Lastings Milledge has a chance to play with a winning team after his demotion to Syracuse today. Although his line out of the gate isn’t that great, the official site’s article on it is a bit strange.
In its eight sentences, it not only gives his batting line but mentions “mediocre defense in center,” along with this odd note:
“The team had warned Milledge about a possible demotion since Opening Day. Members of the organization were upset that Milledge was late for a meeting held by manager Manny Acta the day before, and they wanted Milledge to sit out for Opening Day. Acta refused, however, so the team fined Milledge instead.”
So Milledge offended a bunch of Nationals’ brass for showing up late for a meeting when the meeting holder didn’t find it as offensive? Unless the Nationals ascribe moral oughtness to punctuality, methinks that the organization is unhappy with Milledge for other reasons. Typically, if someone’s not offended by a thing I’d be offended by, I don’t try to make them offended by it. I doubt that anyone was doing that to Acta wholesale, and if they weren’t, then it’s reasonable to conclude that tardiness was an excuse. The defense comment seems strange to me as well; you don’t normally slam a prospect on your official site unless you’re tired of him.
Demote him for bad play, sure. Out his attitude if you need to, sure. Make no sense while doing it? Not my thing.