Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dear Manny (Part Two)

Dear Manny:

Knowing the way you are--you never give up. And that's a good thing, when it comes to Our Washington Nationals in 2007. Because of you, Our Team that plays on East Capitol Street has performed better than expected. Many predicting an awful season. In fact, at times--Our Home Team of The Nation's Capital has been downright competitive, and fun to watch. All of that--because of you.

Yes, My Favorite Manager--YOU--Manny Acta, are mostly responsible for making this season enjoyable to watch. From Day One, you have flashed that CHARISMATIC SMILE that I LOVE SO MUCH. From Day One, you have stated Our Washington Nationals are going to try to win each and every day. And, Except for a few tailspins--an 1-8 start and an awful 1-9 late April-Early May Effort--This Team, Our Team, has been very competitive. You, My Friend--are mostly responsible for the little success we have all enjoyed.

Happiness that turned to frowns this past week--when once again--with Washington on their very last West Coast Swing of 2007, they stumbled badly--losing six straight. Manny, I know--it was tough watching last Friday in Denver when "The Chief" simply didn't have it, blew up--all resulting in what seemed to be The Worst Loss of The Season. At least until Wednesday Afternoon in Los Angeles, when Our Team committed an Ultimate Team Loss. You can point your finger at more than a few. No doubt, that 10-9 defeat in 12 innings at the hands of The Dodgers had to sting even more than most.

Hurt, because any 5 run lead against one of the best pitchers in the game--Brad Penny--would have been savored. Yesterday was failure, that sometimes can not be explained. And, it burned in the heart, because ANY WIN heading back East after a long 10 Game Road Trip--puts Our Team into better spirits.

Manny, My Friend--you know that--and I know that. Yet now after a series a difficult losses, we find ourselves facing September--the last month of the baseball season--worried that Our Washington Nationals may fall flat and finish poorly. And those critics--the very same that floated "Worst Team In History" this past spring--are back again--trashing Our Washington Nationals. So called "EXPERTS" looking for redemption from their previous silly statements.

Unfortunately, The Eastern Division of The National League contains three of the better teams vying for a World Series berth. Yeah, neither The Mets, The Phillies or The Braves are GREAT TEAMS--but they all understand--THEY CAN WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR. The Entire NL is fairly weak--time to pounce and achieve--using Washington as a pawn. Accomplishment that stares You and Our Washington Nationals right in the face. Manny--No one can win Our Division without first playing through Washington. In many respects--You control The Lock to who wins The National League East and possibly even The Wild Card. That makes it interesting for me, The African Queen, all our Section 320 friends and neighbors at RFK Stadium over the last five weeks of 2007. Without fail, you can count on us to support your every effort. Backing, those pundits will never give and, quite frankly--hope you hit rock bottom.

With all that in mind, can we count on Our Washington Nationals to buckle up and surprise all of baseball--once again during September? Manny, some have already mentioned that you are deserving of National League Manager of The Year. Even Management has openly shouted their approvals. In an attempt to unlock the vault of hidden talents to build for Our Future--you are THE GOLDEN KEY. Yes, in many respects, you may not win Manager of The Year--But, Manny Acta you have been The Find of The Year. The Most Important Ingredient to Our Team to soon play on South Capitol Street.

A Leader, A Teacher, A Friend and a pretty Good Rookie Manager in The Major Leagues. All the while, being as Fan Friendly as ANY MANAGER that has ever been in This Great Game. In a short period of time--you are special.

Manny--for what seems like the billionth time in 2007, lets shut up those naysayers once again as this grueling 162 game schedule comes to an end. Keep Our Players motivated, interested, and willing to give their all over these final 28 games--16 of them at the soon to close RFK. Personally, I know its in you. There is nothing finer than beating New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Nothing better than shutting up The Media. Believe me, I know. As you know--I am in The Media as my profession, as well.

Dear Manny, you have made This Entire 2007 Season Worthwhile for me. So, Lets end it in style--by Winning Some Meaningful Games against tough competition and Closing RFK Stadium on a High Note.

Dear Manny, with your expertise, we can all send Our Washington Nationals to New Nationals Park in Grand Style.

