We knew this was going to happen, we just thought it was going to happen sooner:
In the middle of his third season as manager, Manny Acta has been fired by the Washington Nationals, a source with knowledge of the situation said tonight. Asked in an e-mail about his job status, Acta replied, simply, "Thanks for everything." Acta's Nationals made it to the all-star break with a 26-61 record, worst in the majors, finishing with six losses in their last seven games. During the first half, Acta's job status was the subject of much debate, and those in and out of the organization questioned whether his unfailingly patient approach matched the needs of a sloppy, error-prone team.
Overall, this is just the latest of several de-Bowdenification moves GM Mike Rizzo has made with this team. It's a good move. Acta, for all of his potential, has not seemed at all inspired in the past few months and some fresh air is needed. And now is as good a time as any to do it, mostly because his replacement -- who, if previous speculation is accurate, could be bench coach Jim Riggleman, on an interim basis -- will have a day or two to get his head about him before taking over.