July 24, 2014

Acta Talking Like A Guy Who Wants Out…Can You Blame Him?

The losing is getting to everyone. How can is not? And its not just the fact that they actually lose seemingly every day, its the spectacular fashion in which they do.

I’m not one for moral victories, but at least the Indians were in all three games this series with Seattle and didn’t get blown out. Somewhere, I can hear Harry Doyle say “you have to give ‘em credit, at least he didn’t spike himself.”

I will sum up the game in short:

With the score tied 1-1 with one out in the eighth inning, Kyle Seager laced a ball down the right field line off of Vinnie Pestano. Shin-Soo Choo got it and came up firing. The ball clearly beat Seager to second where Asdrubal Cabrera was waiting. Seager dove in head first and made a brilliant play to avoid the tag. Asdrubal and manager Manny Acta argued to no avail. In an act of clear frustration, the mild mannered Acta was tossed.

Both Cabrera and Acta agreed  Seager was safe after they saw the replay.

After intentionally walking John Jaso to set up the double play, Pestano K’d Jesus Montero for the second out. All that was left was to retire Eric Thames, who entered the at-bat 0-3 with three K’s. I bet you can’t guess what happened next?

Thames doubled bringing in two. That was the beginning of the end of this 3-1 loss, the Tribe’s eighth in a row.

The Baseball Gods are playing cruel jokes on the Indians these days.

The real fireworks came after the game as a rather pensive Acta shot straight from his hip.

“They do need to relax. There have never been 25 guys released [at once] in the history of the game,” he said. “They should relax. If one guy is going to go, it’s going to be me, not them. So relax and play the game.”

Between this quote and his interview with Sirius/XM radio’s Jim Bowden where he said the Indians needed at least three bats and a starting pitcher to compete with the White Sox and the Tigers in the future, Acta has decided that staying quiet on these matters is no longer working.

In my opinion, he is talking like a guy who wants out of this job and this organization. Really, can you blame him?

Three years ago, he was sold a bill off good by Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti about how deep the farm system was and how they would build from within, pointing towards 2012 and 2013 as years in which this team would spike and contend. Instead, Antonetti dealt his two best pitching prospects for a glorified fourth starter, was told a broken down Grady Sizemore would be the answer to his outfield problems, was then given a backup plan of a Shelley Duncan/Johnny Damon platoon in left (I was told that he was completely against the Damon signing to begin with), was given two all-field, no-hit corner infielders to work with, and was left with a starting rotation that had zero depth.

Talk about no margin for error.

Oh, and all of those top prospects Acta was counting on? Well, lets see their top 10 from 2010 and where they are now.

Matt LaPorta has been a complete bust. Nick Weglarz can’t stay healthy and can’t get out of AA. Alex White has been traded. Lonnie Chisenhall broke his forearm. Hector Rondon has needed arm surgery twice. Nick Hagadone showed two good months followed by two bad months before being demoted and breaking his hand simultaneously. Carlos Carrasco missed this entire season after his own Tommy John surgery. Lastly you can’t forget Jason Knapp, Baseball America’s #4 Tribe prospect in 2010, who was just released.

Sure, he has seen nice things from Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and Jason Kipnis in the past season and a half, but the organizational cupboard is bare and there is nothing coming for another couple of years. By then, Manny will be gone. He knows it. He is a smart guy. He is sitting in a dead end job with a boss who has shown in the last two years that he may be in way over his head and has an owner who won’t spend to improve the team while being despised by the fans. Don’t forget, his bench coach is a ready made replacement for him who is a Tribe legend/fan favorite (Sandy Alomar Jr.). Don’t think that doesn’t count when you consider how the shrinking fan base aches for anything mid to late 90′s Tribe related.

If Acta does somehow make it through, he will be a lame duck manager in 2013 searching for a contract extension.  Does that sound like an appealing job to you?

Manny has been brought to this, going public with his frustrations while trying to stay the course and keep his team together at the same time. It is a tough task. Losing seems to breed more losing, and the bleeding doesn’t seem like it is going to stop any time soon. The Indians have lost 21 of 25 and are just two and a half games from having the worst record in the American League. They’ve lost eight straight and get the New York Yankees next.

This season cannot end quick enough.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb.everett.9 CB Everett

    I’m glad to hear him speak up. I like Acta. I can’t imagine the Indians would fire him and risk unfairly scape goating yet another guy (the Radinsky firing didn’t go over well, nor did hitting coach last year). I think Acta knows he has some leeway and can take the opportunity to call BS. It’s refreshing to hear.

  • MrCleaveland

    I can’t imagine that Acta wants out. Being a big-league manager is the ultimate goal for these guys. There aren’t that many of these jobs around, and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get another one. And he obviously wouldn’t want to go back to the minors.

    So I don’t think he wants out. I think he wants the front office to give him a fighting chance.

  • BenRM

    I want out, too.

  • LaundroMat

    Agreed.

  • boomhauertjs

    I wonder if we’ll hear from Shaponetti now that the team is home from a long road trip. They’ve been very quiet lately…

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t think TD meant it literally but you could understand the feeling. If fans don’t want to come to the game or tune into them on TV imagine how Acta must feel. I don’t care who you are all of this takes it’s toll sadly the very same people who created this mess will be the ones making the final decisions. Good luck!

