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More on Manny Acta

I went poking around to see if I could find some stuff on the Rangers' mystery managerial candidate, Manny Acta, and came up with some links...

Acta's profile on the Mets' website is here. In a nutshell, he managed in the Astros' system in the 90s for several years, starting in 1993, at the lower levels, then was a coach for their AAA affiliate before joining the Expos as a third base coach in 2002. He was with the Expos in 2002-04, then joined Willie Randolph's staff on the Mets in November, 2004.

He's also had some pretty extensive experience managing in the Dominican Winter Leagues, from what the bio says.

BP did an interview with Acta in April of 2005, which is a good read. A couple of items on his managerial tendencies:

MA: I consider myself an optimist and a motivator, but in the end, I'll try to manage the right way, hoping for results in the right way, rather than managing the wrong way, hoping for a little luck just because I can motivate my guys the right way.

* * *

BP: What aspect of the game do you value more: pitching, defense, offense, or a combination of good pitching and good defense?

MA: I'll say a good combination of pitching and defense. You win more consistently with those ingredients. Right now in the big leagues the average team would score four and a half runs, so you must find a way to limit your opponent to less than that, because eventually if you have an average offense you'll score around those four and a half runs. Here in the Dominican, for example, you need good pitching and defense to win ballgames because the stadiums are big, and not particularly well suited for offense. It's very simple: this is a 27 out game, and every extra out you give to your opponent will hurt you in some way. I put a lot of value in pitching and good defense, which is a big part of the success of your pitching staff.

BP: What about the things you value most in the offense. Do you prefer hitters who put the ball in play, speed, power, guys who get on base, or an offensive structure that lets you "manufacture" runs?

MA: I like the combination of patience--meaning guys who work the count well and get on base--and contact. Also, in every team you'll need at least a couple of guys who hit the ball with power. I like hitters with good knowledge of the strike zone and, as you can see, the last two years here in the Dominican we've structured our team (The Licey Tigers) that way. If you check the On Base Percentages, at least four or five of our guys have very high OBP's. I've been criticized in the press for being a manager that doesn't play aggressively or use a lot of base running plays. But the thing is that when we have our team complete, I don't need to be overly-aggressive. Sometimes the best play is the one you don't make. If I have guys like D'Angelo Jimenez, Jose Offerman or Luis Castillo, to mention a few, who can get on base the majority of the time, and can also handle the bat very well, and power guys like Jose Guillen or Eric Byrnes hitting behind them, you need to let the offense flow. Again, I prefer patient hitters with the ability to make contact.

There's a lot more in this vein, including how he'd want to set up his bench and bullpen as a major league manager.

Definitely something to check out...