Nothing Could Be Finer.

Keep Up The Great Work.

Your Friend--Always.

Screech's Best Friend


Edward J. Cunningham said...

What makes the past six games so frustrating isn't that we've been beaten 11-0 or even 3-0. In every single one of these games, we have had the lead and the opportunity to hold on for a win. We know that we can win. We know what to do to win. Now we have to go out and do it.

Bang the Drum Natly said...

Amen, SBF and Edward J...

I can think of nothing but to conjure up the words of the great Sgt. Stan Jablonski (I sure hope I'm not botching the spelling) from Hill Street Blues:

"Let's do it to 'em, before they do it to us..."

In my own (somewhat) words, Let's go out with a Bang (ZOOM!) and not a whimper.

Thus, maybe, hopefully, solidify Manny's deserved standing as Manager of the Year.

Cheers, happy baseball, and hope to see ya'll at RFK's final days as our home park!

(PS - Pay no attention to the man behind the time-stamp!)

Anonymous said...

In early January, I looked at the Nationals' roster and clearly expected to see a team that would struggle to win 50 games. The good news was that most of the starting rotation (Armas, Ortiz, Astacio) was gone. The bad news was that there didn't appear to be anyone to replace them (except maybe a healthy Shawn Hill) or any hitter (other than Ryan Zimmerman) capable of driving in runs. With no Nick Johnson to start the season, I was concerned.
Then I had the pleasure of meeting Manny Acta at one of the Fan Caravan stops in early 2007. Since I arrived early and was the only non-Nationals staff person in attendance, I was able to spend a few one-on-one moments with the Nationals' new manager.

As a rule, I tend to be very skeptical when GM Jim Bowden touts someone or something. Do you remember these? 2006 - "Mike Vento is going to be this year's version of Rick Short." ...or 2007 - "Nationals' fans will fall in love with Chris Snelling. His uniform is dirty before he leaves the dugout." ...or 2005 - "Preston Wilson is going to give us something we haven't had." (OK, he WAS right on that one, but not in the way he meant, I'm sure). But after a mere ten minutes with Manny Acta, I thought that maybe Jimbo wasn't over-hyping the manager.

Many times during 2005 and 2006, I cringed at the Nationals' apparent lack of fundamentals, but when Manny stressed that his "kids" would play FUNDAMENTAL baseball, I knew that 2007 was not going to be as "historically bad" as the so-called experts had predicted. I wasn't dreaming of a division title, but I was encouraged.

With a mere month to go in the 2007 season, I think we can all agree that Manny Acta is a remarkable baseball man, and we are extremely fortunate to have him here in DC. What he has done with this cast of characters is nothing short of incredible.

SenatorNat said...

The goal may not be on the wall in writing, but it clearly is in the forefront of Manager Manny's mind: 72 wins, one better than Frank with Soriano. That translates into 14-14, making the next six games at home, absolutely critical for achieving this rational and modest goal. Both the SF Giants and the Florida Marlins are the equivalent of the Nats, no better, and we have "home field advantage."

In this road trip, we lost four out of the six losses by one-run. Turn-around is fair play: let's take four out of six ("Win One for Teddy!") and we then need only 10 out of 22 against the three teams vying for the NL East and-or the Wild-Card.

It will hinge on our starters being able to hang in there for solid 6-7 innings performances; Z-Man being red hot and clutch; DYoung actually battling down the wire for a batting crown(!); Logan having another hot September; Fick getting caught in a turnstyle and being unavailable for duty (!); and Church and Kearns overperforming, etc.

And the young guys exciting us with some timely hits and solid pitching, like Maxwell and Detwiler.

6-6-6: the mark of the Devil, is what we face each against the Mets; Phils; and Braves. It is a devilish assignment; but they ain't the NL West, Thank God. Exorcise'em Manny!

Trust in Kasten. All Good.

Anonymous said...

All hail Manny! But let's give some kudos to Randy St. Claire too. Who would have thought that a team that essentially held open auditions for their pitching staff at the start of the year would have performed so well? A great manager and a great pitching coach means we'll be seeing the best from Our Washington Nationals for years to come.

Dre said...

awesome WETA cameo!