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Manny Acta Is A Risky Proposition

When the Mets collapsed in 2007 and 2008, one person that was conspicuously absent was third base coach Manny Acta.  In his time serving that role with the Mets, he had become known as an intelligent forward thinking baseball man, who showed an ability to connect with the players on the team.

Those traits led to Acta being a hot managerial candidate that offseason not too dissimilar to what we see with Alex Cora right now.  Coincidentally, many of the positive things said about Cora now were said about Acta after the 2006 season.

Acta would get hired after the 2006 season as the Nationals manager.  This would begin an interesting six year managerial career split between the Nationals and the Indians.  He would have go 158-252 (.385) with the Nationals, and 214-266 (.446) with the Indians.

One of the reasons for the struggles with the Nationals was talent.  The team had just parted ways with talented players including Alfonso Soriano.  Of the famed group of Nationals who are part of the core of the current Nationals team that won multiple division titles, he would only get to manage Ryan Zimmerman.

It was a similar issue with the Indians.  It was a team in transition after Cliff Lee was traded mid-season the year prior to his arrival.  Acta would lead the team to a surprise second place finish in 2011 increasing expectations for 2012.  That team had underperforming veterans like Derek Lowe, Ubaldo Jimenez, Casey Kotchman, and Johnny Damon didn’t produce, and young players like Corey Kluber, Cody Allen, and Jason Kipnis who were not quite ready.

Overall, Acta was well considered in baseball circles.  Its why when he was fired by the Nationals they said, “Manny is so intelligent, and so articulate. And he’s very good with players. He’s very active. He was out there hitting fungos (while managing the Nationals). He has a lot going for him.”  (Sports Illustrated).

It’s why Acta only had to wait a season between managerial jobs.  That is the case when he has two top five Manager of the Year finishes under his belt.  After his managerial stint was over, Acta was hired by ESPN where he would work for Baseball Tonight.  For the past two seasons, he served as the Mariners third base coach.  When he was hired, Mariners manger Scott Servais said, “I believe Manny will be a great addition to our staff.  I’ve known him for over 25 years, since we were teammates in 1989. His experience as a Major League third-base coach and manager, paired with his extensive player-development background, will be very valuable to me, and to our players, as we move forward.”  (MLB.com).

Between his tenure with the Nationals and the Indians, we began to get a picture of who Acta was as a manager.  Generally speaking, he was seen as a smart baseball man who had an analytical approach to the game.  Whereas some managers use instincts and a gunslinger mentality, Acta was a tactician who relied on the data.  For many, this would invoke comparisons to Joe Girardi, which depending on your point of view, could be seen as a positive or a negative.

In terms of the clubhouse, Acta had a mixed reputation like many managers do.  For one player, he was seen as someone who didn’t keep a tight reign on this players.  For others, he was a manager who respected the veterans and let them control the clubhouse.  For many, this would invoke comparisons to Terry Collins, which again depending on your view, could be seen as a positive or a negative.

Really, throughout his two tenures as manger, the only real pure negative thing anyone had to say about him was he was a poor motivator, and he was rigid in his ways.  As then Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin said of Acta, “He said that’s how he managed, that’s how he won in the Minor Leagues and that’s how he was going to win in the big leagues — by being himself. You have to respect a man for that, that he wasn’t going to change who he was.”  (MLB.com).

As for his ability to motivate Joe Smith said, “Our team, for whatever reason, didn’t seem motivated to play.  It’s sad when you say that about a bunch of guys that get paid to play a game. You shouldn’t need somebody else to motivate you to play this game. At the end of the day, it’s on us, but when it came that time to motivate us, there wasn’t a whole lot of it there.”

Overall, Acta is well considered to be a good and smart baseball man.  It is why he continues to get jobs.  It is also why you do see a positive impact on whatever team he joins.  Still, between his record and the specific criticism of being rigid in how he manages and his inability to motive, you do question if he’s well suited to be a manager.”  Then again, those things only to be raised as issues when someone is fired.

In the end, we still probably don’t know what Acta is as a manager because he’s never quite had sufficient talent to manage.  Considering the current composition of the Mets roster, this would make Acta a risky bet for this Mets team.  Then again, so would Cora or anyone else the Mets are considering.

 

12 thoughts on “Manny Acta Is A Risky Proposition”

  1. Gothamist says:

    Manny Acta

    Hey, I was not a fly on his cap to see his intangibles so I would not be qualified.

