Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Manny Acta is clearly the world's biggest athlete

Since it appears we've waned a little on the previous topic ("I hate xenophobics. Let it be known," said Justin. "I don't like it. It shouldn't be world or the United States. Hegemony, I mean."), just wanted to let everyone know that I now have a Pronk-sized man crush on Manny Acta.

"The stats, they're all and fine. I mean, they don't lie but I need enough of it to back me up. ... If I have enough data, let's say over twenty, over thirty, a hundred sometimes you have access to all of that then I can go by the stats, because they don't lie. I mean, it's been proven to me that a guy from first base with no outs has a better chance to score than a guy from second base with one out. That's been proven to me with millions of at-bats. So I don't like moving guys over from first to second unless there's a pitcher up or it's real late in the game. ... Top of the lineup guys will bunt, bottom of the lineup will bunt in those types of situations. ... I'm telling you right now you're not going to be seeing me bunting guys from first to second in the middle of the games or early unless it's the pitcher. ... I'll be straight up to you guys, I'm not going to be running all over the place just so 20-25,000 people in the stands are saying that I'm aggressive while people are getting thrown out on the bases." -- Found at a great Nats blog called Banks of the Anacostia.

Two things: 1) Manny said this publicly, at Spring Training, in front of baseball writers. While I don't wish to enter into another media-baiting frenzy, I would say on the whole that baseball writers (especially the older ones, or the ones who appear often on TV) are often the most prejudicial assholes when it comes to statistics, anywhere. Worse than Joe Morgan. OK, maybe not, but for reals, they hate that statistics bullshit. 2) Manny needs a speechwriter like I need a replacement layer of skin cells for my right palm. But we'll forgive him, because he's my man now and you need to back the fuck off, bitch.

So, here's my question: In a day and age when Ozzie Guillen is praised for absolutely killing his team with small-ball bullshit (check out this post at FJM for a more thorough explanation of that statement), what does Acta's attitude, in combination with the sheer decrepitude of the team the Nationals are going to trot out there, portend for his future?

I don't know about you, but I would be stunned if this guy lasts more than one season. The sports writers in Washington, who will have nothing good to write about, will brandish the knives after the first five-game losing streak, blaming it all on Acta "not preaching the little things" and "waiting for the three-run home run" and "trying to play Earl Weaver baseball with a Whitey Herzog roster." All of it will be untrue, but if you hear or read the same thing 500 times in the course of one season, you come to believe it. It may not be a stretch to say that Acta might be grooming himself for a blackballing; anyone think an owner is going to give Paul DePodesta another shot at being a GM after the way Plaschke spent two whole years writing nothing by hate speech about him? Doubtful, though it would be nice to think the Padres might see him as a post-KT option. Not that I want KT to go anywhere.

Anyway, that's it. Proceed with whatever else it was you people were arguing about.


Anonymous said...

Why adhere to playing for one run late in the game? That contradicts the stats regarding no outs, runner on first vs. one out, runner on second.

Diesel said...

A girl walks up to you. She's gorgeous, has great tits, an ass like a 14-year-old boy and wants to fuck your brains out after buying YOU a drink. A double. Shocked, you say something funny, and she busts out an Eddie Murphy laugh. Do you walk away because this solid 10 who wants to fuck you laughs like a donkey? Of course not; you give her time, earn her trust, and then use shock therapy to get her to stop laughing like that.

My point is, I'm willing to accept a few flaws if it means we're getting a manager who won't ever hit and run. I think he's just making those caveats to keep the sportswriters off his back until the team starts outperforming expectations by a little.

Diesel said...

Clearing something up: By "we," I simply mean stat-heads, not Nationals fans. I am not a Nationals fan, my crush on the team's manager notwithstanding.

Bryan Rosenbaum said...

Did Manny Acta also comment on why DC United is the more popular team in their own stadium? Sorry...I'm disappointed that the 'world's biggest athlete' debate appears to be over.

Maybe the dreadful softball team I play on, which gets mercied every outing and can't move runners in any way, has clouded my vision, but I'm not really understanding this. Aren't the Nationals completely inept? Can he really count on his 1-9 hitters moving runners in every conceivable situation, like the Yankees can? The Nats may not lead the league in baserunners thrown out, but aren't they subjecting themselves to leading the league in GIDPs and runners stranded?

Didn't the Nats finish at the bottom of nearly every pitching category last year (ERA, # of earned runs allowed)? Shouldn't the offense do everything it can to help it out, without clenching your fists, closing your eyes and hoping every batted ball finds a gap?

****my head is spinning, and I'm seeing stars. I just voluntarily dove into a baseball debate. And debated by asking many questions.****

****and how come, as a graphic designer, where I deal with typefaces and try my best to make things legible, I can't for the life of me get the word verification right on the first try?****

Bryan Rosenbaum said...

I also would like to point out that the Nats finished dead last in all of baseball in fielding percentage and errors.

CSG said...

Actually, the Nats are worse off sacrificing than the Yankees because each individual out is more important to a team that can't hit.