While we continue to soak in the Wizards' drafting brilliance, we pause to honor our Manny Acta Optimist of the Week. In a week where even the brightest of optimists was tested by the struggles of our Nationals, it is good to look back at how we felt at the beginning of the week, in that brief yes-we-have-key-players-hurt-but-we-still-feel-good, pre-Braves-series couple of days. Nobody better expressed the sentiment of the day (and literally, probably one day) than the now-two-time-winner of the MAO of the week, Tom Boswell. He will share the award with His Honor, the President, Stan Kasten, for reasons we will delve into in a moment.
Boz caught a little flak for his 'tism-dripping column on Monday (we hear ya, man), but that doesn't mean he was wrong. Back then, he was writing about how the Nats bounced back from a demoralizing series against the Tigers and took 2 of 3 from the Indians. Surely this bounce-back attitude is even more important now, as the series-from-hell (maybe even below hell) against Atlanta was arguably even more brutal. Thus, time for another bounce-back. Playing the part of Cleveland will be Pittsburgh.
Premier Stan picks up the shared award for his comments (quoted right in Boz's column, how convenient) expressing confidence in GM Jim Bowden and our hero (reverent silence), Manny Acta. Kasten rightly gave Bowden his proverbial props for putting together this lineup (these "pieces") in the face of a rebuild-and-damn-the-present climate. And in Manny, "we've found a manager that can manage." What else do you need?
For Stan's assurance that the two most important non-player positions on the club are secure and, more importantly, well-manned, and for Boz's never-ending willingness to point out that, despite bad stretches such as the Nats have experienced recently, they continue to defy expectations, we have our first shared MAO of the Week.