The Cleveland Indians were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs long ago. Staying out of the American League gutter by a matter of percentage points, the team is playing some of the worst baseball of the entire season, producing a league worst seven of their last 10 games.
Following Wednesday’s loss to the Chicago White Sox (which will most definitely be recapped in a little bit), Manny Acta had the following to say about the level of baseball that is being endured by the Indians fans in Cleveland.
“I know it’s tough on the fans out there, but it’s tougher than us,” he said. “We are the ones in the dugout teaching these guys on an everyday basis.”
For those following along at home, Acta understands that it is the fans paying their hard-earned money on tickets and merchandise, attempting to support their team through thick and thin. But the losing baseball is considerably harder on those that are getting paid – some of them handsomely – while producing at a considerably sub-par level. At least I hope that he does.
I understand where Acta is coming from as no athlete (or coach) enjoys losing. As
Denny Green Herm Edwards infamously told us all, “you play to win the game.” But in the same regard, this is a fan base that has been forced to cling to a nostalgic roadshow of Manny Ramirez and Omar Vizquel, and has pondered the potential of Jim Thome returning to hit his 600th home run as a member of the Tribe. It’s a contingency that came out in droves just to listen to Kenny Lofton say a few words and toss out the first pitch. It’s a support system that gets excited when former players like Sandy Alomar Jr and Charles Nagy land coaching positions anywhere within the Indians system.
At this point, many have cast aside dreams of a lofty win total simply to see players that make them all warm and tingly inside as they did back in the mid-to-late 1990s. You know, when the team actually won more often than not.
Fans and media members alike have longed for Acta to tear into his team for losses – especially those which the team is in full control for the majority of the game, only to blow it with either a bad bullpen outing or a flurry of errors. Emotion goes a long way; even more so when compared to Eric Wedge and his “griding.” And while we will never know what Acta actually says to his team, quotes like the one above is not a step in the right direction if the first-year Tribe skipper is looking for improved fan support.
Photo: Chuck Crow / The Plain Dealer