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Yachtzee
03-01-2007, 09:48 AM
The author of the article makes sure to get in a few snide remarks right at the beginning, but then quotes Manny Acta on his philosophy in managing the Nats this season. It should be interesting to see how this plays out.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/sports/20070221-115118-3574r.htm

jojo
03-01-2007, 09:51 AM
The author of the article makes sure to get in a few snide remarks right at the beginning, but then quotes Manny Acta on his philosophy in managing the Nats this season. It should be interesting to see how this plays out.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/sports/20070221-115118-3574r.htm

I'm down with most everything he plans to implement.....

dabvu2498
03-01-2007, 09:54 AM
That is Manny Acta's plan on the field, which may have little effect on the outcome of this season, based on "the plan" off the field.


I like the little shot the author takes at LeatherPants.

Johnny Footstool
03-01-2007, 10:16 AM
It's nice to see a manager who isn't too caught up in "how the game is supposed to be played".

Puffy
03-01-2007, 10:20 AM
Boy, I really like what he's preaching - now if he sticks to it I'll be really interested in how he does

westofyou
03-01-2007, 10:22 AM
It's nice to see a manager who isn't too caught up in "how the game is supposed to be played".

A lot of this banter is being pulled out by the Nationals writers in response to what Robinson did... especially the bunting comment. Since they cut him loose a bunch of old school grumbling has been surfacing.

Yachtzee
03-01-2007, 10:24 AM
I like the little shot the author takes at LeatherPants.

It made me chuckle, for sure. But then with the snide shots he took at those "keyboard managers" who he sees as sharing Acta's views, it's kind of like he's saying "I think Acta's views are all a bunch of sabrbullpucky, but because it's a baseball guy saying it, I'm not going to shoot him down. I'll just take a swipe at those nerds at home who eat this stuff up. Even if they were good ideas, Bowden going to screw things up anyway." It's like he's covered all bases if the Nats fail or succeed. If they fail, he can write an article slamming Acta or Bowden at his choosing. If they do well, he still has an opening to praise Acta while still dogging Bowden.

TRF
03-01-2007, 10:39 AM
wow. I really, really wish Acta was managing the Reds. I don't know what his clubhouse personality is, but I like his views on "How The Game Should Be Played."

M2
03-01-2007, 10:42 AM
I'm in love Manny Acta. What I most like is he's taking the pains to be crystal clear about his expectations. IMO, positioning Felipe Lopez, instead of leaving it to Felipe to figure out, is a great idea. It should make his transition to 2B a whole lot easier.

Chip R
03-01-2007, 10:46 AM
Man, he better duck.

redsfan30
03-01-2007, 10:48 AM
It's nice to see a manager who isn't too caught up in "how the game is supposed to be played".

In my opinion, that is how the game should be played.

M2
03-01-2007, 10:49 AM
In my opinion, that is how the game should be played.

What Acta's saying or something else?

TeamSelig
03-01-2007, 10:57 AM
Guzman batting second? *shudders*

BRM
03-01-2007, 11:00 AM
I love his attitude towards bunting.


Bunting: "It's been proven to me that a guy at first base with no outs has a better chance to score than a guy at second base with one out. That has been proven to me with millions of at-bats. I don't like moving guys over from first to second unless the pitcher is up or it is real late in the game.

"I am telling you right now you are not going to see me bunting guys from first to second in the middle of the game or early unless it is the pitcher. We will pick spots. If we have a slow guy on the mound, and we know Logan can lay it down, we will pick those times."

Joseph
03-01-2007, 11:01 AM
Guzman batting second? *shudders*

SS are required to hit second.

Yachtzee
03-01-2007, 11:01 AM
wow. I really, really wish Acta was managing the Reds. I don't know what his clubhouse personality is, but I like his views on "How The Game Should Be Played."

I think his clubhouse management skills will be the key. It's one thing to manage the game, it's another thing to manage the people who play the game. I think a good manager is one who puts players in a position where they can best succeed, on both a macro level and a micro level. Acta has discussed his macro level view in the article. It should be interesting to see how he handles things on the micro level, which IMO involves knowing your players, what makes them tick, and whether one guy is more likely to succeed at any one point in time than another.

westofyou
03-01-2007, 11:15 AM
I think his clubhouse management skills will be the key. It's one thing to manage the game, it's another thing to manage the people who play the game. I think a good manager is one who puts players in a position where they can best succeed, on both a macro level and a micro level. Acta has discussed his macro level view in the article. It should be interesting to see how he handles things on the micro level, which IMO involves knowing your players, what makes them tick, and whether one guy is more likely to succeed at any one point in time than another.

