Phillies Interview Acta, Mets Nab Callaway
There was some more news on the Phillies hush-hush manager front on Sunday. The Phillies reportedly interviewed one seasoned manager, while they lost out on another managerial candidate to the New York Mets.
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports reported today that the Phillies interviewed former Washington Nationals and former Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta. Acta was on the rebuilding end of two rebuilding teams but never got to see them through to the end. The first time was in Washington; the second was in Cleveland.
A former coach with the 2004 Montreal Expos, Acta re-joined the franchise in 2007 to serve as manager, replacing Frank Robinson. The Nationals were very much in their lean years at this point. After winning 73 games his first season with the Nationals, Acta managed the clubs that led to consecutive number one overall picks that turned out to be Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
In July 2009, Acta was dismissed and replaced by Jim Riggleman. However, Acta had his choice of two job offers that offseason: The Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians. Acta accepted the job with Cleveland Acta had losing seasons with the Indians in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was fired with six games to go in 2012. Terry Francona replaced Acta as the Indians rose back to the top.
Acta is currently the third base coach for the Seattle Mariners. Acta also coached for the Expos from 2002 - 2004 and the New York Mets in 2005 and 2006. Between managing Cleveland and joining the Mariners in 2016, Acta worked as a bilingual analyst on ESPN. Acta's family heritiage is Lebanese, but the family migrated to the Dominican Republic two generations before him.
Acta had been considered a strong contender for the managerial vacancy with the New York Mets. However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post broke on Sunday afternoon that the Mets had offered Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway their managerial job. Sherman says that the Mets will hold a press conference tomorrow.
Callaway was a managerial candidate for the Phillies, too, and reportedly was on their list to be interviewed (though it is hard to tell if the tight-lipped Phillies interviewed him or not before the Mets got him). Callaway rose up through the Cleveland Indians organization and was Francona's pitching coach. His time in Cleveland did not correspond to Acta's, but Callaway was coaching in the minor leagues at that time.
In Boston, Alex Cora finalized a three-year deal with the Red Sox to manage the club. Interestingly, even though Cora has agreed to terms, Cora will continue as bench coach for the Houston Astros as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. While the Phillies were not linked to Cora, the Red Sox were sometimes linked to candidates the Phillies were reported to be considering.
If the Phillies do not make an announcement about their next manager tomorrow, they are not likely to do so until after the conclusion of the World Series. The World Series begins on Tuesday evening and can go as long as Wednesday, November 1, should the series reach seven games. Teams are strongly discouraged from making announcements during the World Series, though sometimes news has leaked out during that span and could happen with the Phillies.