Jan 14, 2015

Former Mets Coach Turned MLB Manager: Manny Acta (2005-2006)

Manuel Elias Acta Pena was born on January 11, 1969 in the Dominican Republic. Acta played in the Houston Astros organization from 1987 through 1991. He began playing the infield at third base but his 31 errors in 1988 had him then see more time at first & second base.

In his career in the minors he posted a .875 fielding % at third in 202 games, making 96 errors in 567 chances. He was much better at second .954% (349 games) & at first .979% (57 games). Overall he was a .241 hitter in 370 minor league games with 281 hits 6 HRs 38 doubles 6 triples 109 RBIs & a .295 on base %. He never did get a chance to play in the big leagues.

After his playing days he coached in the Houston Astros organization from 1993-2000. He then moved on to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs where he eventually became Omar Minaya’s right hand man. When Minaya got went to the Montreal Expos, he got Acta a job as a coach under Frank Robinson from 2002-2004.

Acta filled in as skipper one day, as Robinson let him manage a game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. That day October 1st, 2004 the Expos beat the Mets 4-2, it was Acta’s last season with the organization that moved on to Washington D.C.

In the off season he interviewed for a couple of MLB manager positions with the Los Angeles Dodgers & Arizona Diamondbacks. In Arizona he lost out to former Met Wally Backman, who ended up not getting the job when he had some personal troubles of his own that winter.

Instead of managing in 2005, he followed his pal Omar Minaya to New York as coach with the Mets under manager Willie Randolph. Acta spent two seasons as the Mets third base coach, making a few questionable decisions of his own in that coaches’ box. He did a good job overall but still wanted to be a big league skipper.

Trivia: On October 11th, 2006, it was into the apartment building that Acta was living, on the East side of Manhattan at 73rd St. where MLB pitcher; Corey Lidle's, plane crashed killing him.

Acta was not home at the time, as he was at Shea Stadium preparing the Mets for the NLCS opener which would be eventually be rained out.

After the season he went to manage the Dominican team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and then landed a job with the Washington Nationals, replacing his old boss Frank Robinson.

Acta uses the saber metric style of baseball ideas like Bill Beane & Theo Epstein. In 2007 he earned some respect by bringing a young Nationals team to a fourth place finish with a 73-89 record. The following season they fell to the having the worst record in baseball 59-102. In 2009 his Nationals were 26-61 in July when he was fired there getting replaced by Jim Riggleman.

In 2010 he landed a job in Cleveland as the Indians manager, finishing 4th with a 69-93 record.

In 2011 he improved a surprising Indians team remaining in first place up near the All Star break. They had specialized in alot of dramatic walk off wins early on as well. They faded to the Detroit Tigers in the second half finishing just under .500 at 80-82.

The teams veteran players Grady Sizemore & Travis Hafner were sidelined to under 100 games each as sluggers like Asdrubal Cabrera & Carlos Santana led the team with over 25 HRs each.

In 2012 after a horrible Indians second half, where they went 20-51 through September 27th, Acta was fired from his managers position with just six games left to play in the season. 

Retirement: Acta has since worked as an analyst for both ESPN & ESPN Deportes.

Charity: His charity ImpACTA has raised a large amount of money for kids helping them achieve success.

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