Manny's big problem with the Mets was he was considered "Too" connected to the F.O. at the expense of the players on the field, now that may have been residue from his relationship with Minaya.

lollipopcurve
03-01-2007, 11:49 AM
Talent trumps this stuff. They'll be lucky not to lose 100 games, in my opinion.

Puffy
03-01-2007, 11:53 AM
I'm in love Manny Acta. What I most like is he's taking the pains to be crystal clear about his expectations. IMO, positioning Felipe Lopez, instead of leaving it to Felipe to figure out, is a great idea. It should make his transition to 2B a whole lot easier.

Word.

And Ryan Church batting second. When Johnson comes back to have:

Lopez
Church
Johnson
Zimmerman
Kearns

Talk about guys who could thrive if left alone and in that order - berry, berry nice!

M2
03-01-2007, 11:58 AM
Talent trumps this stuff. They'll be lucky not to lose 100 games, in my opinion.

Talent trumps most things. I actually don't think the Nats have such a bad team in the field when Nick Johnson's healthy. Chris Snelling could be a sleeper. They're bullpen is solid as well.

Yet, surprise, surprise, JimBo's got himself a team with crapshoot starting pitching.

Unless guys like Mike O'Connor and Joel Hanrahan take big steps forward, that team will be out of most games afters five innings.

Johnny Footstool
03-01-2007, 12:25 PM
Talent trumps most things. I actually don't think the Nats have such a bad team in the field when Nick Johnson's healthy. Chris Snelling could be a sleeper. They're bullpen is solid as well.

Yet, surprise, surprise, JimBo's got himself a team with crapshoot starting pitching.

Unless guys like Mike O'Connor and Joel Hanrahan take big steps forward, that team will be out of most games afters five innings.

The Nats have loaded up on gap power, which should benefit them in a ballpark that suppresses HRs. They could conceivably get by with below average pitching (of course, they'll have to scrape to find even that).

Of course, JimBo absolutely hosed the team when he refused to deal Soriano. Worst non-deal ever.

M2
03-01-2007, 12:38 PM
You know,the more I think about what Acta said, the more I'm convinced there's a portion of the baseball universe (professionals, media and fans) that have slipped into Bizarro World.

Think about what he's saying:

1. Track hitter tendencies and position your fielders accordingly.

2. Don't bunt your way out of potential big innings early in the game, particularly with a good hitter at the plate.

3. Don't give an open green light to guys who aren't very good at stealing bases.

4. Fill the #2 hole with a guy who is good at getting on base.

For the life of me, I don't see what's radical or objectionable about any of those statements. That's some pretty basic stuff right there, the sort of stuff I'd imagine the overwhelming majority of humans would agree with. Yet, if it gets portrayed a certain way (e.g. as some wacky "Moneyball" scheme designed to please computer geeks), people get their hackles up over subjects that I sincerely doubt they object to in their more rational moments.

TRF
03-01-2007, 12:53 PM
Of course, JimBo absolutely hosed the team when he refused to deal Soriano. Worst non-deal ever.

It was and it wasn't. They needed to build a fan base, and Soriano at home will draw some fans and stir interest. Short term he might have gotten a blue chip prospect for him. Long term he might have gotten a few extra butts in the seats that might return despite the fact that Soriano is gone.

I think you could make the case either way.

TRF
03-01-2007, 12:54 PM
You know,the more I think about what Acta said, the more I'm convinced there's a portion of the baseball universe (professionals, media and fans) that have slipped into Bizarro World.

Think about what he's saying:

1. Track hitter tendencies and position your fielders accordingly.

2. Don't bunt your way out of potential big innings early in the game, particularly with a good hitter at the plate.

3. Don't give an open green light to guys who aren't very good at stealing bases.

4. Fill the #2 hole with a guy who is good at getting on base.

For the life of me, I don't see what's radical or objectionable about any of those statements. That's some pretty basic stuff right, the sort of stuff I'd imagine the overwhelming majority of humans would agree with. Yet, if it gets portrayed certain way (e.g. a some wacky "Moneyball" scheme designed to please computer geeks), people get their hackles up over subjects that I sincerely doubt they object to in their more rational moments.

