Word is that Manny's in his final hours as manager of the Washington Nationals. It's a perfectly understandable move for a team working on one of the worst two-year runs in baseball history. Something has to be done to shake things up, and it's hard to imagine any manager being able to suffer this much losing and not lose the confidence of the team.
But let's be clear: Manny could be the best manager humanity's ever known, and the Nationals would still be awful. I've criticized plenty of Manny's decisions over the years.
On the day it was reported that he would be fired, he once again cost the Nationals any chance at victory with his absurdly quick hook, pulling Jordan Zimmermann after just five innings in which he threw 92 pitches and allowed just four hits, one run, and two walks against six strikeouts. Boy, I'm tired of that.
Still, Manny really never had a chance.
The most unfortunate thing to me isn't just that Manny's never had a good team--he's never had a young team. Remember, that was the whole idea hiring him in the first place. Manny had a ton of experience in the minors as a player, scout, coach, and manager. He's still just 40 and can relate easily to young players from various backgrounds.
Yeah, he's had the occasional Milledge, Flores, Dukes, or Lannan. This year the rotation's gotten suddenly very young, very fast. But for most of his time here, he's written line-up cards full of names like Belliard, Kearns, Harris, Lo Duca, Lopez, Guzman and Young.
It's just another sign of the team's schizophrenic dysfunction that while building a coaching staff designed to help young players crack into the majors, they built rosters full of fading veterans and journeymen.
One other thing that's bothering me. Like they did with Jim Bowden when he was pushed out, the team is letting Manny twist in the wind with reports in the media that he's about to be fired. Why do they do this? Just fire Manny and get it over with.
Once Stan Kasten doesn't deny the report that the firing is imminent, what are they waiting for? This kind of indecisiveness is just bad for morale and makes management look every bit as incompetent as the team's performance on the field.
I wish Manny good luck. Whatever his next job is, it can't be worse.