(Photo by Getty Images. Manny Acta is employed as a major league manager again.)
"We are very excited to have Manny Acta on board as our manager. After speaking with an impressive array of candidates, we feel that Manny is a very strong and experienced leader who possesses great energy and enthusiasm along with tremendous communication skills and a positive mindset that will command a presence in the dugout, clubhouse and with our fans."
(Mark Shapiro, via Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/25/2009)
Are we really talking about the same guy?
Second Acta: Indians hire Manny Acta.
Somehow, Manny managed to parlay his putrid 158-252 record in Washington (a grotesque 26-61 before he was finally canned mid-way through the 2009 season) into the position of hottest commodity on the managerial market. (yeah, yeah, yeah, he had nothing to work with in Washington those 3 years, etc.)
Maybe that's not saying much about the market. Or the Indians. Then again, if you're looking for an experienced loser, look no further than Manny Acta.
But what's perhaps most surprising is that he would've been Astros manager if Drayton McLane would've given him 3 years. Drayton wouldn't. Cleveland did. End of story. How bad did the Astros want him? Let's ask Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle:
Manny Acta was the guy they wanted. The Astros liked everything about him. His presence and personality. How he forged relationships with players. His ability to run a game.
I said from the beginning that there was no right answer in this search for a new manager. Manny Acta would have been terrific, but then so would Phil Garner, Bob Melvin, Tim Bogar, Jim Fregosi and a dozen or so others.
But the Astros settled on Manny Acta. Ed Wade and Tal Smith went through the list and the interviews and decided he should be the guy to lead the Astros through an important period in their history.
Wow ! So there was almost, like, a bidding war for Manny's services? Did we miss something, or something? Did all that losing just make us blind to what Manny Acta really is? Good luck with Manny, Cleveland. And good luck in Cleveland, Manny.
Now the bad news for Nationals fans is that Mattingly and Valentine are still in play for the Nationals job.