Wasn't Ray Knight adept at #1? I seem to recall he had every hitter in the NL charted and moved his fielders according to who was up.

Puffy
03-01-2007, 01:02 PM
Wasn't Ray Knight adept at #1? I seem to recall he had every hitter in the NL charted and moved his fielders according to who was up.

Ray Knight was a great bench coach. It was when he had to be the number 1 guy where he failed.

Yachtzee
03-01-2007, 01:48 PM
Ray Knight was a great bench coach. It was when he had to be the number 1 guy where he failed.

Kind of like football coaches. Some guys are great coordinators, but have failed miserably as head coaches.

Chip R
03-01-2007, 07:11 PM
You know,the more I think about what Acta said, the more I'm convinced there's a portion of the baseball universe (professionals, media and fans) that have slipped into Bizarro World.

Think about what he's saying:

1. Track hitter tendencies and position your fielders accordingly.

2. Don't bunt your way out of potential big innings early in the game, particularly with a good hitter at the plate.

3. Don't give an open green light to guys who aren't very good at stealing bases.

4. Fill the #2 hole with a guy who is good at getting on base.

For the life of me, I don't see what's radical or objectionable about any of those statements.


I think it's #2 that are going to give a lot of people problems. Of course Sparky said the same thing and he's in the HOF.

jojo
03-01-2007, 07:31 PM
I think it's #2 that are going to give a lot of people problems. Of course Sparky said the same thing and he's in the HOF.

I'm alL for #2.....

vaticanplum
03-01-2007, 07:38 PM
You know,the more I think about what Acta said, the more I'm convinced there's a portion of the baseball universe (professionals, media and fans) that have slipped into Bizarro World.

Think about what he's saying:

1. Track hitter tendencies and position your fielders accordingly.

2. Don't bunt your way out of potential big innings early in the game, particularly with a good hitter at the plate.

3. Don't give an open green light to guys who aren't very good at stealing bases.

4. Fill the #2 hole with a guy who is good at getting on base.

For the life of me, I don't see what's radical or objectionable about any of those statements. That's some pretty basic stuff right, the sort of stuff I'd imagine the overwhelming majority of humans would agree with. Yet, if it gets portrayed certain way (e.g. a some wacky "Moneyball" scheme designed to please computer geeks), people get their hackles up over subjects that I sincerely doubt they object to in their more rational moments.

The only answer I have is ego, with a side dish of "tradition".

Manny Acta is a pretty smart dude. If I wanted to be a baseball manager, I have to say that I would love to have his job. The expectations and the fanbase are low enough that he can do what he wants. He has a messy but not untalented baseball team and a whole lot of ideas. I think he's going to have a good time. I don't think the Nationals have enough talent to really surprise, unfortunately, but I bet there will be interesting baseball factoids to be picked up from them all season long.

Chip R
03-01-2007, 07:49 PM
I'm alL for #2.....


Absolutely. But I'm just saying that that is the item that a lot of people will disagree with. If they get their leadoff hitter on and the #2 guy doesn't bunt, Acta's going to get some flack.

oneupper
03-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Its a shame Acta is probably doomed because of the poor team he has been given.

jmcclain19
03-01-2007, 10:31 PM
Its a shame Acta is probably doomed because of the poor team he has been given.

And it's also a shame that if (more likely given the roster when) he fails, some will rail against his philosophies as a reason he needed to be replaced.

mth123
03-02-2007, 03:54 AM
Stealing: "We will run selectively. I think one of the things that doomed this club last year is that they were first in caught stealing. I am not going to be running all over the place just because 25,000 people in the stands are saying I am aggressive while people are getting thrown out on the bases. Not everybody will have a green light here. The guys who are going to run are the guys who are going to prove to me that they will be successful most of the time trying to steal a base."



I love this part. Running into outs is a personal pet peeve.

WMR
03-02-2007, 04:56 AM
You know,the more I think about what Acta said, the more I'm convinced there's a portion of the baseball universe (professionals, media and fans) that have slipped into Bizarro World.

