Nats' Acta not worrying
NEW YORK -- Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta says he's not worried about getting fired, even following one of the worst starts in major league history.
"I don't worry about rumors," he said Tuesday before opening a three-game series at Yankee Stadium with a 5-3 loss. "When your number is up, your number is up. And I don't spend time worrying about that because if I worry and listen and answer to every one of the things that are going to be said about me, I won't have enough time to prepare myself and put this club together."
Foxsports.com reported Saturday that Acta will be replaced by Washington bench coach Jim Riggleman. Citing unidentified major league sources, it said: "The only question is when. It could be a matter of days."
Acta said when he spoke with management that day, he was told it was only a rumor.
Washington is a major league-worst 16-46, has lost 16 of 19 games and is 6-24 on the road. The Nationals' 62-game record matches that of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who set an AL record for losses at 43-119, and is one win poorer than the 1962 New York Mets, who set a post-1900 worst at 40-120.
"I've been here for 2½ years and, you know, I don't have to be communicating with the people upstairs every day," Acta said. "I'm the type of guy who really doesn't need to be patted on the back every day to show up over here with a good face, good attitude and do what I'm supposed to do."
Washington began the day with the highest ERA in the major leagues (5.34) and the most errors (60).
He was 37 and the youngest manager in the majors when he was hired in 2007, and Washington finished fourth in the NL East in 2007 at 73-89.
But the Nationals went a major league-worst 59-102 last year and started 0-7. Their rotation has included four rookies and a second-year pitcher.
"If you look at the roster in 2007, a lot of those guys are not even in baseball right now," Acta said. "I think this organization is heading toward the right direction. It shows with the starting pitchers that we're throwing out there."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press