Manny Acta is downsized

Well, that was overdue. The Nats are not just the worst team in baseball — they are arguably the most underperforming team in the sport. This is a team that should be floating around the .500 mark, I think, but they now can’t crack .300.

At their worst — and there have been a lot of ‘at their worst’ moments — the Nats have made a mockery of the fundamentals of the game this year. Pitchers can’t throw strikes, runners make silly basepath decisions, hitters can’t execute in key situations and (above all) fielders have been involved in all sorts of fantastic misadventures.

Play like that and the axe is going to swing. The pitching coach got fired in June — an action that appears to have had zero impact — and it was almost inevitable that Acta would be next.

Jim Riggleman, a former Cubs manager who skippered the Arkansas Travelers when I lived in Little Rock in the 1980s, is taking over for now. He’s got a horrible task ahead of him.The Nats lost six of seven going into the All-Star break and looked every inch like a group of quitters. And that is the worst thing in the world for an alleged professional sports franchise.


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