Interesting news to get before the morning coffee. I think we all kind of had a hunch it was coming. I was thinking "is this the last one?" while watching his postgame press conference on TV. The premature story on FOX last month bought Manny a little more time. It did not change the ultimate outcome.
While I called for it more than a month ago and don't disagree with the move, now that it has been made I have sort of a pain in my stomach. I'll stick to my guns that Manny is a good man and that he's probably a good manager and I do hope he gets a chance to show it somewhere eventually (in the American League). I just don't think he was the right fit for this team, thought to be fair I'm not sure anybody is the right fit the more I watch and shake my head about this team.
Is a new manager going to make those relievers better? I don't think so. Is the defense suddenly going to become rock solid? I don't think so.
Manny didn't have the pieces, though I did have questions here and there about how he deployed the pieces he did have. The team had some fundamental issues. Overall, the main problem is it just isn't very good. Whatever. None of that matters now. Whether the team goes with Jim Riggleman as a temporary solution or has someone ready to go full-time, the Nationals are no longer Manny Acta's problem.
So, looking ahead, YOU are the new manager. What's the first thing you do? Is there someone you bench? Is there a change in the bullpen pecking order (like that would matter)? A player in the system you demand be brought up and given a shot?
Does the new manager need to be a head-banger, an emotional, fiery type? Patience didn't do a whole lot of good. That was maybe my biggest complaint about Manny, other than actually sending Alex Cintron up to hit once when Josh Willingham was sitting right there. Stoic is good, patient is good. Just not all the time. Sometimes you have to explode.
I do hope they've managed to find a permanent replacement, if only so my buddies in the media don't have to remember to type "acting" or "interim" every time they write about the general manager or manager. This team needs some stability and we fans need a reason to keep believing in a product that has deteriorated beyond belief in four-plus seasons.
Give me a reason to keep buying FOUR (partial) season tickets, to keep driving 125 miles each way to see an inferior product live, to keep spending money on a Nats wardrobe, to keep planning summer trips to see the team in different parks.
Put people in place we can believe in, at every spot. Get Strasburg signed. Try to make these final however-many games count. Don't just ride them out with the promise of changes in the offseason. That's been done before. The team has to win 33 more games just to match last season's miserable mark.
Firing a manager just to say you've done something isn't enough. Don't make it the final step. Make it the first step.