(Photo by Getty Images. Manny Acta hopes the Wilpons didn't notice his performance at Citi Field earlier this week.)
Manny Acta is on the hot seat, and the only person who doesn't seem to give a damn is Manny Acta.
Nationals dot com's Bill Ladson conducted an interview with Manny yesterday. Predictably, Manny's words don't convey any sense of urgency; he seems unfazed by public opinion:
MLB.com: For the first time since you arrived in Washington, the fans are not on your side. They want to see a new manager. When you hear stuff like that, what is your reaction?
Acta: My reaction is, I can't control what people think or say. The bottom line is: they want to see the team win. Everybody is on board with the rebuilding. But that being said, not too many people are patient enough to lose while rebuilding. I have to respect their opinion, but I just prepare myself to go out there every single day and give this team the best possible chance to win
Hey Manny: You'd be surprised how patient people are when your team plays hard for you day in and day out (see, 2007). The truth is: You lost this team weeks ago, and the proof is out on display on the field every night. For that reason alone: sorry, but we think it's time for change at the top.
There's an interesting comment in Boz's on-the-fence piece about Acta in this morning's paper:
The Nats stand behind Acta. But, as one team executive notes, that's partly because he is a "players' manager" who shows patience, seldom shows up veterans in public and, with the exception of one dugout confrontation with Elijah Dukes last season, may never have chewed out any of his current players.
When Boz says, "The Nats stand behind Acta.", who does that include, specifically? Are we talking players? Rizzo? Kasten? The Lerners? Because, if the Nationals as an organization stand behind their manager, you'd think we'd have at least heard a peep to that effect by Silent Stan Kasten or somebody within the organization over the course of the last few weeks while the ship continues to sink. And then there's that little question of that elusive 2010 team option, which the team didn't see any reason to pick up - now, that's standing by your man!
Regardless, there's a blog dedicated to the Fire Manny Acta cause now, so it'll probably happen any day now. If they go 0-fo-Philly this weekend, we won't be surprised for the axe to fall.