It's like we said a few weeks ago: Manny Acta isn't a member of the Elijah Dukes Fan Club.
Still scratching our heads this morning over the Nationals' decision to bench, then fine Elijah Dukes for being 5 minutes late for work yesterday.
Manny Acta's statement on the 'incident', from Nationals Journal, is, well, bizarre:
"He was late for work, he broke a team rule, and we are going to change the culture here -- regardless of how well a guy is playing ... And it was a bizarre situation, because he was doing something that we encourage our players to do: He was out in the community doing something for some Little League program and just showed up late to work. He was very remorseful about it. He felt bad, but we have to lay the law on whoever."
Little Leaguers! You can't make this crap up. The guy with the bad reputation and worse track record, trying to walk the straight and narrow, trying to do the right thing, doing a GOOD thing out in the community -- for a bunch of effing Little Leaguers no less!? -- and Manny decides now is the time to lay down the law? (Meanwhile, his guy L-Millz basically skated after skipping a team meeting the day before Opening Day?) Like Manny said, it's a bizarre situation.
But add this little nugget from the account of the benching on Nationals dot com and it looks even stranger:
Both acting general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Manny Acta made the decision to let Dukes sit out the game, and the outfielder was warned that if he was late again, he would be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Hmm...seems a little harsh, don't you think? So, Manny admits publicly that the infraction was innocent enough, but they still feel the need to threaten a demotion to AAA Syracuse if he's late again? Is there somethng they're not telling us?
Or just another case of Manny being Manny?