Manny Acta's tenure in Washington, D.C., appears to be coming to a close. If fired at the end of this season, he will be the second Washington sports coach fired in the 2008-2009 sports season.
Oh, the agony of DC sports.
In a season like this, you wonder what the point is to get rid of Acta, unless Acting General Manager Mike Rizzo believes he has the magic touch.
Since firing pitching coach Randy St. Claire, the Nationals bullpen has woken up and the young starters have continued their solid season.
You can call Jason Bergmann's performance against the Rays Saturday a glimpse in the rear-view mirror, and don't forget, he's not the world's best reliever.
Rizzo said that he fired St. Claire because the team picked up its play last season at about this time after a similarly dreadful start. The case can certainly be made that the players need a wake up call, or at least someone to remind them to focus on the field.
Acta, as nice, thoughtful, and calm as anyone, won't yell at his players. He won't even yell at the media.
He will stick up for his players (he calls them his "kids") through thick and thin, but maybe they need someone to chew them out after making yet another error, yet another bad pitch, or leaving yet another runner on third base.
The truth is, the Nationals and Wizards have had very comparable seasons. The Wizards were without three of their projected Opening Night starters by January, and the Nationals are relying on very young pitching and raw talent to win.
In both cases, the results will be less than spectacular.
In both cases, the coach took the heat.
The heat was too much for Eddie Jordan with the Wizards, will it be too much for Manny Acta with the Nationals?
It's a shame, because both men were doomed. Acta has won progressively fewer games each season, and Jordan could not beat the Cavaliers in a playoff series. These are the facts, even if they don't tell the whole story.
I've met Manny Acta, and have been around him a lot this season. If this is the last week as manager of the Nationals, I wish him all the best.
Meanwhile, D.C. sports fans must endure the next few seasons and wait for rebuilding in Verizon Center and Nationals Park to officially end.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!