Blog Entry

Indians act: Acta new skipper

Posted on: October 25, 2009 4:09 pm

The Indians have hired Manny Acta as manager, which clearly means one of two things:

Either Cleveland knows something Washington didn't.

Or the Nationals were more of a bottomless pit than even they knew.

There isn't much middle ground, is there? Battling two seriously disappointing seasons in the past three years, a restless fan base and declining attendance, the Indians have hired a man with a .385 career winning percentage as a manager. Acta went 158-252 in just under three seasons as manager of the Nationals.

Acta always has been a respected baseball man, and many within the industry know that the Nationals' problems went far beyond the manager's chair the past couple of seasons.

Yet, the Nats showed enough improvement under interim manager Jim Riggleman after they fired Acta that they continue to view Riggleman as a legitimate candidate for their full-time manager's job.

Under Riggleman in 2009, the Nats played .440 ball, going 33-42.

Under Acta in '09, the Nats played .229 ball, going 26-61.

And yet ... Acta reportedly was among the three finalists in Houston as well, along with former Astros skipper Phil Garner and Boston bench coach Brad Mills.

Clearly, Acta, despite the Nationals' belly flop, immediately is a man in demand on the managerial circuit this winter.

The Indians signed him to a three-year deal after also interviewing Bobby Valentine and minor-league skipper Torey Lovullo last week. They had intended to interview Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly later this week.

So which is it?

Acta, 40, under-managed an already hopelessly over-matched team?

Or Acta has enough managerial chops to overcome even the Nationals' taint?

The Indians have committed themselves to finding out.

And one way or the other, I have a feeling, in the end, there won't be much middle ground here, either.


One other note on Acta: Even with a .385 career winning percentage, he's still the most winning major-league manager the Indians have hired since John McNamara in 1990.

That's because, as the legendary Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out, since the Indians fired Alvin Dark in 1970, they've hired a manager with major-league experience only three other times: Dave Garcia (1979-1983), Pat Corrales (1983-1987) and McNamara (1990-1991).

Since McNamara, the Indians had hired three consecutive managers with no major-league managing experience in Mike Hargrove (1992), Charlie Manuel (2000) and Eric Wedge (2003).


Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2009 9:25 pm

Indians act: Acta new skipper

Believe me the Indians dont anything we dont know...All Cleveland is doing is hiring a cheap option at manager for the next 2 seasons until Travis Fryman is ready to take over and manage the team....There doesn't appear to be much hope for Cleveland in the near future...Hafner since coming off roids cant hit for power or average...Sizemore will probably be patrolling centerfield in New York when the Indians decide not to pay him...There's not much talent in the rotation and they are paying Kerry Wood and Jake Westbrook 20+ million next season and neither of them will be any good...I dont blame the gm because he built a solid team that he was essentially forced to tear apart...The best way to make money is to spend money...The Dolans must have forgot when the Indians had a good product they had 454 straight sell-outs, but thats when Jacobs owned the team... I wont drive an hour anymore to watch this team play..It will be years and years before this team is competitive again, especially since the Tigers and White Sox will spend some money to win the central, and with the Twins actually knowing how to run a team, Cleveland will be finsihing 4th or 5th with the Royals for the next 5 years or so...

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2009 7:55 pm

Indians act: Acta new skipper

Not that I think Acta is any good but just four words ....

Casey Stengel
Joe Torre

both had horrible records before coming into their own

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2009 7:34 pm

Where is Willy Mays Hays?

Last I heard he was wanted by the feds.

Since: Jun 18, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2009 7:25 pm

Indians act: Acta new skipper

Have you seen the movie Major League??

Perhaps the Indians should have brought Lou Brown or Jake Taylor out of retirement?!

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2009 7:13 pm

Indians act: Acta new skipper

The manager is not the problem in Cleveland. What is the problem? Well the lack talent right now, but that's just a passing problem. The real problem is two things...

The GM is aweful at talent evaluation. He is living off one great trade and one other good one.

But the biggest problem, and even a good GM couldn't overcome this, is the owner. Either he can't afford to run a baseball franchise or he's just ignorant. Jacobs and Hart didn't have a problem getting FA's and putting butts in the seats. And had Mesa not shat himself a Championship.

Now the system is set up so that only a few teams can compete every year and the rest must hope to have a short window every few years. But it is also set up for an owner who doesnt' care about winning, to have a built in excuse.

Memo to Dolan...If you put a winner in the seats, that stadium will be full. and those fans will spend a lot of cash on beer, pop, food, jerseys etc etc. this will create revenue. and you can use this revenue to resign good players and occisionally add a good FA. oh and there will even be a little left over to line you pockets. and you won't lose 16M a season, you worthless...

this city wants a winner sooo bad. all we have is the Cavs. but the tribe's season only partially competes with the cavs season. if you win we will come. if you lose, it will be empty. we can't take another losing season from you and the browns. (hell, had the cavs not lucked out and got LBJ, they'd suck too)

As for Acte, i heard he came really prepared and wanted the job. Bobby Valentine is a clown, we don't need him. I was surprised the didn't hire Grover, since the fans love him and they need to make the fans happy.

Since: Aug 19, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2009 6:13 pm

Indians act: Acta new skipper

Until Mark Shapiro is fired the Indians will be much like a '59 Edsel going 100 MPH ..IN REVERSE.  Money or no..they choose the worst candidate of their 4 finalists...expect allot of losses next year.  If it was all about the money they could have given Acta a one year deal.  It's also about stupidity.  The same stupidity that allow the Indians to Trade Cliff Lee for a pile of junk.  Have you seen the movie Major League??

Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2009 4:51 pm

Please understand

Please understand, Cleveland is all about the money. The owners will only go so far. No matter the sport. This is why they are losers. Look at the Browns. The Tribe's owners especially is cheap--he can't pay people and turn the profit he wants in such a small market. So he and all the other sport owners go as cheap as they can and hope it works out. Think about it--every team in the baseball playoffs this year was stacked with Tribe players. Its only fitting that Lee goes against CC to start the Series if the Yanks make it tonight. The Tribe has become the 4A level for baseball. AAA players go to Cleveland, develop, and then get sent to other teams for the playoffs. If they Tribe should stumble and make the playoffs before they shipped off, know the team won't go far. They will only gain the experience needed to push their new team down the road over the top...See Manny---or Lee or CC this year...
So yes, Acta makes sense--because he came cheap. But I am not excited--see we just also fired our pitching coach after he produced 2 Cy Young winners. So you want me to trust the same management that did this?
Then on top of it? They also showed Charlie Manuel the door---
I feel sad for Cleveland--so do they know anything that others don't know? The answer is No! A resounding no!

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