Mets third-base coach Manny Acta said he was pleased with his interview with the Nationals on Tuesday and hopes they give him the chance to manage the team for 2007 and beyond.
Acta said he spent most of the morning talking to general manager Jim Bowden and had afternoon conversations with team president Stan Kasten and assistant general managers Bob Boone and Mike Rizzo. Acta would later meet with the Lerner family.
"That franchise has a great future ahead of them. They are getting a new stadium," Acta said. "I was impressed by the process. They made me feel very comfortable. It was just a great day overall. The presence of Stan Kasten, who had so much to do with the success of the Atlanta Braves and all their sports teams in Atlanta, makes it very attractive. I felt really good over there."
Of all the managerial candidates, Acta is the most familiar with the organization. He was the Expos' third-base coach under then-manager Frank Robinson from 2002 to 2004, and has worked with catcher Brian Schneider, second baseman Jose Vidro, closer Chad Cordero and pitching coach Randy St. Claire.
Acta, 37, was one of the hardest-working coaches on the Expos. Not only did he serve as the third-base coach, he was baserunning coach, an infield coach, an interpreter for Vladimir Guerrero and Orlando Hernandez, and a go-between whenever Robinson wanted to send a message to one of his Latin players.
"It would be huge [if I get the job]," Acta said. "It would be great for me because I would get to go back where I started. I would have a comfort level with those players. They know me and I know them. If we execute the plan that they have, it could turn out to be a very exciting franchise for years to come."
Acta, who has already interviewed with the Rangers and Giants, has not been told about a second interview with Washington. Later in the week, Acta is going to Japan to help coach the Major League Baseball All-Star team.
In other news, Athletics coach Ron Washington said that he is not a candidate for the Nationals' managerial job. There was a report that the Nationals had interest in him. He said that the Nationals never called him, but he said he has interest in the job.
"I never had any contact from the Nationals. I heard that my name came up," Washington said.
Washington already has interviewed with the Rangers and is planning to interview with the Athletics for a managerial job.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.