According to reports out of ESPN.com, Washington Nationals' Manager Manny Acta has told ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas that he has been fired. The story is just breaking at 1:20 am on a Monday morning...The move comes several weeks after reports of Acta's impending dismissal first broke...
My Opinion...? The Nationals just made another big mistake...
The Story Behind Manny Acta's Departure After The Jump...
Reports that Manny Acta's job was in jeopardy originally surfaced in FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's June 13th article entitled, "Sources: Acta out as Nats' skip soon, Riggleman in", in which Mr. Rosenthal wrote that Manny Acta's departure was imminent, with Jim Riggleman the man most likely to become the Nationals' third manager. SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote a few days later that the Nationals were considering candidates for Acta's job in an article entitled, "Nationals could replace Acta with Valentine; pitching market thinning", in which Mr. Heyman too claimed that Bench Coach Jim Riggleman would, "...be installed as the interim manager," while noting that, "...team higher-ups also have begun internal discussions about permanent candidates."
When Manny Acta and the Nationals took two high-profile games from the New York Yankees on the road in the new Yankee Stadium immediately after the reports broke, and Acta wasn't dismissed, it appeared that either the reports were false, or, the Nationals had flinched, and were unwilling to fire a Manager whose demise had been leaked before they'd planned. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal defended his sources and his story in an interview aired on Comcast Sports Net, as reported by Washington Post writer Dan Steinberg in a Sports Bog article entitled, "Ken Rosenthal Stands By His Acta Report", in which Mr. Steinberg quoted Mr. Rosenthal stating:
"'If what I wrote was indeed something that had no basis, as ("Acting" DC GM) Mike Rizzo suggested, well, make him your manager for the rest of the year. If the story is right, however, and of course I believe it was, then the Nationals should fire him today, tomorrow, whenever. Just leaving him dangling like this is not fair to Manny, not fair really to the team itself.'"
Nationals' team President Stan Kasten's public response to the stories on Acta's status didn't exactly inspire confidence, as he told Washington Times' writer Ben Goessling, in an article entitled, "Acta still the manager", shortly after a particularly deflating loss to Tampa Bay, that it wasn't necessarily the Manager's fault:
"''I think you all watched the game last night, and you watched us lose a game, and if you listed the reasons for why we lost the game, I don't think the manager would be anywhere on your list of reasons. So it's hard dealing with that. And yet, we have a record of 16-43, which is, to me, inexplicable. So that's how I feel.'"
When asked directly during the Washington Nationals Blogger Day about the rumors and about Manny Acta's future, Mr. Kasten responded: (ed. note - "Listen to Kasten on Acta.")
"Umm, this has been, uh, yeh, uh, a week with more confusion than there needed to be. I can’t explain anything about last week’s media (inaudible)...you'll have to ask the people who wrote them...Um, uh, one thing that was unfortunate was the notion that there was someone was out there twisting in the wind. Maybe because media people were having them twisting... Manny and I were always completely in sync. Manny and Mike, Mike and I, the three of us, talk all the time...including about last weekend's stories..."
Following the trip to NY that appeared to at least delay Mr. Acta's inevitable dismissal, the Nationals went 7-15 over the next 22, taking two of three from Toronto, and dropping two of three to Boston at home and two of three to Baltimore in Camden Yards before being swept again by Florida in a three-game Dolphin Stadium series. The Nationals returned home for a quick homestand with Atlanta in which they took two out of three from the Braves, but they were just 1-6 on the most recent road trip through Colorado and Houston, not counting the continuation of May 5th game against the Astros, which ended in just minutes this past Thursday. Washington limped into the break, with the only legitimate win on the most recent road trip coming in Saturday night's 13-2 romp. At least Manny Acta got to enjoy one laugher before he was fired...
Manny Acta leaves the Nationals with a 158-252 record.
What "They're" Saying:
• Manny Acta says he's been fired as manager of Washington Nationals - ESPN
Manny Acta told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday that he has been fired as manager of the Nationals.
• Washington Times - Chatter - "Nats fire Acta" - Mark Zuckerman
The Nationals have fired manager Manny Acta. Acta confirmed by email he was informed of his fate Sunday night, after his team ...
• "Nationals dismiss Acta as manager" - MLB.com's Bill Ladson | nationals.com: News
About five hours after losing their 61st game of the season, the Nationals dismissed Manny Acta as their manager on Sunday night, according to multiple sources.
• Washington Post - Nationals Journal - Chico Harlan, "Acta Fired As Washington Nationals Manager"
In the middle of his third season as manager, Manny Acta has been fired by the Washington Nationals, a source with knowledge of the situation said tonight. Asked in an e-mail about his job status, Acta replied, simply, "Thanks for...
Federal Baseball.com's Coverage:
• Will The Washington Nationals' 44th Loss Be Manny Acta's Last? Will The Washington Nationals Fire Manny Acta? - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
Will The Washington Nationals' 44th Loss Be Manny Acta's Last? Will The Washington Nationals Fire Manny Acta?
• Why Do The Washington Nationals Want To Fire Manny Acta? - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
Why Do The Washington Nationals Want To Fire Manny Acta? And Who Wants To Take Over This Mess?
• The Washington Nationals Managerial Dilemma: On Manny Acta, and Passion - Federal Baseball - Dave at Nats News Network
Is the Washington Nationals organization giving manager Manny Acta a "fair shake"? Is it fair to judge his track record given the material he's had to work with?
• Manny Acta Is Still Standing! - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
The rumors are still there, but so is Manny Acta...Who's telling the truth when it comes to the Nationals' Manager's job?
• Washington Nationals Shake Up The Bronx!!! Beat New York Yankees, 3-2 final. - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
• Washington Nationals' Manager Manny Acta Talks To The People... - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
• Will Manny Acta Be Managing The Washington Nationals In 2010? - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
More news when it's available...