November 11, 2006
Manny Acta is expected to be named the manager of the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. It will be a two-year contract. He is 37 years old and has experience coaching for the Mets and the Expos, where he worked with some current Nationals players. He comes from the Dominican Republic and managed their team in the World Baseball Classic this year, but he had a hard time learning English when he first came to the United States. Some Latino players like Vladimir Guerrero don't put much effort into learning English, which is too bad. Acta started out with the Astros minor league clubs, and even though his batting fell short of expectations, he earned a reputation for being talented, hard working, and enthusiastic. He sounds just right for the job. See MLB.com.
After all the rumors about his discontent in The Bronx, it was no surprise that Gary Sheffield was traded to Detroit. The Tigers could certainly use a veteran player, and the Yankees could certainly use the three young pitchers. Sheffield is not shedding any tears over leaving New York, and the feelings are mutual. Indeed, he said he is "ecstatic" at being reunited with Jim Leyland who managed the Florida Marlins in 1997. With the contract extension through 2009, Sheff will probably end his career in Detroit, since he is 38 years old. See MLB.com. "Reunited, and it feels so good..."
Barry Witt has further details on the possible future home of the Athletics in Fremont, CA at contracostatimes.com. The big emphasis is on making it a technological wonder, with fancy graphical displays and the like. One big problem is the lack of rapid transit access, which would be essential for drawing fans from the Oakland area. It all depends on the ability of municipal leaders to work out a mutually-advantageous development
scheme plan. (via David Pinto)
Chris Kassulke reminded me that the renovations at Soldier Field were completed in 2003, not 2005. How time flies.