Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First to Third: Acta Out as Nats Manager

In a move that was basically made a month ago, the Nationals fired manager Manny Acta and replaced him with Jim Riggleman. Riggleman will be interim manager for the second consecutive season after filling the role last year in Seattle after the departure of John McLaren.

Is all the losing Acta's fault? No way. Take a look at their roster. I'll give them credit for bringing in Adam Dunn in the off-season, but aside from Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman, there isn't much to build around in Washington. I liken them to those early 2000s Devil Rays that were absolutely hopeless. The first thing the Nats need to do is re-stock their farm system. The previous Nationals administration under Jim Bowden neglected the farm system and wasted time acquiring mediocre players who might not make another MLB team.

The first thing the Nats need to do is sign first overall pick Stephen Strasburg, the heralded pitcher some scouts say is the best pitching prospect in over a decade. Once they sign Strasburg, the Nats shouldn't rush him to the big leagues as they continue developing young talent to build around Strasburg. If I were GM of the Nats, no one (except maybe Zimmerman) is untouchable.

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