  • MrCleaveland

    They’re getting ready to name Chris Perez player-manager.

  • LaundroMat

    How don’t you think TD meant it literally?

    “In my opinion, he is talking like a guy who wants out of this job and this organization.”

  • mgbode

    completely agree. i don’t think he wants out. i just think he realizes that he’s in a bad spot and so does everyone else. so, he doesn’t have a reason to censor any of his comments now.

    i actually like the straight-shooting version of Manny Acta better myself.

  • mgbode

    the Radinsky firing didn’t go over well?
    my feet still hurt from all that dancing in the streets.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Because I clearly don’t believe everything TD writes! Besides that his eyes, those incredible electric baby blues that hypnotize you when you gaze into them told me differently. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb.everett.9 CB Everett

    It didn’t go well in the sense that it was 1. intended to improve pitching which it didn’t (bc he wasn’t to blame, lack of talent was) and 2. people correctly read it as the Front Office blaming a postion coach for their much much bigger failings. So other than the fact the guy was scapegoated and it didn’t get us anywhere, his firing was a great move by the FO

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Gee I can’t wait to see how you are when they bring Hafner back! This is the level the sports teams have reduced the fan base to in this town.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This Disqus thing sux – but clearly I don’t believe everything TD scribes!

  • mgbode

    not sure how firing a pitching coach was expected to magically improve the pitching right away. a good pitching coach needs to study the pitchers and figure out the best way to utilize their mechanics while at the same time providing great scouting reports on the hitters they will face. we gave an interim title to a minor league guy. we need to hire a pitching coach early in the offseason and go from there.

    and, we are not a dumb fanbase. Radinsky was not the sole problem. but, every single pitcher shouldn’t regress without someone bearing the brunt.

  • Stinkfist

    We need a Danny Glover speech right now…
    “One more loss! One more loss which could’ve been a win! And you call yourselves professionals. I have never, ever seen a worse group of twenty-five players! You don’t think as a team, you don’t play as a team, you don’t even LOSE as a team! You’ve all got your heads so far up your butts, you can’t even see the light of day! “

  • Ron

    Acta has been in over his head for a long time. Also, the Indians’s organization hasn’t been capable of producing a decent major league team for an even longer time. This is the worst possible combination and the terrible result is what we are seeing now. You can’t produce a team that looks like a start-up franchise every year and claim to be in the major league baseball business.

  • http://twitter.com/deryNBA Matt Dery

    In over his head? How?

  • mgbode

    or how I am when someone else signs Hafner for $3mil/year and we let Shelley Duncan be our primary DH.

  • WolvesJR

    The team has quit on the season. Not sure if that’s all on Acta or not, but since they are not going to fire everyone below the owner, he’ll should be one of the ones let go. Antonetti and the scouting department should be right behind them. Can’t see Shapiro being let go though. You can’t blow up an organization that much in a year.

  • GreginOhio

    Acta is in over his head because he is the skipper of a long-sunk ship. The front office has done absolutely nothing to bring some players in that can play. They’ll move a 2nd baseman to the outfield one year, then the next year say “Gee, we need a 2nd baseman.” This is just an example of the crap they pull and not an exact point, but if you’ve followed the Indians at all the last 5 years or so, I think you’ll understand. I, personally, haven’t paid a lot of attention to them for the past year and a half…but you can’t ignore the losing.
    The Dolans should have NEVER bought this team in the first place…they couldn’t afford it then, and certainly not now. They claim they bought it so they wouldn’t be moved…which wasn’t going to happen. And who can forget the old “If you come to the games, we’ll spend the money” BS…the fans came and the Dolans did NOTHING…again.
    A very telling thing for this team was an article Terry Pluto did in the PD just after the 11-game losing streak. Paul Dolan said the most disappointing thing about the streak is they were hoping for an “attendance spike” NOT that they weren’t looking like a playoff team, not that they were looking to add to the team to make a run…an attendance spike! What does that say?
    They should have never given Sizemore that contract. There wasn’t a whole lot of suitors knocking on his door…the WAY overpaid for a broken down player whose career is probably over, in my opinion.
    I think the 2nd best thing would be to admit they are rebuilding, get rid of the “expensive” players and try and field a team of young players that can grow together, much like they did near the end of the old Stadium. They should fire Antonetti and Acta (a scapegoat) and hire Alomar to lead the young guys, a la Hargrove. Of course, they don’t have a whole lot to offer in the minors either but if they come clean and admit the rebuild, the fans may be more accepting of it.
    BUT…the ultimate thing to do would be to really man up and sell the team, albeit at a loss, but too bad. Dan Gilbert may be a suitor. And I am sure there are other potentials out there that would do a better job of running/owning this team.

  • GreginOhio

    At least he’s shown some heart…unlike most of the rest of the “team”

  • mgbode

    that’s alot of words to say that you haven’t paid attention the past couple of seasons

  • mgbode

    wait a second, i thought you didn’t pay attention

  • GreginOhio

    Sorry…hard to miss

  • GreginOhio

    I guess I should have said I haven’t bothered to watch or listen to the games for a couple years…but sadly, it isn’t that hard to see

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    the rest of the team needs to scream their salaries at fans more.

    yes, that’s the problem.