Think about what he's saying:

1. Track hitter tendencies and position your fielders accordingly.

2. Don't bunt your way out of potential big innings early in the game, particularly with a good hitter at the plate.

3. Don't give an open green light to guys who aren't very good at stealing bases.

4. Fill the #2 hole with a guy who is good at getting on base.

For the life of me, I don't see what's radical or objectionable about any of those statements. That's some pretty basic stuff right, the sort of stuff I'd imagine the overwhelming majority of humans would agree with. Yet, if it gets portrayed certain way (e.g. a some wacky "Moneyball" scheme designed to please computer geeks), people get their hackles up over subjects that I sincerely doubt they object to in their more rational moments.

It's so crazy it just might work!!

Johnny Footstool
03-02-2007, 10:20 AM
It was and it wasn't. They needed to build a fan base, and Soriano at home will draw some fans and stir interest. Short term he might have gotten a blue chip prospect for him. Long term he might have gotten a few extra butts in the seats that might return despite the fact that Soriano is gone.

I think you could make the case either way.

It was a bad gamble. The Nats had very little chance of signing Soriano long-term. And if they had come up with an attractive offer, they still could have traded him and signed him after the season.

Any of those extra butts Soriano put in the seats will be long gone by July.

westofyou
03-02-2007, 10:27 AM
It was a bad gamble. The Nats had very little chance of signing Soriano long-term. And if they had come up with an attractive offer, they still could have traded him and signed him after the season.

Any of those extra butts Soriano put in the seats will be long gone by July.

2 years into DC, building a fan base should not have mattered, they had an instant fan base. Getting talent should have mattered, because Soriano wasn't going to stay, and Bowden should have known that he was trying to draw an inside straight with the biggest pot in his Nationals career.

registerthis
03-02-2007, 10:37 AM
Of course, JimBo absolutely hosed the team when he refused to deal Soriano. Worst non-deal ever.

Worst non-deal ever? How can you possibly say that when you don't know what was offered to the Nats for Soriano? Yes, Bowden gambled when he decided not to deal Soriano at the trading deadline, but something tells me that he had a pretty good hunch that Soriano wasn't going to re-sign with Washington, regardless of what happened. He may very well have decided that losing Soriano and gaining a draft pick, rather than dealing him for whatever also-rans may have been put forth as trade fodder, was the way to go.

My guess is, Bowden fielded some calls from some teams who thought they had the Nats over a barrel, and what was offered didn't nearly equate to Soriano's value--perceived or otherwise. So Bowden said, screw it, we're not a AAAA farm team for the rest of the league anymore, I'll take my chances at re-signing him, or lose him and take the compensatory draft pick.

I'm speculating, of course, but so are you when you label this non-deal as the "worst ever."

Johnny Footstool
03-02-2007, 03:21 PM
Worst non-deal ever? How can you possibly say that when you don't know what was offered to the Nats for Soriano? Yes, Bowden gambled when he decided not to deal Soriano at the trading deadline, but something tells me that he had a pretty good hunch that Soriano wasn't going to re-sign with Washington, regardless of what happened. He may very well have decided that losing Soriano and gaining a draft pick, rather than dealing him for whatever also-rans may have been put forth as trade fodder, was the way to go.

My guess is, Bowden fielded some calls from some teams who thought they had the Nats over a barrel, and what was offered didn't nearly equate to Soriano's value--perceived or otherwise. So Bowden said, screw it, we're not a AAAA farm team for the rest of the league anymore, I'll take my chances at re-signing him, or lose him and take the compensatory draft pick.

I'm speculating, of course, but so are you when you label this non-deal as the "worst ever."

Of course it's speculation on my part. I didn't think we needed to preface every statement with "IMO."

Still, you don't have to be an insider to realize that Soriano wasn't coming back to Washington. And based on JimBo's recent history with the draft (Ty Howington? Chris Gruler? Mark Schramek?!?), a compensatory pick is nearly as bad a gamble. Dealing Soriano was a no-brainer, and Bowden blew it.

IMO, worst non-deal ever.

registerthis
03-02-2007, 03:55 PM
Of course it's speculation on my part. I didn't think we needed to preface every statement with "IMO."

