Manny Acta has made it to New York City, people, and if you can make it there, I've been told you can make it anywhere. Despite rumours that his job was in jeopardy, Acta accompanied his Nationals to Yankee Stadium for the start of a three game David vs. Goliath series. But that doesn't mean his job is safe, he's still sitting in the visitors clubhouse with the Sword of Damocles dangling over his head and an oversized pair of scissors in Ted Lerner's hands.
So, in support of Acta, here are five reasons the Nationals should give Acta some relief and guarantee his job for the rest of the year, 120 losses or not:
- He's not the one who signed Adam Dunn: Or any of the terrible fielding Nationals, for that matter. The club can hit but they just can't field worth a lick. Even the normally adept Nick Johnson is having a tough year and the team is preventing runs at about the same rate the club is drawing fans to the Red Porch. The Nats have already given Jim Bowden the heave-ho for his transgressions. It's time to either remove the acting tag from Mike Rizzo's GMing hat or to bring in a new dude to guide the ship a bit and take some heat off Acta.
- He reads Baseball Prospectus: And Squawking Baseball and many, many other sabermetrically-inclined baseball blogs. Sure, having a mathematical mind is no automatic guarantee that he'll be a good manager, but it can't hurt to have someone in charge of the team be actually forward-thinking instead of an absolute caveman. Maybe it's a shame that Acta can't really demonstrate his knowledge with a team full of negative WARPs, amirite?
- It would make Ken Rosenthal look silly: Of course, that's not too hard to do since Ken spouts his nonsense with such great frequency, it's almost impossible for baseball fans to take him seriously. But Rosenthal reported with certainty last weekend that Acta was to be fired and replaced by Jim Riggleman. It would be nice to see Rosenthal scramble and blame his sources for misinformation, but once again, he'll have egg on his face.
- He's not Bobby Valentine: Be careful what you wish for, Nationals fans (fan?). Despite the rumours linking Bobby V to Washington's eventual firing of Manny Acta, this is not necessarily an improvement. We're talking about a man who barely compiled a .500 winning percentage in fifteen years of managing and never once finished in first place, even in six years in a five-team National League East with a huge Mets payroll. Considered to be a polar opposite to Acta's patient ways, Bobby Valentine would prove to be nothing more than a hyper, overblown spotlight hog.
- He had the good sense to bat Corey Patterson sixth: Yes, the patron saint of WoWness is back up in the big leagues, and Manny Acta didn't bat him leadoff on Sunday. It's questionable, though, as to why an above average defender like Corey was playing right field with the atrocious Elijah Dukes in center.
So what do you think? Should Acta be told to hit the bricks or should they keep him around to earn his place in history?