It’s not true that the Indians thought they were bringing Manny Ramirez back when they hired Manny Acta.
No, there were plenty of reasons for the Indians to go outside the organization and hire the former manager of the worst team in baseball who was fired earlier this season. The primary reason was to hire a guy from outside the organization. Even though Mark Shapiro might have thought he was talking to a Dominican version of Eric Wedge (Acta loves statistical analysis! Acta hates sacrifice bunts! Acta has a calm demeanor! Acta can grow a creepy moustahce! OK, that last part isn’t true. ), he most likely based his decision on a few other factors.
One was the demand for Acta’s services. The Houston Astros offered the Tribe’s new manager a two-year contract. Cleveland offered Acta three years, and the Astros wouldn’t match it. Despite starting both his playing and coaching career in the Houston organization, Acta went with the Tribe. How about that, the Indians landing a coveted free agent? Or at least a free agent coveted by someone else. He’s also the youngest manager in the big leagues. Apparently Shapiro likes them young as the 40-year-old Acta has a year on Eric Wedge. The Tribe’s going young off the field and on, apparently.
Acta also appealed to the Indians because of his ability to relate to the team’s Latin American players, writes The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes. Most likely Shapiro had head case Jhonny Peralta in mind when hiring Acta. After all, no one else will be getting to third base for the Tribe next season.
The Tribe had the corporate speak going at Monday’s introductory press conference. Shaprio used some of his favorite words — process, presence, intelligence, passion — when talking about the hiring. Fans will sit back and listen for now, but all the only word they really want to hear is “win.”
- All Akron Beacon Journal Tribe beat reporter Sheldon Ocker is saying is give Acta a chance.
- The ABJ’s Stephanie Storm writes that Acta spent a lot of his summer watching the Indians on television, since it was apparent that Wedge would be fired. Perhaps Acta kept the Indians ratings from being REALLY bad.
- The Plain Dealer’s Bill Livingston thinks that Acta won’t succeed without some action from the Dolans.
- Nationally, ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer writes that it’s not likely Acta is a great manager — mostly because there aren’t that many great managers.