Results tagged ‘ Manny Acta ’

Manny Acta comes to Nationals Park

Former Nationals manager Manny Acta came to Nationals Park early Sunday afternoon. He did not stay for the game between the Nationals and Padres.

MLB.com was aware on Friday that Acta would be at the stadium, but Acta said via e-mail that he wasn’t going to make a comment.       

 

Nationals send letter to fans

TO:  Fans of the Washington Nationals

No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are.  Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago.  Our hope was that a solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.

We definitely do see significant pieces materializing for the future, and there have been many close, exciting games and optimistic bright spots: Strong outings by John Lannan, the home run and RBI production of Adam Dunn, the All-Star selection and 30 game hitting streak of Ryan Zimmerman, and the recent addition of speedster Nyjer Morgan.  Much of the season, however, has been defined by weak relief pitching, poor defense, and youthful inconsistency.  We have tried to work through this period with patience and focus but now we are faced with mounting losses which are beginning to take a toll on our entire roster.  Clearly, some changes are required as we prepare for the second half of the 2009 season and, more importantly, build for a competitive future.

Today, we announced that manager Manny Acta is being replaced on an interim basis by Jim Riggleman, veteran manager, and currently the Nats bench coach.  Both the Ownership and the entire Washington Nationals organization have the highest respect for Manny Acta and the role he has played in the short history of the Nationals.  However, it is our belief that a fresh attitude and approach is necessary as we set out to improve our performance for the remainder of the year.  We want to send a strong message to our clubhouse and our fans that the status quo is unacceptable.  We believe that more is expected of everyone in the organization.

Baseball operations will be reevaluating all our players and our options for improvement over the next several months. We hope to sign our 2009 draft choices by the August deadline.  We hope these new additions will join an already exciting Nationals youth movement headed by the likes of Lannan, Jesus Flores, Alberto Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen on our current roster, and the likes of promising minor league stars like Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, Danny Espinosa, Derek Norris and Drew Storen, among many others. But, we also will be determining the viability of trades or roster upgrades that can be made without doing damage to the farm system or the developing talent we expect to blossom within the next two years.

When we bought the Washington Nationals in the middle of the 2006 season – just under three years ago – we committed to a patient, long term approach, building a strong farm system and core foundation that would deliver a perennial and consistent contender; to provide a second-to-none family entertainment value at Nationals Park; and to investment and involvement in the metropolitan Washington DC community.  Today we remain steadfastly committed to each component of that mission. We are proud to represent the National Pastime in the Nation’s Capital, and we are proud to call the Capital area home.

We know we have a way to go, but the end result will be all the richer for the early days we’ve spent together at Nationals Park.  We are getting better.  We want you to be with us as the pieces of the puzzle come together. Your support is powerful to the Nationals and baseball in Washington.  Thank you for your continuing patience and your commitment to a shared dream. 

Sincerely,

Washington Nationals Baseball Club

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.

Acta out as manager; Riggleman new skipper

More than five hours after they lost their 61st game of the season, the Nationals have dismissed Manny Acta as their manager on Sunday night, according multiple sources. An announcement is expected to be made as early as Monday.

Acta learned about his dismissal at Nationals Park after the team landed at Dulles Airport in Washington. Team president Stan Kasten gave Acta the news.

Jim Riggleman will now be the new skipper of the Nationals.  

Acta managed the Nationals for two-plus seasons and compiled a 158-252 record. This year, the team had a 26-61 record, the worst in baseball. A mediocre bullpen and lack of defense were the reasons for the disappointing record.

In fact, a published report from FOXSports.com said on June 13th that that Acta was going to be dismissed, but acting general manager Mike Rizzo said the report was unfounded.

According to one source, the Nationals have contemplated letting Acta go since late May but decided, first, to relieve Randy St. Claire of his duties as pitching coach on June 2. Washington hired Steve McCatty to replace St. Claire.

Acta, Kasten and Rizzo did not return phone or e-mail messages MLB.com.

Nats' Acta defends Guzman

Entering Saturday’s action, Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman is hitting .304 with three home runs with 23 RBIs. However, he is in a 6-for-47 [.128] slump and his defense has been shaky.

In fact, the Nationals are looking for a new shortstop because they have been alarmed that Guzman is having a hard time going to his left when trying to field a ground ball.

Manager Manny Acta is one guy who defended Guzman by saying one can’t expect Guzman to get the job done every night.

“I see a human being,” Acta said. “In the course of 162 games, every player is going to go through a tough time. He is going through a slump right now. The same thing happened to Ryan Zimmerman.

