You know the saying bad things come in threes? Well, I can name more than three over the past 48 hours and I’m still reeling, holding my breath and waiting for the madness to stop. I attended the first ever formalized sports blogging conference in NYC, “Blogs With Balls” on Saturday. I’ll post more about the conference itself later as it does not necessarily meet the criteria for the numbering of bad things other than it’s relevant to explain where I was and why I’ve been quiet.
- Sitting in the (basement dwelling) conference draining my iPhone checking Twitter alongside Kristen and Ian, we all three learned about Josh Willingham’s brother’s fatal car accident at the same time. Stunning and sad. My thoughts are with him and his family.
- The news of Ken Rosenthal’s report that Manny Acta was to be fired by Monday broke shortly after, followed swiftly by confirmation from SI.
- Then I missed my 3 AM train back to DC. I know this sounds impossible, but after waking up at 5 AM to catch the train there and getting to the train station at 2 AM to depart, well, my head kinda decided to flop onto my (trusty, handy, beloved) laptop backpack at 2:45 and when I snapped back up at 3 and ran down to the platform, the train was gone. I probably blended in with the other nuts in Penn Station at that ungodly hour as I hopped around with some unpleasant phrases spewing out as I realized I could be sleeping on a train, not an uncomfy seat under bright flourescent lights for the next three hours.
- My cat killed same trusty beloved laptop last night before I could even get any posts up about the conference or related news. (I’m currently borrowing a coworker’s). Worse is that the laptop is owned by my company, not me. So… we’ll see what happens there.
Now, back to Manny. I try try try to remain unbiased here as a “professional sports fan” (a new phrase I picked up in New York this weekend that I love). But when it comes to manager Manny Acta, I’m probably not. I think he’s fantastic and would hate to see him go. He did not put this team together (as I’ve said before). Plus, I think the ballclub has not had any consistency with it’s ownership, front office, coaching staff, or players since it arrived in DC and I don’t see how they can strike any balance without that. He’s a young manager with a young staff in theory getting younger. I thought the plan was to let them all mature and develop into a front-line club together. So why change now? I have been secretly hoping the sources are wrong, the stories will turn out untrue, and everything will move on. Yet, a nagging voice in my head reminds me that Rosenthal is rarely wrong and me wishing it so will likely not change anything.
Yet this coming Sunday is Father’s Day (Monday, the day of reckoning by both accounts, is today). Father’s Day is also Nationals Day at Bethesda Big Train summer college baseball. Nationals Day is a day to showcase Acta’s non-profit foundation, impACTA Kids and hand out Manny Acta bobbleheads (in a Nationals uniform). The bobbleheads and posters have already been ordered.
Washington Nationals’ Night. Father’s Day. Fathers and their kids may go on the field before the game to play catch. Manny Acta Bobblehead provided to first 500 fans in attendance. Featuring Special Guests Nationals Manager Manny Acta, Nationals’ writer Phil Wood, and the ImpACTA Kids Foundation.
So I’m squeezing my eyes shut and plugging my ears yellling “na na na na, I can’t hear you!!” as new stories come out today about Bobby Valentine being named the permanent manager. Where are they getting this information?! And how much more horrible could this timing be? Why now?