10.31.2009

Hahaha Shin-Soo Boo.. You serious?

Happy Halloween out there to everyone who gives a damn.

To me, this is just another Saturday. The novelty of Halloween wore off the year after the last time I went out to get candy door to door, which I believe was eighth grade. And If I remember right, I only went that year (after two years where I didn't) because me and my friends all wanted to do it one more time before we were forced to grow up and go to High School.

I was Jerome Bettis/Alien/Backwards Baseball Cap Guy that wielded a machete of sorts.

And now as a college student, I probably should get into the whole dress up as something silly and go out partying, but I believe I'm above that for some reason.

Okay that's not the reason, I hate Halloween.

And I blame it on people for ruining Halloween.

You see last week is the week our neighborhood did Trick Or Treating. To me that's stupid. Who does that a week before from 2 to 4 in the afternoon?

I mean today, it sucks outside, it's windy and cold... So last week's weather was perfect, but it's the principle of things.

Anyway, I won't bore you with my hatred for how the world has screwed up Halloween. In fact I don't really have anything much to say in this post. I just wanted to share with you something that I found mildly amusing and wish you a Happy Halloween. Just because I'm a Scrooge doesn't mean you have to be.

Shin-Soo Boo.



That was done by some dude from Toledo and it was voted the winner of the Indians pumpkin carving contest. For his great skill of carving Cleveland Indians right fielders into a pumpkin and giving it a clever name, this guy won an autographed Grady Sizemore bat and Shin-Soo ball.

So if you wanna win something like that. When winter comes, just build a snowman in the shape of Jhonny Peralta and call it Snowman Jhonny. It isn't a clever name, but it has as much lateral movement as the real Jhonny Peralta.

Best comment on facebook towards this pumpkin... "If that's our best pumpkin, why haven't we traded it yet?"

I really need to stop reading that stuff, but I can't help it. It's entertaining.

Facebook Reactions Part II: Acta Hired

And now the second part of Facebook Reactions to the Manny Acta hiring.

I think this would conclude Manny Acta week here.. Certainly I think we've killed this to death.

There's some more news floating around, we'll get that to it later today or tomorrow. For now, enjoy more commentary on ridiculous comments.

Part I can be seen here.

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Man, I wish Cleveland baseball fans knew something about baseball. Manny is a good baseball man. Don't judge him by what happened in DC. Give him a chance.

As do I, as do I.

Unbelievable! When I got the email announcing this, I was absolutely stunned. Eric Wedge has to be wondering why he was fired after this move. Talk about a slap in the face. Monumental Fail

You must have not been paying too much attention to things then. It's quite alright though, not many others did.

This is a pathetic team. You suck!!!!!!

Who sucks? The guy who wrote the article? That's a big no no then, AC is the one thing that does in fact, not suck.

HORRIBLE. I LEFT MY SEASON TICKET GROUP TODAY.

Oh well...

You guys are nuts... who was a better option... guys like torre and francona managed bad teams to start their careers... I'm not saying he'd going to be great but give the guy a freakin chance.

I just like highlighting the few comments that are actually sensible.

Are you kidding me?!?!?! Maybe now we can call the California penal league and get a pitcher!!!!

Major League Reference, 3.

should anyone be surprised really?!??! since 97 what goods decisions have been made by the Tribe??

You really want me to count them out?

Can you say CHEAP

Cheap... What was supposed to happen?

For those who missed the fine print, the Indians weren't the only team to choose Acta as their manager. Houston also wanted him but he decided to go to Cleveland for the longer deal.

Fine print? It didn't even need to be in fine print, people don't like to read, especially Indians fans after they read a headline.

what hhappened to eric wedge?

Talk about living under a rock....


God Damn it I think it's time to find a new favorite baseball team

What is that like four or something? Oh well, I don't think we're missing much.

@fairweather fans: I'm sure there will be seats on the bandwagon the next time it rolls through town. Go Tribe!

Oh there will be, but I'll be at the end of the Bandwagon with a blowtorch fending off these numskulls that want back on.

Shoulda hired Mangini.

I know man, really.

I give up on all Ohio sports teams

Even the Cavs and Buckeyes? Wow, sorry to hear that.

wow time to fire mark shapiro... the bum hires a BIGGER bum than wedge... I think he is trying to make the Indians such a huge loser that they move the team...

How does that benefit him in anyway? Sometimes I wonder if people realize what they say.

Not happy with this choice. should have kept Wedge then if they are going with this guy. Horrible Dolans Horrible. They are making it very hard for me to remain a fan.

I'm sorry they are being so hard on you.

donny baseball didn't even get an interview?! cheap ass dolan, I'll give the guy a chance but until we get a better owner and gm, the future looks grim

At least you are giving the guy a chance. Some people have some hope.

The Indians are quickly finding out the power of social media.

Hahahaha. Yeah really..

You guys (read: the majority of people who have posted here) really don't get it? Do you?

No, they don't..

Everybody is jumping on this as a bad hire. I really like it. The guy's got major league managerial experience. He is from outside the organization (something I think we need). All I've read about him indicates that he's got a good baseball mind. He'll be able to easily relate to the Latino players on the club. Just because he was let go by DC doesn't make him a bad candidate. He was the victim of circumstance there. To dismiss the guy like has been done here, to me, is stupid.

This guy reads some things.

WOW!! It's like the 70's all over again. And the 80's. Poor talent, poor manager, poor GM and poor ownership. What is the city going to do when 'Bron 'Bron leaves next year? Manny Acta? Seriously? How could you really be happy about this unless you're a front office bean counter. Congratulations Dolan/Shapiro, you've successfully ruined a once proud franchise.

I told you they we're talking about LeBron. I'm happy about this and I don't count beans in their front office. But if anyone knows how I could get into a job like that. Let me know.

were suppose to give this guy a chance because he managed a bad team in DC to a bad record....what kind of team do u think the Indians have...A BAD TEAM

Ahh boy..

Horrible hire.

You know that sir?

I'm going to trust Shapiro's judgement because he was able to do a quick rebuild from 2002-2004. It just seems odd that some of these prospects have average numbers in the minors and that the new manager had no success with his prior team. I won't bash it until after next year, but I just don't know.

Neither do a lot of us, at least you will wait before you call it bad.

