The Seattle Mariners added another experienced coach to their big league staff on Monday. Buster Olney of ESPN broke the news via twitter that Manny Acta has been hired to serve as the M’s third base coach in 2016.
The 46-year-old is currently working as a studio analyst for ESPN, but he has extensive experience in the dugout. Acta played for five seasons in the Houston Astros’ minor league system before calling it a career in 1991. He posted a .241 batting average with 6 home runs and 109 RBI across 370 career games.
During the 1991 season, Acta became a player/coach for the Burlington Astros of the Midwest League. From 1993 through 2000, he managed in the minor leagues. In 2002, he was given the opportunity to be the Montreal Expos third base coach under legendary skipper Frank Robinson.
Sep 17, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; ESPN broadcaster Manny Acta attends the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Acta stayed in Montreal until 2005, when he jumped ship to be the third base coach with the New York Mets. He worked under Willie Randolph for a pair of seasons, until he was named the manager of the Washington Nationals in the fall of 2006.
Manny called Washington, DC home from 2007 to 2009. He had a decent debut season, leading a subpar Nats team to a 73-89 record. However, things quickly went south. In 2008, Washington finished 59-102. Acta was fired midway through the following season after starting 26-61.
Acta was not out of work for long however, as the Cleveland Indians named his as their manager on October 25, 2009. Acta led Cleveland to a 69-93 record in 2010. He followed that by going 80-82 in 2011, good for his best season as a skipper. Acta was let go after going 65-91 through the first 156 games of the 2012 season. The Dominican Republic product had better luck with the Tribe, but never got them where they needed to be.
Many questioned the Mariners hiring Scott Servais to be the manager in Seattle, but he is putting together a great staff. Tim Bogar has signed on to serve as the bench coach. Edgar Martinez has been retained as hitting instructor, and Mel Stottlemyre Jr. will be in charge of the Mariners’ arms.
It’s clear that Manny Acta is not a great option as a manager. However, he has a very strong resume, and should excel as Seattle’s third base coach. Acta is a very personable man, and that should help immensely in the Mariners’ clubhouse.
It’s hard to say what the future holds for the Mariners, but I am very excited to see what Jerry Dipoto and his staff have in store for us this winter. The talent Servais is assembling on his coaching staff should get the most out of the roster in 2016. Hopefully, this group is able to bring postseason baseball back to the Emerald City next year.