Manny Acta has confirmed the informal phone interview with GM Mark Shapiro and Assistant GM Chris Antonetti. I don’t mean to sound pessemistic right off the bat, but how is this a step in the right direction?
Cleveland is taking the “fresh start” approach by the trades of the previous season. They cleaned house enough with the players, and are in the process of doing the same with the field staff. Eric Wedge is done in Cleveland. And now…Manny Acta is the solution?
Maybe it is unfair to judge him for being manager of the Washington Nationals. Could anyone win with that team right now? Acta was fired after a 26-61 start this season, and sits at a career record of 158-252. After all, Jim Tracy went from being a lousy Pirates manager to possible Manager of the Year after the miracle in Denver this season.
Acta is young in age (40) and managerial experience (2 full seasons and one partial season in Washington). He led the Nats to a 79-83 record in 2007 and a 59-102 record in 2008 before the disaster this year in the nation’s capital.
The only postseason experience Acta has was with the 2006 Mets as a third base coach. He served in this capacity with the Mets in 2005 as well, and the Montreal Expos from 2002-2004. Those Expos weren’t exactly this year’s Nats either. The 2002 and 2003 Expos both won 83 games before crashing into the NL East basement in 2004, with a 67-95 record.
Acta served under Frank Robinson in Montreal and Willie Randolph in New York, the latter of which I think would be a more viable managerial candidate in Cleveland.
Either way…I don’t see this move as something that will inspire Indians’ fans to come to the ballpark. I don’t see this move as something that will ignite the team for seasons to come either. Hopefully the list of candidates will bring a more positive response from me in the future, because at this moment, the name Manny Acta gives me the impression that Cleveland will stay in the bottom half of the league for a few more years.