You don't have to. But everyone and their brother just *knew* Soriano would be dealt. And I'm quite certain that drove his trade value down significantly. Now, you could make the argument that something would be bette rthan nothing--and perhaps that is so. But look at it from another perspective:

By doing what he did, Bowden made it publicly clear that the Nationals *wanted* Soriano back very much, and were willing to do everything in their power to make it happen. If, come opening day 2007, Soriano wasn't in a Nationals uniform, it would have been Soriano--not the nationals--who had made that decision.

Had Bowden unloaded Soriano for an aging vet, or a couple of middling prospects, it would have looked doubly bad for the franchise--not only did they lose Soriano, but they didn't make much of an effort to re-sign him and they lost him for a couple of crap prospects.

Perhaps you're right, Johnny, and Bowden simply miscalculated whether or not Soriano would stay. But there's a much larger side to this story than simply "Soriano should have been dealt."

Johnny Footstool
03-02-2007, 04:14 PM
You don't have to. But everyone and their brother just *knew* Soriano would be dealt. And I'm quite certain that drove his trade value down significantly. Now, you could make the argument that something would be bette rthan nothing--and perhaps that is so. But look at it from another perspective:

By doing what he did, Bowden made it publicly clear that the Nationals *wanted* Soriano back very much, and were willing to do everything in their power to make it happen. If, come opening day 2007, Soriano wasn't in a Nationals uniform, it would have been Soriano--not the nationals--who had made that decision.

Had Bowden unloaded Soriano for an aging vet, or a couple of middling prospects, it would have looked doubly bad for the franchise--not only did they lose Soriano, but they didn't make much of an effort to re-sign him and they lost him for a couple of crap prospects.

Perhaps you're right, Johnny, and Bowden simply miscalculated whether or not Soriano would stay. But there's a much larger side to this story than simply "Soriano should have been dealt."

That is a valid perspective on the deal -- Bowden's reasoning could very well have been along those lines. But even so, I still think his choices were terrible. I don't think attempting to sign Soriano saved any face for the organization. Even mediocre prospects would be better than what the Nats have now -- a draft pick Bowden is almost guaranteed to blow.

TRF
03-02-2007, 04:58 PM
That is a valid perspective on the deal -- Bowden's reasoning could very well have been along those lines. But even so, I still think his choices were terrible. I don't think attempting to sign Soriano saved any face for the organization. Even mediocre prospects would be better than what the Nats have now -- a draft pick Bowden is almost guaranteed to blow.

While Bowden has had MORE than his share of draft day troubles (John Oliver?) He also has drafted a few guys that have made a decent impact. I don't think it's a guarantee that he'll blow the draft, if he has anything resembling a scouting budget and FO support.

Johnny Footstool
03-02-2007, 05:32 PM
While Bowden has had MORE than his share of draft day troubles (John Oliver?) He also has drafted a few guys that have made a decent impact. I don't think it's a guarantee that he'll blow the draft, if he has anything resembling a scouting budget and FO support.

The odds aren't in his favor.

TRF
03-02-2007, 06:12 PM
perhaps not. but he had enough of an eye for talent to completely fleece WK. That can be a big confidence booster, even to a guy with his ego. Add to that the strides they are making in Latin America, and JimBo could be heading to some successful seasons in Washington.

westofyou
03-02-2007, 06:18 PM
perhaps not. but he had enough of an eye for talent to completely fleece WK. That can be a big confidence booster, even to a guy with his ego. Add to that the strides they are making in Latin America, and JimBo could be heading to some successful seasons in Washington.

He'll be gone by next spring, he's currently building the worst pitching staff in your lifetime, that's his legacy a complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to building a major league staff.

pedro
03-02-2007, 06:22 PM
perhaps not. but he had enough of an eye for talent to completely fleece WK. That can be a big confidence booster, even to a guy with his ego. Add to that the strides they are making in Latin America, and JimBo could be heading to some successful seasons in Washington.

I understand Guzman is still hurt and Lopez will likely have to play SS again this year. It isn't going to be pretty.

The only thing Jimbo is headed for is 95 loses and the unemployment line.

pedro
03-02-2007, 06:28 PM
Yesterday the Nats played D'Angelo Jiminez at SS and Lopez at 2B. That is not a recipe for success IMO.

RANDY IN INDY
03-02-2007, 08:38 PM
It's spring training.

pedro
03-02-2007, 08:47 PM
It's spring training.

I know, but the point is that they don't have a SS.