I've generally been on the fence a bit regarding whether Acta should or should not be fired. I certainly dont think it's fair that he's left waiting for the execution to occur. That said, after tonight's game...I've come to the conclusion he really does need to go.
After reading about today's series opening loss to the Yankees, I usually go about reading the post game reviews. While reading my favourite beat reporter
Ed Chigliak Chico Harlan, I was horrified by the following:
The two decisive doubles that New York hit in the seventh were catchable. The first, a Mark Teixeira shot into deep left-center, would have required a perfect sprinting catch. (The ball hit off Dukes' bare hand.) The second, a Robinson Cano shot just over Dukes' head, would have required a proper judgment of the ball right off the bat.
Should Elijah have caught those balls?
"Well, in his defense, he's not a natural centerfielder," Manny Acta said. "Those balls were hit pretty good, and would I want him to catch every one of them? Yes. But he did make an effort."http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2009/06/man_things_are_getting_predict.html?wprss=nationalsjournal
I don't expect any managers to call out/rag/beat up/abuse their players publicly (except for Frank Robinson). More so when their support is probably the only thing between Kasten and Rizzo doing their best impression of Donald Trump. But it's a issue of attitude from the manager that worries me.
My problems with this are:
- He might not be a natural CF: So is that ok to make errors if your not in your natural position? No. If you are playing a position you should be ABLE TO PLAY IT! I well and truly understand that this team hasn't had a decent CF since our first base coach laced up the cleats. The problem is that we've got arguably one of our best and talented athletes at CF and it still isnt getting the job done. So either Manny is forced to play people out of position or he is making excuses. You decide.
- Yes, but he did make an effort: NO NO NO. This isn't little league. It isn't even the Syracuse Chiefs. It's MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. These people we call fans dont pay money to see our brave little players try their darling little hearts out. We expect them to play good baseball and execute the plays they have been taught. We expect them to make these plays. They are earning (for the most part) more money that you and I will ever see...it's not about do your best and we'll all be happy. I'd expect that of a rookie pitcher on his first night. Dukes has been in the majors long enough to be responsible.
Basically, until there is someone that is willing to stand up and demand better from this team...it isn't going to happen. Im not surprised the players support Acta. If I booted plays and got patted on the back with "he did make an effort", I'd be Manny's biggest fan too. These guys are professional athletes and the Manny has to stop wrapping these guys up in cotton wool. It's not about being emotional - it's demanding better performances. Dukes should be told "You should have made those plays tonight. Lets look at ways we can fit in some extra prac so you get comfortable in making some of those".
Good managers get the best out of their players. They should never make excuses for them.