Closer look at Bob Melvin and Manny Acta

Day 3 of the Astros’ managerial search continues today when two of the candidates I consider the favorites come to Minute Maid Park — former Arizona manager Bob Melvin and former Washington manager Manny Acta. Both men told last week they were candidates and were looking forward to coming to Houston. Here’s a look at Melvin and Acta.

     Bob Melvin
     Age: 47
     Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
     College: California.
     Most recent job: Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
     Previous Major League managing experience: Managed the Seattle Mariners in 2003-04 and Arizona Diamondbacks from 2005 until he was dismissed on May 9 of this year after a 12-17 start. He won 93 games with Seattle in 2003 but didn’t make the playoffs and lost 99 games the following year. Melvin was hired by the Diamondbacks and led Arizona to the 2007 NL West title before being swept in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies. He was NL Manager of the Year in 2007.
     Minor League managing experience: None.
     Minor League managing record: None.
     Playing experience: Melvin spent most of his career as a backup catcher for 10 seasons with Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, Boston, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. He hit .233 with 35 homers and 212 RBIs in 692 career games.
    Did you know: Melvin was hired by Arizona to replace Wally Backman, who was dismissed before he managed a single game because of past discretions?
     What GM Ed Wade said: “Once we started to focus in on some names and we did our homework and talked to people like Pat Gillick and [former Diamondbacks general manager] Joe Garagolia Jr., they thought he did a good job.”

     Manny Acta
     Age: 40
     Hometown: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
     College: None
     Most recent job: Manager of Washington Nationals.
     Previous Major League managing experience: Acta managed the Washington Nationals from 2007-2009 and never finished higher than fourth place in the NL East, which came during his first season when he went 73-89. Acta was fired July 12 after a loss to the Astros.
     Major League managing record: 163-254.
     Minor League managing experience: Began managing at 1993 with the Auburn Astros of the New York-Penn League before moving to Quad City of the Midwest League in 1997. He took over the Astros’ Florida State League affiliate at Kissimmee in 1999 and won a league championship and managed again at Kissimmee in 2000.
     Minor League managing record: 419-432.
     Playing experience: Acta played for five seasons in the Astros’ Minor League system and was a career .241 hitter in 370 games. He never played above the Double-A level.
     Did you know: The plane that crashed in 2006 that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into Acta’s apartment in New York? Acta was the third-base coach with the Mets at the time.
     What Acta said: “It is a very special organization to me. I spent 16 years of my baseball career over there. I owe them for shaping me into the baseball man that I’m today.”

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