I am not sure about this hire. I am willing to give the man a fair chance though.

Wow there is hope for this fan base after all.

Brendan, have you looked at his record? I wish I could be less cynical, but the man hasn't won squat. He never played in the bigs; his record sucks.

How many current good managers were good major leaguers?

I'm moving away from cleveland!!! I HAVE HAD IT!!!

Wow this person is actually moving from Cleveland. Amazing

Some coaches do better in their second stint. See Bill Belichek.

Not baseball but good point.

Great, they hired a manager who was fired and has a horrible record and no experience with success in baseball. Great.

No experience of success? Just because he was with the Nationals doesn't mean he hasn't been on a winning team.

I think they just don't want to win...Cliff, Ben, Victor, & CC....the organization should be ashamed! It should be real fun watching CC vs. Cliff in the World Series.

Yeah they don't want to win... That's what it is.

WHY NOT BOBBY VALENTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MANNY ACTA SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You must have not watched his press conference. I'll give you a pass.

What? Do we hire the first guy that walks in the door? Oh, wait, WE JUST DID!!!!! I am very disappointed with this choice, especially when we had a proven winner like Bobby Valentine interested in the position.

Yeah they hired the first guy they interviewed, but it isn't like they hired him right after the interview. Child Please.

Wow the amount of ignorance posting on here is unbelievable. Acta had no talent in Washington, it was like trying to win in Pittsburgh. He was the best choice. Go Tribe!

Ignorance is bliss, unless you are a Cleveland fan.

With the hiring of the former manager of the worst team in baseball, Larry Dolan has once again proven he is not interested in competing or winning. But getting by on-the cheap. Under Dolan, the Indians have become a joke and Indians fans the punch line. I urge all Indian fans to NOT buy tickets or merchandise until this man sells this "Team". DO NOT put a single red cent in his pocket for his subsatndard product.

This is the irrational Cleveland fan that is different from typical people. This one actually has some sort of an idea what he's talking about, or at least he thinks he does. And his brilliant solution is to tell everyone to not buy tickets or contribute to the team. This is worse than typical irrational fan.

absolutely stupid. i guess larry dolan is commited to losing even tho he says he wants to win. i predict this team will not be in cleveland in 10 years, and we cal all thank mr. dolan for that.....*******

Yep that's exactly what he's doing. Again, do people think about what they say?

What a joke... I'm losing my loyalty.

Ouch, you must have not had much to begin with.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.. Manny Freaking Acta, seriously WTF is this.. Don't kid yourself, Valentine was never going to get this job. He made 4 mil in Japan, Dolan would never pay that to a manager, especially when he's still paying Wedge 1.3 mil for this year. So Shapiro really only interviewed 2 guys, is Randy Lerner consulting for the Tribe now? At least Acta showed he could get the most out of his talent in D.C. oh wait THEY SUCKED! Come on Shapiro you don't even interview Mattingly? Did this move have to be made today? I DOUBT IT. If Houston really wanted Acta then why didn't they hire him last week? I hope I'm wrong but I think this move blows. With Dolan saying he's not spending money in the offseason, this was the one chance to generate some interest in his pathetic team..FAIL

You feel better? I hope so, just so you didn't say all that for nothing.

ACTA HAD NO TALENT IN DC TO GET ANYTHING OUT OF IT. Valetine was a joke and he admitted himself he knew nothing about the Indians or the Central Division. You shouldn't try to talk Baseball if you know nothing about it.

Again just counting the good beans.

wow you guys passed up Bobby Valentine and Don Mattingly for a guy that got cut from the nationals? LOL cleveland is perhaps cursed who knows.

Yep, because he was the better choice.

Dolan isn't the problem. Market imbalances is destroying MLB. There are 20 farm teams, for the top ten market teams. I am through with MLB, till they fix their game.

There really only was one comment like this. The high road was taken here.

Goodbye, Indians. Your constant ineptness, continued crapping on the fans, and obvious role as developmental team for the rest of the league have worn on us too thin. You can have my tickets back. They will now match all the other empty seats around them. Shapiro + Dolans = Losers.

Just keep crying....

The new promotional calendar for 2010 is "1982 theme night" all year. There will be a crowd of 3,000 people each night, and the Indians will stink.

This is thoughtful.

**** DOLAN, **** SHAPIRO **** LERNER AND **** MANGINI! GO CAVS!!!!!

Feel Better?

YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!..........Nope...BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOO.

How old was this person?

Valentine was never really an option, this isn't the right situation for him. So you have Acta who is basically a Wedge clone or Tory Luvullo who is a Terry Francona clone. They basically replaced Wedge with a bilingual Wedge.

Bilingual Wedge.. That's funny. I've heard the opposite in terms of comparison though. Acta was the new Francona and Lovullo was the new Wedge.. I guess people really don't know, which brings us back to the point that, no one knows right now.

It's all about the $$. Acta comes cheap! I don't like the choice, BUT it's better than Tory Luvallo!

Please at least spell the names right.

ask the nationals what kind of impression he left, 59-103, and couldn't sign their 1st round pick, great move dolan's you set us back at least 2-3 more years!!!!

Actually they signed their first round pick, but Acta has no bearing on that.

They say he made a lasting impression. Ya he told tight ass that he would pay him to coach

Hahahaha, wow I love some people.

I'm a life long tribe fan and I will reserve any judement until I see how this evolves... I guess call me a "glass half full" kinda guy... However I do think Dolan needs to sell the team...

Yeah I'm a glass half full kind of guy, but they should really sell the team. Hahaha. Good one

Acta=Spanish for cheap
The Tribe and the Dolans went the affordable route...how surprising, lol.
Oh well, at least the Cavs start Tuesday!

You know my name is Spanish for boy?

OMG BEST DECISION EVARRRRRRRRRR The worst team in Baseball fires it's manger and you hire him.... So let me guess.... Next big free agent pitcher the Indians sign will be Charlie Sheen? Oh and since Victor is gone ya might as well pick up Kevin Kostner on waivers but you'd probably just trade them all away for prospects huh?

Did anyone ever think they are the worst team in baseball for a reason and that's why they fired him? Because they are stupid? Major League Reference is up to four I think.

