Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Praise for Acta already started

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Nov 14, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 13 mins ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 5,840 articles

WASHINGTON - Mets third base coach Manny Acta is expected to be introduced today as new manager of the Nationals.

At 37, Acta will be the youngest manager in Major League Baseball. He knows many of the current Nationals players because he served as a coach under outgoing manager Frank Robinson in Montreal from 2002-04.

The move is drawing praise from those in the baseball media.

While Acta has no major league managerial experience, every person I spoke to from ESPN’s Steve Phillips to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal had nothing but high praise for Acta and how he handles players.

Phillips pointed out how well he handled egos while managing the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic. Also, Acta’s attention to fundamentals and teaching young players is his strong suit. Phillips also pointed out Acta showed a great deal of managing savvy in winter ball in his native Dominican Republic where he won a championship with the Licey Tigers in 2003-2004.

“A guy like Manny Acta is the perfect fit for the Nationals,” said ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk. “He will be a great manager and will be around this game for a very long time.”

It has been a busy month for the Nats. They found a manager, added more than 20 new players to their minor league system, and bolstered their scouting department to rival that of any organization in baseball.

The Hot Stove League is just getting started and in their own slow but meticulous way, Nats president Stan Kasten and general manager Jim Bowden are following their rebuilding script to the letter.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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