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Nationals show the door to Acta

MANNY Acta was fired by the Washington Nationals, and Jim Riggleman will replace him as manager.

The Nationals made the announcement on Monday morning, confirming what took place on Sunday night after the team returned from a road trip. Acta was fired with a 26-61 record, the worst in baseball, and bench coach Riggleman was chosen the interim replacement.

Riggleman has managed the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners, compiling a 522-652 record over nine seasons.

Acta joins Colorado Avalanche's Clint Hurdle and Arizona Diamondbacks' Bob Melvin as major league managers who have been fired this season.

"We feel that the team has underachieved," acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We feel we have a better ballclub than that has been shown on the field."

Acta thanked the team for giving him a chance. "It was a great learning experience, I have no regrets," Acta said in a statement. "As I move forward, I wish the Nationals all the best. I was very fortunate to work with and meet a lot of wonderful people while here."

Acta was 158-252 over 2 1/2 seasons in his first managerial job, and the team's winning percentage dropped progressively from Year 1 until now, although his record had much to do with the talent - or lack thereof - assembled for him by the front office. The Nationals opened this season without anything close to a reliable bullpen and fielded a lineup with numerous defensive liabilities. For a while, the starting pitching rotation consisted of four rookies and one second-year player.

Not surprisingly, the Nationals' 5.21 ERA is by far the worst in the National League, and their 82 errors are the most in baseball.


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