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NOTES

Weather Is Hurting Acta's Job Search

October 18, 2006|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS — New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta, at 37, has managed in the minor leagues, in the Dominican Republic and in the World Baseball Classic.

He has interviewed with the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks (twice) when jobs opened there. And, now, with vacancies in Texas, San Francisco, Washington, Oakland and -- since closed -- Chicago and Florida, Acta can hardly catch a break.

Not only are the Mets deep into the postseason, but two rainouts have killed their off days, leaving Acta with no time to interview. The Rangers, Nationals and Giants have asked the Mets about Acta, who had hoped to interview with the Rangers or Giants on Tuesday, originally scheduled to fall between Games 5 and 6.

While his priority, he said, "is to help the Mets get to the World Series," Acta is eager to manage.

"I can't get picky," he said. "If they put a team in Alaska and they call me, I'll be there."

Asked about the possibility of managing Barry Bonds in San Francisco, Acta said, "I will deal with him just like I do everybody else. That's been going on for quite some time. I don't know him, so I can't judge him by what I hear or read about him."

*

Acta did manage Albert Pujols in the WBC. They got along very well. And, in the aftermath of Pujols' disparaging observations of Tom Glavine after Game 1 of the NLCS, the two were observed in an animated discussion. Acta confirmed it was Pujols explaining his side, Acta advising him otherwise.

"He loves [baseball]," Acta said. "Whatever happened that first day, it did take some of the joy out of it for him.... He's a smart enough guy to understand he probably made a mistake."

*

Commissioner Bud Selig, who attended Game 5, all but announced that St. Louis would play host to the 2009 All-Star game, saying, "I like their chances a lot." Next summer's game will be held in San Francisco. The 2008 game probably will be played at Yankee Stadium, that ballpark's final season.... Tonight's starters -- Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals and John Maine for the Mets -- flew ahead to New York on Tuesday so they would be rested for Game 6. Their teammates would not get out of St. Louis until after midnight.... The Mets checked out of their St. Louis hotel Monday afternoon expecting to play and then board a flight to New York. They were rained out, of course, and their original hotel no longer had the rooms available to hold all of the players. So the Mets players Monday night were split between two hotels.... Mets General Manager Omar Minaya said Orlando Hernandez had a "viable" chance to pitch in the World Series, were the Mets to make it. More honesty from Minaya, when asked about losing Hernandez and Pedro Martinez to injury just before the playoffs: "There's no way you can project that you were going to have Oliver Perez [and] John Maine pitching. As a baseball manager you'd better have a lot of offense available to you."

tim.brown@latimes.com

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