I really dont know what to say. I love the Tribe. Why does this **** happen to us, LOYAL Tribe fans that are forces to watch two or our pitchers start game one of the biggest game in baseball on wednesday. Heart is hurting, I am going to leave my tribe hate in Baghdad this time. Go Cubs

LOYAL? You just said Go Cubs.. I'm sorry sir but you are not loyal.

At least the new manager is used to being around players without talent.....He'll fit right in with the Tribe......

Hahaha again, if you are going to make fun, at least be funny.

This is just The Indians being Manny!

And I think that is a fitting way to end things.

10.30.2009

Facebook Reactions Part I: Acta Hired

In case you are new to the internet, Facebook is one of the roots of all evil and as I like to mention, I'm on it along with the other root of all evil twitter.

As a fan of the Cleveland Indians on Facebook, I see their postings and so do many many other fans of the Indians. Well people on Facebook that claim they are fans at least. Some people like to comment and this is what happens.

I like to make fun of those people, so I've brought that practice here. I haven't included every comment, because sometimes they make no sense and often the same comments are repeated. I've deleted names and times but have not edited the posts in anyway.

If you've made one of these comments and I've made fun of you, I apologize, but you probably have it coming if you opinion doesn't have any argument behind it. The simple fact is that I'm awesome and I can rip apart a flimsy argument.

As always, my comments are in bold below each individual comment from the Facebook...er...

As for a collective reaction. As you can imagine, more typical Cleveland fans that settle on Facebook are against this in some way. A lot of people are yelling at Shapiro and Dolan though, which I am sort of fine with in a way. But the "Acta sucks" and not giving him a chance thing bothers me so much I can sort of go easy on the Shapiro/Dolan haters.

Anyway.. Let's get to it, Part I up today, Part II up tomorrow.

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DISLIKE - 15 Times

About 15 people had the word “dislike” or some form of wanting to dislike the story instead of “like” which is the only button Facebook has.


What?....Who

This isn’t a surprise.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Yeah we will.

Nooooooooooooooo!

Wow you are really upset about this. Like fifteen extra o's.

I hate this guy!

Do you even know this guy?

You've got to be a tried and true DUMBASS to sign a manager that led the worst team in baseball for the past two seasons... SmFh...

I didn't know what SmFh means until I typed it into Urban Dictionary. Go ahead and shake your head. This is casual fan's typical response. Blaming the record he had with the Nationals.

Just like the Browms, made a hire to quick!!!!

I actually think the Browms made a good hire with Mangini, but again people in Cleveland want to win now, never mind the fact the Browns had cruddy talent before he got there and he's trying to fix it.

Sweet- the price is right!

No this is actually the Indians hiring a manager, not the game show.

I can't believe they would not interview Hargrove. At least throw the fans a bone with that.

Now this is what angers me. Throw the fans a bone by interviewing him? And then when he's not hired and they just do it for publicity, you get all pissy that they didn't hire him. Seriously, throw me a bone and stop these ridiculous thoughts.

Can't be any worse than Wedge!!

Actually you could be, but I get what you were going for.

Manny Acta is a horrible hire. You guys realize he suked with the Nationals right

No I didn't realize that, thanks for the observation genius.

get rid of alll the damn managers......

I like this thought. One less thing for everyone to complain about

This is the worst move Dolan has made. This will ensure even less people go to games next year. They better have dollar dog and fireworks every night to get anyone there.

You know what, maybe they will... And every night they don't do that, it will be Grady Sizemore give away nights.


this is probably not the best decision

Probably? Not too confident in that comment.

Brilliant!! Lets hire the manager from the worst team in baseball and keep him until 2012. I suppose Bozo the Clown was occupied at the moment. DISLIKE DISLIKE DISLIKE!!!

That's the plan. Bozo the Clown was actually occupied. He's over in Chicago. /OzzieGuillenBurn

i was hoping they would have tried to get hardgrove. that wouldve been cool

Really now? You think so?

are lerner and dolan the same person? they seem to make the same type of moves.

You gotta love the way some people continue to compare the Browns and Indians, just because they are both horrible.

ya lets get the skipper from the worst team in the league now they look like the browns

You also have to love the way some people continue to compare the Browns and Indians and also bring up the fact Acta managed the Nationals. It's the most common crazy irrational reasons meshed into one. It's one giant ball of crazy.

What, they couldn't get Mangini so they got the next best thing? Why not at least talk with someone else first??

They talked to Bobby Valentine and Torey Lovullo. I bet Eric Mangini didn't want to deal with two messes in Cleveland at this time.

Fire Acta
Thank you Tribe for finally cementing in my decision to like another team besides your dumb asses. You've got to be kidding me. When the Dolan's and Shapiro are both gone. I'll check back! Until then.. Peace

Peace Bro. Don't come back anytime soon.

THIS TEAM BLOWS....SELL THE TEAM *******S!!!!!

I can only imagine what he starred out.

Nice! Hire someone elses garbage. Sound familiar Browns fans? Time for the owners of the Browns & Indians to sell the teams to poeple who want to spend money to field a competetive team.

First they have to find people who have the money to actually buy something that won't make them much money at the outset. Well the Browns may make money because this town is obsessed, but the Indians sure as hell won't.

Thank God for the Cavs and Lebron for now. Oh! the state of Cleveland sports. Wedge may be better then Acta.

This is the third or fourth most common type of response. At least we have that 0-2 Cavs team! And the more sorrowful people mention how they better hold onto LeBron or all hope is lost.

Lets get an owner that wants to spend money...lets get an owner that has money to spend

I don't think you can find a single solitary owner that would love to actually spend money. I know what you mean, but you sound very bitter and I had to own you.

awful........way to interview everyone and take your time!!

So they didn't interview one candidate. Oh well, it happens, get over it.

Lets get a GM that knows whats going on

Are you implying we have a GM that doesn't know what is going on?

are we trying to be the worst team?I guess I am now NOT in the Tribe.

You too? Well that's two more fans we don't need.

as they should cuz he could get it done with Washington which is apparently the same skill level so nice call Tribe front office. once again we put money before a championship

This is why the Yankees are bad for baseball. Not because they buy the good players to try and gain a competitive advantage unlike most other teams, but because our casual fans get this kakamami idea that the only way to win is spend money.

this is a fantastic move. All of you who don't like this, please bookmark this thread and save it.

