I hesitate to post this for a variety of reasons. I don't want to sound like I'm going from sunny Opening Day optimist to doomsayer based on one perfectly awful game. I also hate to think about it because I just don't like the subject. I've never been one to suggest a quick trigger for coaches/managers and the like. Plus there's the fact that Manny Acta seems like a perfectly excellent guy and I really, really want him to succeed. Not just because he manages my favorite team.
That said, I must admit: I am starting to wonder if Manny Acta is the right manager for this team. Not if he's a good baseball man. I think it goes without saying that he is indeed. I also realize it is difficult to judge anyone who is being asked to make chicken salad out of chicken, uh, feathers.
But I am starting to wonder. And I bet a bundle I'm not alone.
It was driven home last evening in the middle of the opener. My son is not unemploy *** uh, self-employed. He gets up each morning, goes to work, comes home afterward. He strolled in about 5:30 and sat down on the couch. Took one look at the score and said, "Holy shit." Welcome to my world, I said.
Just then, the TV went to the classic dugout shot of Manny. It's the one we've seen a million times before. Stoic Manny, sitting there taking it all in without a trace of emotion.
"I'm not glued to these guys like you are," my son noted, "but I have never, ever seen a shot of Manny Acta doing anything but that."
He clearly missed the Dukes exchange last season. Even that was mild compared to what it could have been. My brother was quick to ask, "What would Frank have done?" Dukes may have busted the old man up but they would have had to drag Frank off him.
Being stoic, being patient? Great, terrific virtues. I could use a little more of each. For this team, I think maybe it is time to have a guy who is about out of patience and ready to kick some ass. My son said if he was the Nats' manager, he would have found a way to get tossed yesterday. Then he would have told them afterward "I DID IT ON PURPOSE BECAUSE I AM TIRED OF WATCHING THIS CRAP." Maybe Manny is that way behind the closed doors but I sense he is not.
Again, these are fleeting thoughts. I really wanted the former GM out because I didn't think he was doing a good job for this club. I really want Manny to work out. I am not calling for his head. I think he is good for the community. I want him to be the Nationals' manager.
I'm just starting to wonder. Is he the right guy at this time for this team?