimmerman knocks down a hotshot from B.J. Upton, but it bounces away leaving everyone safe. Carl Crawford flies out to Dukes in left, Longoria’s up for the second time this inning, and he does it again, two-run double off of Jesus Colome, who hangs a slider, and has it bounced off the wall in left, Dukes misses. 8-2 Rays. Carlos Pena grounds to Johnson at first to mercifully end the inning.
Willie Harris pops a high fastball to left. Austin Kearns tries to hit one out of the deepest part of the park, but it falls short of the wall in center and B.J. Upton has it...Jesus Colome gets a ground ball from Ben Zobrist to start the Rays’ 7th. Gabe Gross fliesout to end the seventh...Anderson Hernandez lifts a double over B.J. Upton’s head in center. Cristian Guzman swings a foot over a two-strike bender for the first out of the eighth. Nick Johnson hits a trademark single to right, Hernandez to third, NJ™, and the throw in from Gabe Gross gets by the Rays’ catcher, Anderson Hernandez scores, 8-3 Rays. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to third, Evan Longoria’s looking around instead of fielding, and he drops the ball. Sonnanstine’s out. Randy Choate will face Adam Dunn. Dunn grounds into the inning-ender...Julian Tavarez is on in the eighth. Michel Hernandez grounds into Zimmerman’s turf, Zim throws to first in front of the catcher. Reid Brignac hits a one-out single to right. Tavarez ties Upton up with a sinker inside. Carl Crawford flies out to Kearns in right.
Jason Isringhausen vs Elijah Dukes. Dukes singles to center. Willie Harris explodes on a fastball but gets it only as far as short right. Corey Patterson K’s swining against two pitchers, after Isringhausen leaves game with apparent injury. Nationals lose. Rays win, 8-3 final.
Nationals now 16-44.