I was floored by how reasonable new Nats manager Manny Acta comes off in this Washington Times article
. Honestly. Floored.
Take a look:Defense: "A big part of defense is positioning. We are not going to be letting these guys do most of these things on their own. We are going to be controlling some part of the game from the bench. We will have enough charts and stuff to be able to see if he is in the right spot and, if not, control it. We would rather take that out of their hands, and between me and Pat Corrales, we will take care of that."
"Charts and stuff." That means evidence, or at least an attempt at evidence. Fine. I like it. A decent start.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."
Yes! Manny Acta, I love you. This guy just gets it. He even gets his own dig in at people think making extra outs on the basepaths is "aggressive." Preach on, Manny.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.
Manny Acta: capable of learning. Open to new ideas. Looks at studies involving millions of at-bats and believes the results over what he's been told over and over again. Opposite of Ozzie Guillen.
Lineup: Acta said his preference for the second spot in the lineup ideally would be determined by on-base percentage -- even though his plan is to bat Guzman, a low-percentage on-base guy, second.
"You can't steal first base," he said. "That is the main thing for me. You have to get on in order to score. I know Guzman is not a big high-percentage guy, but we don't have all the choices that we want to have here right now. With Lopez on base, Guzman may be the ideal guy to get him over with a hit-and-run or a drag bunt to get the guy in the scoring position for the [Ryan] Zimmermans and [Austin] Kearnses of the world.
He said if everyone were healthy, Ryan Church would bat second.
I'm going to come out and say it right now: I think Manny Acta reads FJM every day. He probably has it in his Bloglines.
Labels: managing, manny acta, nationals