The Cleveland Indians are a disaster. Whenever a team im/explodes this much it is difficult to figure out who to blame other than everyone. That seems to be the case. Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti are getting plenty of the blame for names like Ubaldo, Hafner, and Sizemore. The sale of the Cleveland Browns has made the despising of the Dolans a sexier pass-time than it has been since the Eric Wedge days. Of course the manager hasn’t escaped criticism either. Fans’ pet peeves about Manny Acta’s unwillingness to argue calls have become amplified with each subsequent loss. Manny Acta is just a part of the problem, but he also hasn’t made the best of a bad situation and is game to be fired just like everyone else. It got me thinking last night that in many ways, Manny Acta is just like Colt McCoy.
Manny Acta was given Shelley Duncan and Johnny Damon. Colt McCoy was given a still-injured Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya. Manny Acta has Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore while Colt McCoy had Tony Pashos and Peyton Hillis. Colt McCoy broke camp a year ago with Brian Robiskie as a big part of his offensive game-plan. Manny Acta has been given Aaron Cunningham and Brent Lillibridge. To say that Colt McCoy got a fair shake would be like saying Manny Acta should have been able to win the division with this bunch of guys.
Just like Colt McCoy though, Manny Acta’s future in Cleveland needs to be considered this off-season. While he was handed a raw deal of sorts, it still stands to reason that he isn’t good enough to bet on going forward. Could he do better with more bullets in his gun? Sure, but so could anyone.
That’s what the Browns decided this off-season when they drafted Brandon Weeden. I believed Mike Holmgren when he said that he didn’t think Colt McCoy got a great shot a year ago. I believe him when he says that he thinks Colt McCoy can be a better player and maybe even a legit NFL starter. The problem comes when calculating probabilities. Obviously the Browns felt like the probability of Colt McCoy becoming a guy they could win with was too remote for them to bet on, so they went and drafted Brandon Weeden.
Just like Holmgren and Heckert with McCoy, I have no doubt that Manny Acta can do better with a better team. Much like with Brandon Weeden, I’m not willing to bet the future of the club on it. McCoy wasn’t good enough to not go out and draft Brandon Weeden, and Manny Acta isn’t good enough to not to keep looking for the future manager for the Cleveland Indians. I’m sure you know know where this is going now.
Sandy Alomar is going to get a job managing somewhere in baseball. It would be a shame if Manny Acta’s presence in Cleveland kept the Indians from being the ones who find out just how good Alomar can be as a manager. Sure, there’s some sentimentality surrounding the presence of Sandy Alomar, but that isn’t even close to the heart of it. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t projecting Sandy Alomar to be a Major League manager back in the 90s when he was crouching behind the dish for the Tribe. This isn’t a case of making Bernie Kosar the GM for the Browns because we all love Bernie. This is a guy who is qualified for the job, and someone else is actually going to hire him to do it sooner rather than later.
All those pet peeves about Manny Acta are just enough proof that the Indians should consider making a change. Acta may not be “the problem,” but he also hasn’t done enough with this decidedly bad hand. He certainly hasn’t done enough to stop serious consideration of replacing him.