Friday, April 13, 2007


It is with pleasure that DCO introduces the Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award. Each Friday we will recognize a figure from the Washington sports community who best embodies the values of DCO and of the Nationals' indelibly positive-thinking manager. Even with most of the sports world expecting (hoping for?) the worst from these Nats, Manny has kept his chin up, as well as the collective chin of this franchise.

The inaugural Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award goes to Nationals' hitting coach Mitchell Page (pictured, right), for his stubborn insistence that the team is not in a batting slump and will be just fine if only one key hit could be had.

Not letting the numbers even remotely speak for themselves (no need to delve into those numbers here), Page maintains that the Nats are hitting the ball well, it's just those pesky opposing fielders getting in the way. He further exhorts critics to check back in at the All-Star break to see just how much this ship has righted itself. We at DCO priase this rosy projection and look forward to seeing Page and the Nationals’ lineup vindicated.

We even submit that last night’s stirring 2-0 victory in Atlanta is partial, if not complete, vindication, considering the reportedly legendary reputation of Braves’ pitching. Putting aside the two latest instances of leaving the bases loaded and scoring no runs, the Nats (ok, Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman) produced key hits late in the game when they were badly needed. Who else but the hitting coach can be saluted for this?

For his brutally refreshing optimism in the face of seemingly overwhelming statistical evidence to the contrary, we award Mitchell Page the first Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award.

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