Where he never found success as a Major League manager, Manny Acta has been able to land a coaching gig at the big league level once again.
Oddly enough, Acta has managed more games than any other manager of the team since their move from Montreal in 2005. He also has the worst winning percentage of any manager who has donned a Washington Nationals uniform.
Acta took the reins of the Nationals from Frank Robinson after the 2016 season. True, Acta didn’t have the best talent to work with while he was in town. However, he struggled to keep the team competitive at all during his stay in the nation’s capital.
As the game was taking a more analytical approach, Acta was tasked with turning the Nationals from the old school team based on philosophies of Robinson to a new aged, statistics based team.
Acta didn’t sacrifice bunt. He didn’t issue intentional passes. He didn’t overwork pitchers. He also didn’t develop young players or turn bad teams into respectable teams, let alone playoff contenders.
The Nationals, under the leadership of Acta, were able to land three first round draft picks (two were first overall picks) at least, in Aaron Crow, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper. Failing to sign Crow, landed them Drew Storen the following year.
In the midst of a 26-61 season in 2009, Acta was let go as manager of the Nationals. He resurfaced in 2010, taking over a bad Cleveland Indians team. After winning just 69 games his first year at the helm of Cleveland, he led the team to an 80-82 finish in year two. Acta struggled to guide a winner on the field the next year, and with six games remaining in the season he was fired, with his team 26 games below .500.
His managerial struggles well documented, Acta hasn’t had trouble landing coaching jobs. The Seattle Mariners just announced they were bringing Acta back for his fourth year as the third base coach with the team. His days running teams are likely over, but his windmill wave ’em home around third, should continue to be in use for years to come.