The waiting IS the hardest part.
The anti-media crowd is probably loving all this. The media is the easy target because people naturally have a "kill the messenger" reaction to a lot of bad news. So it is easy to think the Nats don't need to say anything, don't need to lend credence to a media report that may not be quite accurate.
Well, that's not quite right. If it is accurate, do something. If it is not accurate, make that clear (and do it honestly - waiting until NEXT week to do something does not count).
First, this is not some fly-by-night blogger who threw that "Manny is gone soon" report out there. Ken Rosenthal has been a respected and reputable journalist for years. Does that mean he's always right? No. It does mean he's not going to throw something out there just to create a fuss, just to have some fun. Someone in the Nats organization said something. And that is why the Nats' alleged braintrust needs to react.
If what Rosenthal reported is true, Uncle Stan or El Jefe needed to man up right away and go to Manny. "Look, dude, it wasn't supposed to happen this way and I'm sorry it did. We will find the leak and take care of that. But we are going to make a change."
Or, they needed to come right out and say, "Nope. Wrong. Not true. Someone is spreading horsecrap. Manny is our man." And they need to stick with that.
One or the other. Manny deserves a straight answer (he may have already received one) and the fans deserve one. I put a lot of coin into this team. I have a right to know if the manager's job is really in jeopardy.
I'm also not going to play "kill the media," though I do have a bit of bias on that one given my background. No self-respecting reporter would sit on something like that.
I'm OK with any of the following statements:
"We stink and we're going to continue to stink no matter who manages. Manny is a classy guy and we like what he's all about, so we'll stick with him and reassess after the season."
"The reports are false. We have assessed every aspect of our organization in recent days and, yes, a change in managers was among the topics we discussed along with many others. Someone involved jumped the gun and got a little too anxious to spread some news that isn't true. We will deal with that. But Manny is our manager and will remain our manager."
"We are making a change. We are bringing in (fill in the blank of some poor sap who is about to be saddled with a significant challenge) to try and change the direction of our ballclub. We admit it was not handled well, because someone in the organization was in a rush to share news before we were ready for it to be announced. We will fix that and we apologize to Manny Acta and our fans for that. But we do need to make a change."
I do love Manny's response in the Nationals.com story - he's still the manager and you wouldn't have reached him if he wasn't. I imagine, though, he's a bit jumpy every time the phone rings.
And I'm sure our reporting buddies enjoyed their "day off" in New York. Where does stuff like this fit in the dream job scenario?