Manny Acta to replace Frank Robinson as Nationals' manager
Third base coach Manny Acta, who managed the Dominican Republic in this year's World Baseball Classic, is set to leave the Mets' hot corner to manage the Washington Nationals. An announcement is expected this week. It's not yet clear who will replace Acta at third base, be it first base coach Sandy Alomar, bench coach Jerry Manual, someone else from within the Mets' organization (Ken Oberkfell, Howard Johnson) or someone outside the organization entirely. It's a great opportunity for Acta, who seemed a genuinely nice guy and was well regarded in his time with the Mets.
New Mets ballpark to be called "CitiField"
The Mets have announced a 20-year partnership with CitiCorp which will include naming rights for their new ballpark, slated to open in 2009. News of the agreement was first leaked by Anthony De Rosa of Hot Foot Blog, a report that was subsequently mentioned in Newsday and the New York Post. Big win for blogging on that front.
I give the Mets credit for somehow extracing $20 million big ones per year simply to affix "Citi" to the front of their park. The Phillies only netted $95 million over 25 years to call their home Citizen's Bank park, and that includes advertising; only $2.3 million of that was for the stadium naming rights. That the Mets' didn't have to include "Bank" in the name is a big win for themselves and for the fans, in my estimation at least. It's hard to turn down $20 million a year for anything, and the fact that the ballpark will still be somewhat respectably-monikered is a welcome sight.
Still nothing concrete on Matsuzaka
Despite reports that the Red Sox may have bid upwards of $45 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka, or subsequent theories that have him possibly traded to the Mets, there has apparently been no confirmation from Seibu as to whether they have accepted the highest bid, nor has the amount of that bid been confirmed. The deadline for accepting or rejecting that deal is Tuesday, so we'll know for sure the likely fate of Matsuzaka within a few days.