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)