The Washington Times - February 17, 2008, 05:28PM

\ Manny Acta‘s second spring training camp as manager of the Washington Nationals will pretty much be run the same as the first one - though, because there is not a casting call for starting pitching, the club will have more time to work on fundamentals such as baserunning.\ \ \ “We will pretty much operate the same in camp, a crisp camp, with very little walking around,” Acta said. “We value more quality than quantity. We are not going to be here until 5 p.m. just for the sake of it. We will be doing what we think is important. If you do change things, it will not be change but to add a little bit more, probably a little bit more baserunning and stuff. I am very happy with the way the guys make progress in a lot of areas.\ \ \ “Last year since we had so many guys at times, it was tough,” Acta said. “Since we are more familiar with the guys now, we can have a baserunning lecture and go over a little bit more. It was our first year here last year, and we were trying to prove to these guys that some of the things we were doing were working, and the way we wanted them to play the game. So now that they have seen that they believe it works, now they are more willing to try some of that stuff and listen to us, and be more open.”\ \ \ The Nationals stole 69 bases last season, compared to 123 in 2006, including 41 steals that season from Alfonso Soriano. However, they had been caught stealing at a rate of nearly 50 percent of that number - 62 times. Last season, Nationals baserunners were caught stealing 23 times.\ \ \ “I think we did well running the bases,” Acta said. “We did make some boo-boos out there, but every team did. But we are not satisfied. We have to continue to get better because, on paper, on names, whatever, we might be at a little disadvantage with some teams, so we are just going to have to outwork them. As I kept telling saying last year, minimize our errors, don’t give outs away and stuff like that. That is pretty much what it is about.”\


\ Photo by Peter Lockley / The Washington Times