Pardon The Blunt Assessment: Michael Wilbon And Bob Ryan On The Washington Nationals Firing Manny Acta...

Just thought we'd start with the public perception of your Washington Nationals, and what better place to look for a lightning-quick assessement of the image DC's favorite baseball team is projecting to the world outside the so-called "Natosphere", (which for those who don't know is the agreed-upon nomenclature for all things both online and Nationals), than ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, (PTI: 7/13) which was hosted today by Michael Wilbon and guest host and Boston Globe columnist, Bob Ryan, who opens the "Nationals" segment:

Bob Ryan: Mike, breaking news right here in your back yard...

Michael Wilbon: What happened?

Mr. Ryan: The Washington Nationals, owners of baseball's worst record for the last year and a half, have fired manager Manny Acta...

Mr. Wilbon: Naaaooo? (laughs)

Mr. Ryan: But Mike! They've hired bench coach Jim Riggleman, so everything's cured now right?...

(Continued after the JUMP...)

(cont.)...

Mr. Wilbon: Ohhhh getting the former Cubbie in that seat...

Mr. Ryan: Yeah, yeah. Last guy take it, took it...he did take 'em to the postseason...

Mr. Wilbon: The problem isn't the mana-ger, it's manage-ment. It's manage-ment! This has been a disaster, not originally, but certainly, you know certainly, since the "Natinals" moved in that new park and they've had one mishap after another, whether it's personnel embarrassments, about age and somebody's real name and whether he's playing under an alias, to not being able to spell the name of the team correctly on the jersey, one bad thing after another, and when you have that, it ain't the field manager who's the problem, Bobby.

Mr. Ryan: He (Acta) never had a chance with this group that he was given to start the season. The pitching is the worst in the league. The defense is the worst in the league. The bullpen is horrible. They had just a very, very incompatible team, and also then they panicked, tried to bring talented miscre...malcontents such as Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes...

Mr. Wilbon: And you can never do that with a bad team!!

Mr. Ryan: That's not working out too well!!! No. Jim Bowden's regime was a total disaster. 

Mr. Wilbon: He set the whole thing back at least five full years if not more than that...and now they need to start over and the manager is the least of their issues...

NOTES:

Now, WE All Know... that Majestic Athletic officially apologized for having misspelled the word "Nationals" on Ryan Zimmerman's and Adam Dunn's jerseys, but no one read the follow-up piece about the company accepting responsibility for the error, they just saw a picture or two of a major league team that's such a joke that they can't even get the name on their jerseys right and filed it away as another reason the Nationals are considered a "laughingstock" as they're ofter labeled...

The Elijah Dukes Experiment Is Not Over... According to "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo, who told Sirius/XM's Inside Pitch hosts Jeff Joyce and Joel Sherman this afternoon that, "As the season progresses, Elijah Dukes will be back in the major leagues and we will, we'll certainly see what type of player we have there, on an everyday basis..." Elijah Dukes, who was sent to Triple-A Syracuse a few weeks back, is currently hitting .346 (9 for 26) in 7 games in which he's hit 4 doubles and a 1 HR, with 4 RBI's and 2 SB, a .452 OBP, .615 SLG, 1.067 OPS.  

• The Face Of The Franchise...Ryan Zimmerman, when asked by Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin for a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Zimmerman: Players Needed More From Acta", what effect, "The Front Office changing the culture in the clubhouse" had had on the team, told Mr. Sheinin:

"'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.'"

(No word on which unnamed player Zimmerman might have been referring to...)

• Nationals' Team President Stan Kasten... told Washington Post writer Tracee Hamilton as quoted in an article entitled, "Kasten's Remarks From The Presser", that the Nationals had invited Manny Acta to the press conference to announce that he'd been fired, but according to Mr. Kasten, Mr. Acta said, "...he really did not want to do that."

• Instead, Manny Acta...chose to send out an email to be published by all the DC media outlets, which reads, (as quoted by Washington Times' writer John Taylor, in an Chatter post entitled simply, "Statement From Manny Acta":

"'First, I would like to thank GOD for putting me in this position. I want to thank the Washington Nationals for giving me the opportunity to be a Major League manager. It was a great learning experience, I have no regrets.


As I move forward, I wish the Nationals all the best. I was very fortunate to work with and meet a lot of wonderful people while here.


I’d like to extend a special thank you to the fans for being so patient and supportive over the last two and a half years.


Last but not least, to the media, thank you for being fair and respectful toward my family and I.'"

• Thanks..."...to the media, thank you for being fair and respectful toward my family and I." Mr. Acta's classy. All this statement made me think about, however, was Former DC GM Jim Bowden's parting statements, as recorded by Washington Post writer Tracee Hamilton entitled, "Bowden Statement", where the departing GM was quoted angrily stating:

"My resignation is based upon my realization that my ability to properly represent the Washington Nationals has been compromised because of false allegations contained in the press. I am disappointed by the media reports regarding investigations into any of my professional activities."

• Oh...And the Nationals...released a letter too...A Letter To Nationals Fans which was posted on the Nationals' official site...

• Enjoy...(ed. note - "No word today from the "Interim" Manager Jim Riggleman. According to Mr. Kasten, again in Tracee Hamilton's Nationals Journal post, ""Kasten's Remarks From The Presser", "...we're going to start the Riggleman era on Wednesday." More on Mr. Riggleman to come...soon...for now check this out...

 

- Get To Know Your Nationals: Bench Coach Jim Riggleman. - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak

New Nationals' Bench Coach Jim Riggleman might still go back to the Seattle Mariners as their Manager, but while he's here let's take a look at the 55-year old's MLB History.

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