Haven’t had much time to post on the blog — it’s been a busy day here — but to make up for it, here’s an update on “the Manny situation,” as Mike Rizzo called it today, and the game so far:
The manager said he talked with team president Stan Kasten and acting general manager Mike Rizzo after FoxSports.com first reported Acta’s impeding dismissal last Saturday. They assured him that day, he said, that the report was inaccurate.
“I spoke to them the same day it came out. It’s a rumor,” Acta said.
Rizzo spoke publicly about the reports for the first time before Tuesday’s game with the Yankees, and while he offered nothing resembling a definitive statement on Acta’s status, he said the front office hasn’t discussed the issue with him.
“It’s certainly uncomfortable with the speculation,” Rizzo said. “Names are being bandied about of replacements and we haven’t even discussed it with the current manager. He’s still our manager. We support him. And all the reports that happened over the weekend, I don’t know where those reports come from. And there’s not much to comment on reports that there’s no basis to.”
Rizzo said he hasn’t directly commented on “the Manny situation” to players, either. “They’re cognizant of what’s going on. They realize what’s going on, so it’s not something we have to address to them directly.”
My take: This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Acta; nor does it close the door to something happening in the next few days. But it does appear to buy Manny a little time, at least through the end of this road trip.
Which brings us to the game: The Yankees lead 2-0 after four, and while the Nats have three hits off C.C. Sabathia, this is beginning to look like a match race where the one horse, no matter how hard he tries, just doesn’t have the natural speed of the other. The Nationals allowed Johnny Damon to reach (and take second) when Ryan Zimmerman short-hopped a throw to Nick Johnson. Then, Alex Rodriguez hit a shot that deflected off Johnson at first base, scoring Damon from third as the ball ricocheted toward Anderson Hernandez at second.
Shairon Martis’ pitch count is racing up; he’s already at 82 through four innings. He’s walked four batters, and the Yankees are doing what they do best — fouling off pitches, working the count and getting hits to keep raillies alive. Martis is going to need a quick inning to go more than five.