Here is this weeks column for The Washington Post -----
During perhaps the busiest time in the sports calendar, two mostly overshadowed baseball hires in the past week are worthy of attention.
The first is Manny Acta being named manager of the Cleveland Indians. If Acta succeeds in Cleveland, plenty of people no doubt will say the Washington Nationals made a mistake when they fired him in July. They'll be wrong. Acta is a bright young manager who almost certainly has a serious future, but the Nationals had no choice. They were in a position no team wants to be in: having to make a change for the sake of change.
The Nationals' mediocre starting pitching and their awful bullpen weren't Acta's fault. Their horrific defense was, at least to some degree: Basics and hustle can be taught; range and a good arm can't be. The Nationals failed mentally in the field as often as they failed physically, and Acta's calm demeanor probably wasn't right for a team that continued to make fundamental mistakes.
Plenty of managers have failed in their first job before finding success. When Casey Stengel was managing the Boston Braves, he was hit by a taxi during the 1943 season. A local columnist suggested naming the cab driver as the team's MVP. Everyone knows what happened to Stengel when he got to New York in 1949.
Click here for the rest of the column: Acta, McGwire get shots at redemption