“It’s a long season. Every one of these guys are going to go through a tough time — offensively and defensively. They are human. That’s why we have to have the patience. It’s very difficult for every one of these guys to be on top of their game for 162 games of the baseball season.”           

Nationals pitchers doing job with bats

Entering Friday’s action, Nationals pitchers have recorded at least one hit in six out of the last nine games, going 8-for-18 [.444] with a walk and five RBIs.

Prior to that current hot streak, Washington pitchers went 10-for-112 [.089] with three RBIs in the first 75 games. Manager Manny Acta credits the young starters such as John Lannan and Craig Stammen for taking pride in their hitting.    

“They aren’t doing anything that they haven’t done before,”  Acta said. “They work on their hitting. They work on their bunting. These younger kids that we have now are god athletes. They kind of take pride on getting better on that kind of stuff. In the past, we had some guys who were not good athletes or have been around and didn’t care much about that stuff.”  

Acta holds team meeting

The Nationals had a team meeting before Friday’s game against the Braves.

Manager Manny Acta told his players that they have made progress, but they could have done more to win games on their recent road trip. Washington went a combined 1-5 against Orioles and Marlins. 

The main problem during the trip was that the Nationals couldn’t advance runners in scoring position. In fact, entering Friday’s action against Atlanta, Washington is hitting .236 in that department.

“We [would have won a few games] in Baltimore and Florida if things would have gone our way,” Acta said. “I wanted to make sure they knew that they are playing better and forget about this last series.” 

To make sure that they score runs more often, the Nationals have dropped shortstop Cristian Guzman from the second spot in the order to the sixth hole. Acta acknowledged that he wants Guzman to drive in runs.             

Nationals playing better baseball

Entering Sunday’s action, the Nationals have found themselves on a four-game winning streak.

Pitching and defense are the reasons they have won back-to-back series against the Yankees and Blue Jays, respectively. The starting pitching and bullpen, for example, had a combined a 1.31 ERA, while position players, such as outfielder Willie Harris, have been spectacular with the glove.

“A few things have come together the last few days. Obviously, we played very good defense against the Yankees,”  manager Manny Acta said. “We went through a long bad period, but now certain things are clicking. Starting pitching has a lot to do with it. You say what you want, but when you have an ERA of 3.00 from your starters for almost a month, that means a lot and it give you more of an opportunity to stay in the game.”

Harris is another reason, the Nationals have stayed in games. He has made three spectacular catches  in as many days. Acta has not ruled out playing Harris more often because of his defense and clutch hitting, but Harris knows what his role is with the team.

“In my heart, I’m an everyday player, but in my contract, I’m a utility guy,” Harris said. “So it’s not my decision, but whenever I’m out there, I’m going to try to put together a professional at-bat and I’m going to play defense hard. I’m going to do everything the right way. I just want to give to the game.”               

Acta will manage Nationals on Tuesday

Manny Acta is still the manager of the Nationals and is expected to be at the helm on Tuesday night when they face the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

“I’m still the manager,” Acta said by phone Monday. “You wouldn’t have reached me if I wasn’t.”

FOXSports.com reported that Acta  would be would be dismissed and replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman, but two sources said the report was premature.

Riggleman reiterated that the team did not talk to him about taking over the club on an interim basis.

“That report came out on Saturday right before we were playing our game in Tampa. That was the first I heard of it,” Riggleman said by phone. “It was kind of embarrassing for all of us. My understanding is that it was an unfounded report.

“We are going on as is. We are going to try to win ballgames. Manny is doing everything he can to right this ship. [Acting general manager] Mike Rizzo is doing everything he can do. All of the coaches are supportive of Manny. We are totally supportive of Manny. We plan on going to work tomorrow and get this thing going.”

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Nationals are 16-45, with the worst record in baseball.

Aaron Boone visits Nationals

Astros infielder Aaron Boone visited the Nationals at Chase Field on Saturday afternoon. He is currently on the disabled list after having heart surgery to fix an aorta and aortic valve in March.

Boone, 36, played for the Nationals last season, hitting .241 with six home runs and 28 RBIs. This past December, he signed a one-year, $750,000 with the Astros.

Boone declined to be interviewed by the Washington media, but manager Manny Acta talked about how happy he was to see his former infielder.

“It lit up my face to see him,” Acta said. “He was outstanding for us here [last year]. He is an outstanding human being. We have a lot of good feelings toward him. He was hanging out with the guys.

“To be able to see him fight back after what he went through, I’m sure he is going to be fine with whatever he wants to do.  He is feeling well. He is ready to go, living his normal life with his family and doing more and more stuff that he wasn’t able to do a couple of weeks ago.”     

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