Hahaha.. I wouldn't go calling it fantastic now, but this is pretty much a bookmark I'd say.

Who owns this team anyway? Some stripper that wants to move it to Fla?

Major League Reference, 1.

He was fired as the NATIONALS Manager! The worst team in baseball. This is ridiculous! Of the four finalist he was my LAST choice - but they obviously didn't ask me...lol. Mattingly never even got his interview.

lol.. yeah... He was my first choice, so that's where we differ I guess.


Why do you hire a manager that has one of the worst records over the past 50 years of at least two years of manager experience???? Stupid!

Because records aren't everything pal.

Wow!!! I think I'm a Tigers fan now. That was a horrible hire! You just got the Mangini of Baseball.

You think? Make a decisions so I can cross you off the list of loyal people in the world. I guess this guy hasn't watch either Mangini or Acta, because they couldn't be more not alike.

Fail. Eric Mangini with a Dominican accent.

Hahahaha.. If you are at least going say something like "Yeah he's just another Mangini!" At least make it funny like this one. I give this bonus points.

Does this mean there is extra money to spend on good free agents to help the team in 2010?

Sure, but do you want to help this team place in second rather than third? Or in everyone's eyes, fourth instead of last.

Lets see, in 2 1/2 years Acta lost 100 games more than he won, The Tribe blames that on the Nationals having young, inexperienced players. WOW. What do they think he has to work with here? Please, Mr Dolan, sell this team to someone who gives a rats a$$.

Correction. The Nationals did have young and inexperienced players. But not all of them were very good. They also tried bringing in lousy veterans and headcases.

Couldn't wait for Donny Baseball?

Nope, gotta get going since Donnie Baseball wasn't going to manage here anyway.

Way to go Shapiro and Dolan, you guys suck!!!!
Mattingly would have been better then this bum

How are you so sure about that? That's what gets me. How do people really know this?

If the Indians were so worried about getting someone who could relate and speak to the Spanish speaking players, then they should have considered hiring Mike Hargrove and a TRANSLATOR!!!! HELLO

Hahahahaha.. HELLO!

Thome should retire and take over the manager spot of the indians...

I actually started to respond to this with more than three lines then I realized what I was responding to.

Oh come on! You fire Wedge and replace him with a coach that had an even worse record for the last several years with the Nationals. WTF?!

Like I said, this was a common occurrence.

Somewhere the Astros fans are thanking us. DISLIKE!

Brad Mills and they are thanking us? Yep.

BOOOOOOOOOO x 1,000,000,000,000

Nice work here, even more upset than the Nooooooooooo guy. Believe it or not, a female did not make this comment.

This is an absolute slap in the face of Indians fans....what a joke.

I did not feel a hand smack my face.

Ugh. And Ch ch ch Charlie Manuel is in the World Series FAIL!

What are you stuttering?

dolans make another damn mistake and lets think he is the one that jumped the gun who said he got the job so he is ready to mess up our team.. bring back Charles Negy as a pc

I have no clue what that first sentence means or says. Charles Negy eh? If you guys like these old players at least take the time to spell their names right.

He must have been the cheapest of the finalists. It's all about who will fill the vacancy for the lowest price, not who's most qualified to put wins back on the books. Glad to see Mattingly even got a chance.

Torey Lovullo would have actually been the cheapest if you ask me, then I think Mattingly considering another team wanted Acta.

Dave is right... this sounds like the script from the movie, "Major League". Are they trying to ruin attendance even more??? trying to move??? what in the world are they doing??? Do they not use any brains in hiring the worst manager in baseball today? Between trading my favorite players and now this... I am going to give up my loyalty to the Indians... and, maybe I will switch to the Pirates.

Yes, the Cleveland Indians are intentionally trying to lose more money and alienate their fan base. That's exactly what they are doing and congratulations, you figured their plan out. Enjoy the Pirates and their 900 consecutive losing seasons and horrid ownership.

Many of you are saying you don't know much about the guy and thats why you don't like the hire? He's the one I wanted all along. Shapiro didn't just go for the big name, he was smart and went for someone who fit our team and could actually help us win. He did his homework, not just look at Acta's record while he managed a team that had no talent and should have, and did finish last.

Wow someone that is actually logical. You don't even need to be smart to realize this. People complain about the hiring, yet they also admit they have not much background on the guy. Logic is all I ask sometimes.

What do we expect from Cleveland? Sell ALL of the good players then fire the coach's & Managers. Why not? He'll sign for peanuts!

What is he, an elephant?

i like this hire. The guy was only with Washington for 2 and a half years! I mean come on......Give the guy some time to develop his talent cause the talent that was in Wash. wasnt his! And who would u guys have rather had????? Another triple A manager.....or a has been who has been in Japan the past 5 years? Thats what i thought! Stop all of the whinnig and call the whambulance fair weather Indians fans!!

I support this statement and no I didn't make it, or else I would have spelled whining right and used proper punctuation. Still, mega bonus points to you.

he doesn't need someone to fit the team until 2012, when then become competitive again (his words after the Martinez trade). A name would have been good to get fans in seats, make the team some money and afford us to go buy some talent. Who cares about Acta?

You twisted his words buddy.

Are the Indians nut's? Tis is not a good hire mark my words

Tis not? I'm marking your words now.

I liked Wedge.

Didn't we all?

another 10 years of a sorry team. GO CAVS!

Go Magic.

they could have brought in the greatest manager in the world....we still would have those terrible players. Let the suckyness......continue..........

This isn't a popular comment, but it was when Eric Wedge was fired if you remember. They were disguised as "Fire Shapiro" comments.

Boooooo! Not what I wanted to hear.

I don't know if Mark Shapiro and company were aware of what you wanted to hear. Could you please tell them next time.

10.29.2009

Painfully Pleasant is Cliff P. Lee

I've decided to delay Facebook reactions a day because of what we witnessed last night.

I wanted to avoid talking about this here because of how painful it is.

And it really is painful.

But after what we saw last night.. Wow.

It didn't really hit me until I saw Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia in the pre-day of game press conferences as is the norm for starting pitchers in the Playoffs.

Then it really hit me when I actually watched the game.

Two former Indian Cy Young award winners that were just on this team last year, now pitching in the World Series against each other.

Mass attention. Mass praise. Mass everything.

None of us are shocked by this right?