    Can you research those who were in the offices, clubhouses, scouts, beat writers?

    Can you provide some quotes?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I provided quotes from players from the Indians with their statements

  2. Gothamist says:

    Manage back then?

    HERE IS A NEW ANGLE

    Who wants to visit the clubhouse and see the syringes?!

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/228510-the-103-who-tested-positive-for-steroids-in-2003

    Then to disagree, to discipline?

    Psychiatric and psychological complications include manic behavior and psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions. Aggressive behavior is common and is often known as “roid rage.”

    https://www.medicinenet.com/anabolic_steroid_abuse/article.htm

    1. metsdaddy says:

      What does that have to do with Manny Acta?

      1. Gothamist says:

        Maybe this perspective?

        He managed during those years, his veteran players tested positive at some point (after possibly took roids up to that point for their entire careers). It is alleged that Alex Rodriquez took them from age 17…

        Quote:

        Torre says he, like most managers, was torn by his desire to see the game remain clean while needing to support his players.

        “You’ve got to manage these players and you want to earn their trust, so you’ve got to allow them responsibility to take care of themselves,” he says. “I’m not saying you don’t talk about it. You’re always cautioning them that you don’t want to be embarrassed by this or that. [But] you don’t follow players around or peek around the corner or whatever.”

        Or, as LaRussa puts it, “This is America, you know. It’s not a police state.”

        LaRussa’s longtime first-base coach, Dave McKay, has never been accused of directly aiding and abetting steroid users, but he was certainly in their proximity. LaRussa made McKay his first strength coach in Oakland; McKay says he never thought that the change in player physiques had anything to do with drugs.

        http://www.espn.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=quinn_tj&id=3270983

        1. metsdaddy says:

          What players of Acta tested positive?

          1. Gothamist says:

            Did he know which of forty took the junk?

            If you were teaching managers from Japan how to deal with players from 2007-2012 how would introduce the possibility of someone using steroids?

            Are the positive tests a trailing or leading indication of usage?
            Did the full results yet transmitted to the teams and managers real time?
            Do managers go to the baghrooms to watch them shoot up?
            Were players required to disclose to their managers?

            Suit yourself, I am exhausted…

            You win.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            I really don’t know what this has to do with anything

          3. Press Box Opinion says:

            Managing in the steroid era of 1990 – 2013 and 2014 – 2025 is exactly the same.

            The players are the same.
            They achieve stardom the same.
            They achieve long term contracts the same
            Their moods are the same
            Veterans on steroids lead by example the same
            Mentorship is equal either way
            Veterans on steroids are just as open or closed to rookies the same

            It is all the same, just some steroids vs Red Bull

  3. Gothamist says:

    Dors a manager the same way if the team has a reasonable chance at the playoffs as if they have a roster expected to compete or who had the year before?

    Btw, TC did not have a style of letting the vets lead.
    TC has a personality flaw.
    It is called neurosis.
    Neurotic people can not handle ambiguity.
    TC let the vets stars intimidate him and TC intimidated the rest.
    TC was hired by Sandy always to have less autonomy and power than the now top managers in the game.
    TC was not supposed to be the manager if they were playoff bound.
    Sandy did not hire him for the long haul.

    Yet, only Sandy, Jeff and Saul know that answer..

  4. Gothamist says:

    Brad Ausmus declined to meet the Mets.
    Others may have also declined? Or will?
    Not only can Acta be a safety pick
    But to use as him leverage as a sevond choice if offering and negotiating with a first choice
    (The Nats did that to squueze Dusty Baker)
    Acta can choose to come in a different role, like Bench Coach

    Sandy may have to redo the organization
    Establish a track record
    Show that he has more power
    Then in a few years he may get a Brad Ausmus to accept an interview…
    If Brad declined for he did not like the organization’s track record or minor league prospects…
    Or not like NY, Sandy or Shake Shack…

  5. Press Box Opinion says:

    NFL interviewing: GMs learn from the candidates and evolve their criteria and most times make better choices. Candidates not initially asked will request interviews. Agents call GMs. Candidates want interview practice, teams make minority candidate interviews sincerely or as window dressing. If Cora is going to Boston, Sandy way want his players to know he interviewed one or more latino candidates… We will not always know everything that happened in hindsight from start to finish after Collins was fired.

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