Report: Nats to Ax Manny Acta

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com,
citing baseball sources, the Nationals are set to fire manager Manny
Acta. The ax could come as soon as an off-day on Monday, with the team
preparing to start a series against the Yankees. According to the
report, Acta would be replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman.

The 40-year-old Acta has compiled a 147-231 record in two and a half
seasons as manager and has led the club to a league-worst 15-43 mark
this season. It’s a real shame because Acta never had much talent to
work with and guided a far-worse team to a 73-89 record in 2007. But
after the firing of pitching coach Randy St. Claire earlier this month,
and the selection of Stephen Strasburg this week, the organization
seems desperate to carve out a new image. Acta is but a fall guy in a
pretty misguided narrative.

The thing I don’t understand is that if this story already leaked,
why not just show the man some respect and let him go today instead of
waiting until Monday? It’s akin to firing Willie Randolph after letting
him fly out and manage the first game of a West Coast trip. It’s not
like Riggleman doesn’t know the players. He’s the bench coach. Let him
go already.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!