Everyone in the world is like, oh my god Cliff Lee. Well guess what, I expected nothing more from that guy. After 2008 we were all believers of Lee. And If we weren't, we were convinced after a few starts this year.

Cliff Lee is pitching on another planet.

And now he's a cult hero.

My contribution to #cliffleefacts?

Cliff Lee doesn't throw his curveball. He dares his fastball to curve.

People keep saying he's in the zone. Dudes, he's been in the zone since the start of 2008. I'm starting to think there is no zone, he's just that good.

This all being said...

As painful as it is, I'm getting sick of ESPN and FOX reminding us all about that pain. "Boy I'm sure Cleveland feels good right now."

Shadddddup!

Of course it sucks to watch.

We don't need your confirmations of that.

How are we feeling this morning that all aside? CC Sabathia did well, I still think we feel a little bitter towards him more than Cliff because of the team he ended up with. But Cliff Lee dominated and I think us Tribe fans all feel a little proud this morning that he did that. And also a little pleasant, even with a little pain, that he did it against the Yankees.

Oh and how about someone asking him if he was nervous?

He struck out ten Yankees. He stood there and just caught a ball like it was nothing. He casually reached behind his back to catch a Robinson Cano grounder up the middle.

That man is not nervous. That man is special. And for anyone that thinks Cliff Lee is fibbing by saying no he isn't nervous, I'll speak up for him as will most of us. That is Cliff Lee, not changing a bit.

10.28.2009

More things to consider: Acta's Cultural Impact and Coaches

With Acta now fully on board and the flurry of madness that was his arrival sort of over, I think it's time to settle down a bit.

First off, read my plea to Cleveland Fans everywhere about Acta. It was my formal here is why he is a good hire for Cleveland right now post and I came to this conclusion while writing the piece.

Out of the list we had to choose from, Acta was the best choice. Is he the best choice to run this situation? We all hope he is, but that is simply something we do not know right now.

I think any sensible Cleveland fan can come to that conclusion.

And with that, we move on, at least until I unleash Facebook Reactions on you tomorrow. Oh trust me, there are some real gems in there.

Let's just talk a little bit more about this.

And let's start with the impact Acta is going to have on this club based on his Latin roots and bi-lingual...ness.

I think people are taking for granted how big of a deal this is. I stated it myself in my case for Manny Acta and some people thought I, and everyone else that was bringing it up, was making too much of a big deal about it.

But I think I didn't do it justice. You need to read Tony Lastoria's latest post on Prospect Insider.

And let me just emphasize the three names he brought up that are central to this team.

Rafael Perez, Fausto Carmona, Jhonny Peralta.

When the Indians went to the ALCS in 2007, Rafael Perez was a dominant relief pitcher. When the Indians went to the ALCS in 2007, Jhonny Peralta had one of his best years and was clutch in the playoffs. When the Indians went to the ALCS in 2007, Fausto Carmona won 19 games and was a stud.

If you don't think those three players are important to this team, you are crazy.

I myself, like others, have had enough of Peralta. I will say it right now, the guy better do something that tells us he deserves to be on this team because the guy is on thin-ice as far as I'm concerned.

But perhaps this manager is one Peralta can better relate to.

All three of these guys are Domincan, as is Manny Acta. Not just from a Latin country but from Acta's Latin country.

It also appears he has a prior relationship with Fausto Carmona.

I think it is absolutely HUGE that this guy can sit down and just talk with these players and the fact that he is the manager, he is the guy putting them in the lineup, or deciding their roles, or where they slot in the rotation.

It's huge and I think it needs to be mentioned till it is actually overblown.

Then you factor in all the Latin prospects and young players this team has and their best one is from the Dominican?

I'm glad Tony talked at length about it because it made even me realize that it is a bigger deal than even I thought, and I thought it was a big deal. Tony also talks about some interesting offseason moves or possibilities that we won't get into today, but certainly will once the coaching staff is in place and this free agent market kicks off.

I know for one thing, I do buy the idea of signing some sort of impact player, but waiting till the very end when they come cheap. As pointed out, the economy still sucks and teams like Oakland and Los Angeles made a killing off getting veterans for cheap at the end on one year deals. There will be a pitcher out there for the taking.

Hey Sheldon Ocker is alive and talking... I think he stole the premise to my article though. Probably not, but a boy can dream.

(I'm just kidding, please don't think I'm serious.. If you didn't get the joke: I actually agree with Ocker's opinion for once, which means he isn't crazy like he usually is. Therefore, he stole my opinion.)

Let's talk coaches though.

I was tweeting yesterday while I was bored in Astronomy class about coaches and possibilities.

BENCH

I tweeted this and I've seriously been thinking about this stuff when I'm bored so this wasn't a little heyyyy crazy thought.

But Acta should bring in someone, all on his own, that he trusts. It would be nice if he had major league managerial experience, but that is a tough qualification to find. Hey I wonder if Eric Wedge is available?

Haha wow, okay too soon. But really, Acta said he wants someone that is thinking at all times. Someone that is managing along with him that he can turn to and ask for an opinion. That screams someone who's managed before. It would be nice to have two guys that have been mangers at the big league level on staff.

Possibilities that I can throw out: Ned Yost, Clint Hurdle.. Etc.

Should let this one up to Acta though as it will be his main source to rely on.

PITCHING

Over at IPI Tony posted that Scott Radinsky (no shocker there) and Dave Miller (some are saying, who?), are two of the top candidates based on their familiarity with the pitchers in the organization.

Radinsky has probably been on the top of everyone's minds for awhile now. Some credit him as "fixing" guys when they get sent down. The case was stated no better in that post. Radinsky is the favorite in my eyes. I don't know if Acta has a guy, but Randy St. Claire, the guy that Acta had with him at Washington, was hired by Florida yesterday.

Not sure I would have wanted him anyway. Let's go internal for this spot unless there is a better choice, but I like Radinsky a lot and so do others.

HITTING

Jon Nunnally is at the tip of everybody's tongue after Paul Hoynes mentioned him specifically in one of his news postings and there was the quote that some believed he was "the best hitting coach they've ever had."

Well we don't know who is saying that so who knows really. But if Nunnally can solve Andy Marte somewhat, that may be somewhat for real.

