Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Manny Acta,

I used to think that you would be a sufficient replacement for Frank Robinson. You said the right things, baseball people held you in high regard, and your players seemed to play hard for you. After a rough start, the team really played some good ball last year, and I was feeling pretty hopeful coming into the season. After 40 games, I am not so sure I have any reason to be excited about you anymore. You seem to have forgotten how to manage. Your handling of pitchers is atrocious.

I can remember a time last Saturday when poor Mike O'Connor couldn't get the ball over the plate to save his life. Jena and I looked out in the bullpen, expecting to see someone warming up. After all - the game was certainly not out of reach! We were wrong. Nothing. As O'Connor alternated between giving up line drives and walks, finally Joel Hanrahan got up. After about 3 minutes, on a 2-0 count, with the bases loaded, you put Hanrahan in, obviously not all the way warmed up. That was terrible, and he proved that you had made a bad move by tossing a wild pitch, finishing the walk, then giving up a grand slam before settling down.

Now Jena and I thought you had learned your lesson. We were so wrong. Just this week, in a game against the Mets, with the team clinging to a lead, you put in Ayala, who looked good in his first inning of work. You were so encouraged that you left him out there, which seemed okay, but maybe you should have had someone ready in the pen, just in case he faltered? Especially after the debacle last weekend? You didn't, and Ayala fell apart like one-inning guys are wont to do in their second inning of work. But guess what! Without anyone to replace him, you had to leave him out there. Bad. Bad. Bad.

I would also like to ask you while I am writing - why is Kearns trotted out there every day to hit 5th or 6th, where he is in a perfect position to kill rallies with strikeouts and double play balls? He's hitting .200, and not the Nick Johnson kind of .200, where he walks all the time and makes plays on the bases. No, the .200, where you stink. And where you continuously make fielding blunders that render your 'awesome arm' useless.

There are other things I like to discuss, like why you tried to bring Cordero back, despite a sore arm that left his velocity around 82 mph, at all. I'd especially wonder why you did it on a night where the temperatures were in the 40s. Do you hate Chad Cordero's arm? I also wonder about your decision to keep Lastings Milledge in the 5th slot despite his inability to hit with brains or power.

Maybe sometime we can discuss all this. If your crappy managing keeps up, you will likely have a lot of newfound free time.
Someone who is suffering through equally sad starts by his Nationals and Tigers in the same year even though he did nothing to deserve it except to be a loyal fan.