Dead Manny Walking

Acta looks like he's checked out

After Wednesday night's loss to the Mets, it might be time for Manny Acta to go, if only because it appears he's already checked out.  He looks like a defeated man, one who's powerless to stop the skidding around him, as anything and everything falls apart.

Manny has a philosophy that arguing with umpires doesn't solve a thing.  He's generally right.  Acting like a horse's butt doesn't really get umpires to change their mind.  But like Acta does with most of his life philosophies, he's taken it to such a ridiculous degree that it's lost all sense.

Wednesday's game featured two bizarre calls from the umps -- two calls that at least merited some sort of explanation from the men in blue.  But Acta couldn't be bothered to leave the dugout.  He stood there stone faced, like a cigar store indian.

The second one was a balk call that seemed to be a phantom call.  Replays were inconclusive, but Manny didn't even raise an eyebrow.  He just stared ahead blankly.

But the first?  The Nats got screwed again by shoddy umpiring.  Daniel Murphy's high drive came down near an overhang in deep right.  The ball fell on the field, and the Nats managed to throw a runner out at the plate on the play.  The umpires again went to the video tape, and despite there not being any conclusive evidence (even if it seems like it might've), they ruled that the ball had hit the fence: home run.

It's a key point in the game, right?

But Acta just stood there.  Silent.  Not a peep.  "Them's the breaks," he must've thought.

Adam Dunn argued strenuously with the umps, but Manny left him hanging.  He didn't come out to back his star player. 

And that's the problem with Acta's passive approach.  While it might be pointless in its effect with the umps, it's not pointless with its effect on the players.

He simply refuses to stand up for his players and to defend them.  Why should they respect him if he's not giving them any?

It doesn't seem like they've quit on him.  But it sure looks like he's quit on them.

If that's the case, it's time for Jim Riggleman or some caretaker manager to finish out the season.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  Even his life isn't as dysfunctional as the Nats organization.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us