I really have no clue. Nunnally seems nice, but I'd like to avoid having the entire Columbus coaching staff promoted. Still if there is no better choice.

LOVULLO

The guy has to be on staff, right? I mean what else can he prove in the minor leagues? Get him up, put him at third or something. Get him on the staff someway, somehow.

SANDY ALOMAR JR.

Yeah I did it.

Alomar is with the Mets right now. He isn't a third base or a bench coach, but he's on staff. I don't know what his position is, if he has any interest long term with New York, but I'd go after him. Acta used to be the third base coach for the Mets but I don't believe he was actually on staff with Sandy.

Alomar was playing for the Mets for awhile, so I'm thinking they might have at least overlapped in "acquaintances" but Sandy played for them a year after Acta left.

Still, go after him and here is why.

Fans are still bent out of shape about this. They wanted guys like Omar back, which is unrealistic because those days are long gone. They wanted someone like Fryman because he played her.

Sandy makes sense! And what even more of a boost to Santana would that be if they brought him in long term.

You don't need fifteen catchers on staff, but you need one and I'd make Sandy that one.

Here is your fan suck up move, go do it and do it right now.

OTHERS

I have no more names in my memory bank. Of course Sal Fasano would be awesome though.

On that thought though. With Lovullo moving up, Sarbaugh should which means others should, which means there should be plenty of openings in the minors for someone. Get the mustache!

Acta should have free reign beyond that to just bring in guys he's qualified. If Shapiro and crew have suggestions or guys they really like, they probably should get consideration.

10.27.2009

Breaking Down Acta: The Press Conference

HOLY CRAP

Has this guy been in the organization longer than one day or something?

He talked as if he's been here for awhile.

He dropped a Hector Rondon mention! I mean, who does that?!

He even dropped Nick Weglarz!

Um he was asked about Fausto Carmona specifically and he narrowed in to his final two starts as if he was in the dugout for them.

I mean, does this guy do his homework or what?

Let's start going over things... I'm going to talk quotes, but I'm just going through the presser and giving you my opinion as I hear it, I've pretty much listened to this thing twice now. I'll throw in specific quotes from Hoynes and AC's articles.

He recognizes a lot of things: the history of this franchise for the most part (the 455 sellout streak), the passion of the fan base, the weaknesses of the team (the starting pitching), the effort is going to take and the division they play in. He was sort of kind on it though calling it the "most balanced."

"These people over here are very good poker players." Got a chuckle out of me. It would hard to not be aware of you not being a favorite. I think this directly speaks to how aware he is, but only of the things that matter. He cares about Aaron Laffey taking the next step, but not necessarily the media reports that he himself is the favorite for the job. Sure he could be aware of that, but I think it just says a lot about what he values. Baseball is first with this guy.

He talked about not being a Youtube highlight. This isn't going to go over well with the people that wanted Wedge to show fire. Acta sounds like he is just like Wedge in the instance that he's a competitive individual, but not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve. I think a manager needs to know when to speak up and I think Wedge didn't do the greatest job at this.

Acta comes off as someone and given what he's said, as having that quiet competitive spirit that Wedge did. We'll have to see if he has the knack to know when to speak up. Shapiro called him an elite communicator, so remember that.
"If you give people the opportunity to choose between, say, Joe Torre after his first three years with the Mets or the Joe Torre now, I believe everyone would pick the one from now," Acta said. "I think we have to look back and know that not everybody who is a big shot now was a big shot when they started. I think big shots are just little shots who keep shooting, and I'm not willing to quit shooting until I become a big shot."
The response to his question about the record with the Nationals was brilliant. He made it all about the Indians and not about the Nationals. Yeah it was a rebuilding process and whatever, but this is where I'm at now and that's what I'm focused on. Then he referenced Joe Torre specifically as you can see above and gave this funny thing about big shots and little shots. I loved it. It shows he realizes this is his second chance to prove what happened in Washington happened in Washington and that he's far better than what that showed. Brilliantly handled.

He talked about the influence of Frank Robinson. That is not a bad guy to learn from.
"I battled this organization for years in the Minor Leagues," Acta said. "This is a place where a lot of people want to be. In 2007, I worked as an analyst during the playoffs [for Spanish-language FOX Sports] and fell in love with the Indians back then."
It really sounds like this guy eats, sleeps and breathes baseball. He talked about the 2007 stint as an analyst and how he fell in love with the team. He talked about seeing it from the other side when he was in the minors. So he is aware of some of the current guys just from that perspective.

The point when he starts naming players. Jake Westbrook, Peralta, Laffey, Carmona, Huff, Rondon, Santana, Weglarz, Mills. Just floored me. Okay he knew Jake Westbrook was good and needed him to get back and that Fausto and Jhonny have struggled. But to pull out Laffey and Rondon and Weglarz! WEGLARZ!

The lineup discussion is interesting. We'll get to that later, but it sounds the normal run of the mill perspective. You want a lineup but if changes need to be made, changes need to be made.

Big on pitching and defense was something he mentioned specifically as "big." You know I like that.. At this point he mentioned for the second time how athletic the team was.

With that he talked about the starting rotation and he fielded a question directly about Fausto Carmona. I mentioned it above, but he sounded like he was with Fausto with the two starts when he looked better. It's good to know they have a prior relationship though.

He tackled his favorite stat, which seemed to be OBP. Big on getting on base because that provides you chances to score. He threw in a little OPS love for Shapiro, but he was big on getting on base.

I loved when the woman in the press said the "1997 Indians" and he immediately corrected her. I don't even want to address what she said though because it wasn't really a question worth anything.

He isn't even waiting till winter to reach out to his players. He said it starts tomorrow. Beautiful, beautiful. He follows it up with his first joke about how he sucks at golf, so why do that? Again he eats baseball.
"It was very tough day for me emotionally," said Acta, who grew up in the Astros organization. "That being said, we have to do what's best for us. I felt Cleveland was perfect for me."
Acta confirmed he made his decision Saturday night and talked a little bit about making the decision between his "dream job" and the Indians. I think he made it clear this was a better situation.

Tackled Peralta. He said he has a higher ceiling and that he's going to reach out to him, which makes me happy if he's going to be around. He realized how important Peralta is to the success of this club offensively.

Acta said he will use the first few weeks of spring training to get a feel and take a look at guys, but that the last few weeks, it is "all out." You gotta love that Anti-Wedgeites.

