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GM Antonetti agrees with fans: 2012 Indians a disappointment

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- General manager Chris Antonetti says current standings don't lie: The Cleveland Indians are very disappointing.

Antonetti said Friday that in retrospect some decisions, such as the financially strapped Indians signing injury-prone Grady Sizemore for $5 million, were bad choices. What exactly caused the complete free-fall of losing 21 of 25 games, is "difficult to pinpoint."

"We knew going in we needed a lot of things to go our way," Antonetti said. "A number of those things didn't happen."

Not having Sizemore for even one game is on a long list, including an underachieving rotation, lack of offense and yet another injury-riddled year by designated hitter Travis Hafner, limited to 32 RBI in 60 games.

"We knew there was a risk," Antonetti said of hoping that Hafner and three-time All-Star Sizemore could return to form.

Minus those players, and coupled with a down season from catcher Carlos Santana and others, Cleveland's 511 runs are 11th in the AL. The Indians have allowed a league-worst 646 runs.

"When you give up far too many runs and score far too few, it's a bad combination," Antonetti said.

The Indians recalled first baseman Matt LaPorta from Columbus and optioned right-hander Frank Herrmann to the Triple-A team as they tried to snap an eight-game losing streak in the opener of a series against the New York Yankees.

"He'll get plenty of at-bats the rest of the way," manager Manny Acta said of LaPorta, who has yet to live up to being the key figure in the trade of 2007 AL Cy Young winner CC Sabathia in 2008.

Antonetti said LaPorta and others will be evaluated over the final 38 games.

"There is a lot we can do going forward," Antonetti said. "This is an important six weeks for every guy in the entire organization."

On Thursday, owner Paul Dolan said he has no plans to dismiss president Mark Shapiro, Antonetti or Acta.

"We all have a lot of work to do, but their jobs aren't at stake with this," Dolan said.

Despite firing pitching coach Scott Radinsky on Aug. 9, the rotation has continued to struggle. Cleveland's 5.55 ERA in the second half is second worst to only the Los Angeles Angels' 5.64.

That's a big reason why Cleveland has fallen from three games out in the AL Central on July 21 to fourth place and 14½ back. The Indians spent 40 days in first place, but have trailed in the division since June 23.

Derek Lowe, now with the Yankees, can't quite comprehend what went wrong. The right-hander helped Cleveland start fast. He was 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA on May 15, then went 2-9 and was released by the Indians on Aug. 12 before being picked up by the Yankees.

"This is the second straight year that it has happened, so I think the talent level is there," Lowe said. "That's the frustrating thing because how do you perform at a certain level for that long? And I don't think they understand it, either."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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