Nationals president Stan Kasten and interim GM Mike Rizzo just had a press conference at Nationals Park to discuss firing Manny Acta (nationals.com press release). Jim Riggleman was not there but will be at one later in the week.
In short, they felt it was time for a change. Manny’s a great guy and will do well elsewhere someday. Riggleman will get a chance to become full time manager. Kasten took the blame. They sent a letter to the fans (DC Sports Bog). The microphones were poor. NewsChannel8 made a mistake (DC Sports Bog). Acta thanks GOD, the Washington Nationals and the media in a statement released by the team.
Baseball: Nationals fire Manny Acta – The Wash. Times
TRACEE HAMILTON – Where Does The Nationals’ Plan Stand? – The Post
So the Nats brass needs to a) get creative, or even just busy, at the July 31 trade deadline; b) sign Strasburg by Aug. 17; and then c) have a big talk. The Lerners and Kasten simply must decide who they want in the GM and manager roles for the long haul. If it’s not Rizzo, cut him loose. He got more than a bag of balls for Lastings Milledge, so clearly he will find work elsewhere. If you want a big-name manager, go get him (and be prepared to pay for him). But the next hires for both jobs need to be the guys you see in those jobs a decade from now.
How about five years into the future?
THOMAS BOSWELL – Things Get ‘Stupid Enough’ for Nats to Make a Normal Move – The Post
“Nobody wants to fire Manny,” said Kasten, annoyed in April when a mere 7-17 start brought firing rumors. “We want him to be the long-term solution here. But if things get stupid enough, any manager gets fired. Manny knows it. That’s just the game.”
They got stupid enough and more.
Now, the moment for irony arrives. The replacement for Acta is bench coach Jim Riggleman, whose 522-652 career managing record defines him in the game — competent, an interim solution, but not the answer to any prayers.
Indeed, things did get stupid.
THOM LOVERRO – Loverro: Acta takes fall – The Wash. Times
Manny Acta is better off without the Washington Nationals.
Sadly, this is true.
So, has Ed Tapscott congratulated Riggleman yet?