Ah the Grady leadoff question... Knew that was coming... Of course Acta said he'll look at things. He keyed on LaPorta though saying it might rely on him and where they put him.

Acta said what I've been thinking.. Things aren't totally bad if this rotation is fixed. The problem is the rotation is really lacking that it really hurts. You put together a rotation you can do some things.

Um wow he's reference two reporters (David and Terry Pluto) by name. Seriously has this guy been around?
"People are always going to say the same things when things don't work out," said Acta. "I really don't worry about my reputation. Reputation is only what people think and say about you, and I can't control that."
Terry Pluto by the way brought up the discipline issue with Washington. Again, Acta said the right things. Things were said, by Washington of course and he's moving on. He mentioned how nothing was said when they exceeded expectations and he isn't worried about what went down.

I love the fact that he has that same sort of demeanor. It's what I liked about Wedge. Yeah I don't care about my reputation. I'll take the brunt and the blame, I can't control it. Let the players do the work type of mentality. Wedge protected his guys, I think Acta will do the same. He did it in Washington.

Mark Shapiro chimed in... At that point he laughed and said "this has been the best press conference ever."

Anyway Shapiro mentioned the elite communicator thing and said there was an "ease" talking to him. Shapiro wouldn't comment on Valentine specifically when asked. He made a general statement about insights gained from the guys they brought in to talk to and the ones they talked to on the phone.
"Every decision in life is tough," Acta said. "I wanted to come to a place where I can grow with the front office and the good group of young, talented players we have here, and become good for a long time. ... I consider myself a blessed human being. Both jobs were offered. It was a very tough day for me, emotionally. But that being said, you have to do what's best. And I felt that Cleveland was best."
Back to Acta... He was up front about not knowing much about the city itself. He said fans want to win just as much as everyone else and they don't come to see him, but the product on the field. But he did realize the passion and how could you not? Every city has it. He just might not know that this fan-base is a little crazy.

Manny wants someone in a bench coach that is managing with him, someone who is thinking and he can turn to and ask.

If Jamey Carroll returns, he'll have to pick yet another new number as Acta is taking 11. 14 was retired (Uh Doby!!!) so 11 it is after his birthday.

Okay.. Now Acta did a follow up with Bruce Drennen on STO. You can view that video here.



My impressions, because of course Bruce has to be nice and ask about his family.

Lefty/Righty... He used that "common sense" guy thing. He's a stats guy of course, so yeah he'll do what he needs to do. I loved his "bikini" comparison, brilliant.

Acta clarified a comment he made in the press conference when talking about the lead-off spot. I was kind of confused but he did say Choo was like LaPorta that he could change who does hit there based off where he hits.

Let's revisit the coaching discussion because this is something big that Bruce brings up. Acta said nothing will be forced on him and that they will make the decision as a team. They've already begun the process and according to Hoynes, they hope to have a staff finalized in the next two to three weeks.

Bruce brought up Luis Isaac specifically. Yaaaa.

Acta went back to the athletic point when Bruce brought up the national league style of ball. Acta seems like a guy who is going to manage to what his team's skill set is. I don't think he's a guy set on some sort of approach or mindset. He goes with what his team can do and I like that.

And because I didn't even bring it up, the whole thing with his 800-word English book. That's just fantastic.

And that would do it.

Overall.. I was impressed, just as much as I was with the initial media session. The guy has a way with words. He may be from the Dominican but he has a good grasp on the English language and knows his way around it, perhaps better than some Americans even do.

It all comes down to the field though. This is all well and good and I can sit here and praise him for his press conference and his interviews. But we're about to get into the testing of Manny Acta. Let's see what he's got. It was a good day for the Cleveland Indians right now and hopefully when we look back on it in a few years, it turns into a fantastic day.

Watch (part of) the press conference here.

Listen to the entire press conference here.

10.26.2009

Following Acta... Isn't that a clever pun

Clever ain't it?

Everyone is doing it though.

Second Act(a) or Re-Opening Acta.

Whatever..

It's been a bit of a whirlwind since yesterday when the Indians named Manny Acta their new manager. Everyone wants to chime in.

But make no mistakes about it. This is the beginning of a new era and it is bringing a bit of joy to the situation. There is hope and optimism and whether general Cleveland fan wants to admit it or not, there is cause to feel good about this club.

As is the case with anyone making an exciting new hiring. Sure you don't want to be in this situation, but the fact that you are means things have been really bad and there are just hopes for not feeling really bad.

So your joy in this new process comes out.

From my perspective, a lot of reasonable fans are either A) For this hiring or B) Aren't really disappointed.

A large portion of the fans that are ready to chop Shapiro's head off are irrational.

You can tell who's irrational and who's not just by reading their reasoning.

If they make clear of Acta's flaws, then they've got a point and are actually thinking and their opinion deserves to be considered.

If they are shouting random things in vain about the Nationals sucking, Shapiro being a dolt, or just bringing up Eric Wedge, then they have no clue what they are talking about and are just a casual Cleveland fan that doesn't take the time to educate themselves.

That is what really bothers me, for the most part.

Cleveland has many irrational fans, many fan bases do. But you combine irrationality with the collective impatience and pessimistic traits this fan base has and you have a bunch of overreactions, shouts of anger that make no sense and things blown completely out of proportion.

This isn't about that though, so let me get back on topic. It just frustrates me to no end to see fans losing faith before they have a right to even do so. You have no clue how this is going to work out, so stop being such a uneducated negative fan and giving Cleveland fans a bad rap. Who I'm talking to, I have no clue, but if you say "Yeah that's me" when reading this description, I'm talking to you.

Let's go around the web and iron this whole situation out and then pick up on some opinions that are informed.

Okay so this happened this way.

Houston had come to the conclusion that Manny Acta was their guy. They offered him a two year deal. Acta wanted a three year deal. Probably hearing that Acta was being offered the job from Houston, Mark Shapiro and Cleveland decided that Acta was too good to let slip away, so they offered him a three year deal.

Better situation, better contract, better everything if you ask me.

Houston would not budge on the two years, which made Acta's decision even easier. He's coming to Cleveland.

Now what made Shapiro and the Indians do this?

