Last week, 20 Cleveland Indians writers from six different websites and media outlets took part in a survey to reflect on the 2012 season and look ahead to the offseason and beyond. Yesterday, we released the first round of survey results: our player awards for the 2012 Indians. Today, our series continues with the results of 10 questions about the organization and the direction of the team.
First up, we asked our respondents about the Indians’ decision to fire manager Manny Acta and replace him with Terry Francona:
Firing Acta seems to have been a popular decision, with four-fifths of respondents approving of his dismissal and nearly half “strongly” agreeing. Hiring Francona received even better marks, with a majority of voters “strongly” agreeing and only two dissenting. Clearly the consensus is that the Indians needed to make a change in the clubhouse.
Meanwhile, the team also chose not to fire GM Chris Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro. How did those decisions sit with our voters?
It’s a 50/50 split for Antonetti, though there’s a one-vote advantage his favor among those with strong opinions about his job security. Meanwhile, 16 of our 20 writers are glad that Shapiro kept his job. This distinction marks an interesting departure from what seems like the general fan sentiment that Antonetti and Shapiro’s job performances are intertwined.
Moving on, does the team’s organizational core have what it takes to build a winner in Cleveland?
We’re again evenly divided about whether the Indians can enjoy success under the ownership of the Dolans, though as with Antonetti’s job security the most opinionated among us are relatively optimistic. The vote breaks 60/40 on the question of whether the current front office can put a winning team on the field—a vote of confidence, but not a very commanding one. However, there is little doubt that the Tribe can put together a good year with Francona running the clubhouse.
Next, we asked a couple more questions about the front office:
The good news for Antonetti & Co. is that almost half of our voters agreed that they could not have foreseen the Indians’ midsummer collapse, with only a quarter of our respondents taking what seems like the popular opinion that the front office was “strongly” at fault. However, only one out of 20 voters “strongly” agreed that the front office has a clear plan for the team going forward, with 60 percent disagreeing.
Finally, we asked our respondents what they thought of Chris Perez’ claim that the Tribe’s frustrating 2012 season was all Manny Acta’s fault:
A whopping 70 percent of voters disagree with Perez’ assessment of what went wrong this year, while no one fully agrees that Acta was the root of the trouble.
Huge thanks to the writers who participated in this survey: Mike James from the Defend Cleveland Show; Mike Brandyberry, Vince Guerrieri, David Roberts, Kevin Schneider, and Ronnie Tellalian from Did The Tribe Win Last Night?; Charlie Adams, Kevin Dean, and Jim Piascik from Indians Prospect Insider; Nino Colla from The Tribe Daily; Ed Carroll, Brian Heise, Steve Kinsella, Lewie Pollis, and Evan Vogel from Wahoo’s on First; Craig Lyndall and TD from WaitingForNextYear; and Geordy Boveroux, Andy Cooper, and David McGarry.