First with Valentine.. It became apparent he still wasn't quite sure if he wanted to do this or not. The Indians apparently were ready to bring him in for a second interview until the developments with Acta came around. That is probably when they scrapped the idea of Valentine and said forget it.

Torey Lovullo was the in-house candidate and considering there are only three jobs open and he was only in the running for this one, there is little doubt of him going anywhere this year. Still that wouldn't have effected their opinion. Shapiro wanted major league experience and Lovullo didn't have that. I still think he ends up on this staff though.

Don Matttingly, the final candidate, at least so we thought. He was expected to get scheduled for an interview this week, but again with Acta getting the offer the Indians had to speed this process up. Either they had to feel really good about one of the other three taking their job or they had to offer it. Mattingly's position may have been key because it appears he was only using Cleveland and Washington for leverage with the Dodgers. As if he was the heir apparent to Joe Torre and he wanted that commitment from them.

Why would the Indians risk not getting any of their men, including their favorite, just to interview Mattingly? It wasn't worth it, even if Lovullo was a fall-back option. Mattingly was a combination of Lovullo and Valentine. He had major league experience unlike Lovullo but he also didn't have an interest (according to rumors) in the Indians, like Valentine.

So I believe that's how this all unfolded and why Acta was hired on Sunday like that. The Indians loved him from the start and they didn't want to lose him to another team because they wanted to interview someone that doesn't actually want the job and badger someone else who didn't really want the job.

Acta wanted the job, he was the candidate they liked the most, so it was simple. Offer him a deal and don't let him go to Houston.

So here we are, like it or not, Manny Acta is the guy. Let's see what the world is saying this morning.

Scott Miller is one of the ones that doesn't get it.
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.

----

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.

So while Miller isn't directly saying he thinks this is a bad hiring, he is leaving the door open to what everyone really is thinking. This is either a really brilliant move or a really stupid one. Fair enough for me.

Sort of the same position Terry Pluto is taking, but Terry is more of an insider to this team than Miller is and he knows what's up.
Here's what think of the Indians hiring Manny Acta -- I just don't know.

He certainly belongs on the all-interview team, as Houston also wanted to hire him. That's a lot of attention for a guy who was fired at mid-season with a 26-61 record in Washington. Other than the Nationals, his former franchise, the only teams looking for a manager were Houston and the Tribe.

-

Several successful managers had rocky starts to their careers, including Torre and Terry Francona. That's why it is a mistake to simply write off Acta based on what happened in Washington. Now, Acta gets another chance to manage, and the Indians are counting on him to make the most of it.

Just remember that last paragraph, something I'll harp on for awhile. The general theme seems to be unknown and unsureness. Tony Lastoria's turn.
There are sure to be several detractors because of his poor record with Washington or because they wanted Bobby Valentine or some other name manager. But looking beyond all that, and looking at Manny Acta himself and how I really feel about his being named as manager, I honestly have no idea if I like the hiring or hate it.

Most of this is because I know almost nothing firsthand about him other than that 158-252 win-loss record in Washington. And you know what? About 99.9% of us are probably in the same boat. We just don't know anything about this guy.

That said, I do think out of the final four candidates or all the guys they talked to throughout the interview process, that Acta was probably the best option available. That is not necessarily a pat on the back to Acta as this is mostly because it overall was a less than appealing crop of managerial options available to the Indians.
And I think Tony's last paragraph is the general consensus of the rational fans. We don't know what to think, but out of the group we had, as crazy as it sounds, he might have just been the best option for this team right now. Paul Cousineau's turn.
Truthfully, like any coaching hire, nobody really knows what to expect as Acta was unquestionably in control of his press conference with the assembled media and said all of the right things about all of the right people at all of the right times. How he goes about achieving all of those things - like fixing Fausto and getting some consistency out of Peralta - is where his baseball acumen will have to show, and quickly.

Getting a read on him and making a snap judgment about whether he's the right man for the job borders on folly, but some clues about him and his strategies should begin to emerge with the first order of business - naming a coaching staff. The construction of the staff (according to the Front Office when this process started) is up to the newly named manager, and Acta has made it clear that he would have no problem bringing along coaches that are familiar (and successful) with the current batch of Indians - a category that the AAA troika of Columbus manager Torey Lovullo, Columbus hitting coach Jon Nunnally, and Columbus pitching coach Scott Radinsky all fall under.
Which is the central reason I want to bring in the final voice, for now.. Okay Hoynes, you can talk. For informational purposes only though.
Internal candidates for the coaching staff include Class AAA Columbus manager Torey Lovullo, pitching coach Scott Radinsky and hitting coach Jon Nunnally. Others include Dave Hudgens (field coordinator), Dave Miller (pitching coordinator), Class AA manager Mike Sarbaugh, Bruce Fields (hitting coordinator) and Gary Thurman (outfield/base-running coordinator).
As Paul stated though.. This is where it all begins for Acta. Hiring the coaching staff. We've really had a fun time in Cleveland debating about coaching staffs and getting on Wedge for firing Eddie Murray and all that fun stuff. Complaining about Luis Isaac being let go. All that stuff. This is Acta's first attempt to impress the fans. While I don't think it will be just him putting this staff together, he has a large say in it and that's going to really help or hurt his outlook for many people.

It isn't just about you but who you surround yourself with.

Now as this week gets on, we'll probably be discussing that. But today is a day to take in. Manny's press conference will be at 4:00 PM ET and it will most definitely be on STO. I have class during that time so I'll miss it, but you can no doubt bet I'll watch it and take it in.

This is the choice Shapiro has made. You can either get over it and support the guy, even if you disagree with the decision, or you could pout and act like the Indians suck. If you do the latter, don't be the first one to jump back on the bandwagon if things pan out. That is the worst.

This guy is bringing a lot to the table. More than some people are willing to admit. Some people just can't move past the fact that the managerial record with Washington was bad. He had a good first year and then it went down hill.

Look at some of the bozos that organization brought in. Elijah Dukes? I mean really? How is someone supposed to enforce discipline and hard work when management is bringing in a head case like Elijah Dukes? That organization was a train wreck under Jim Bowden and there is a reason that guy is fired now.

If all the things we've heard about Manny are true and he does what he believes in, this has the potential to be the perfect fit. Shapiro wants nothing but good-hard working players with high character. Step one already achieved before he walks in the door. No Dukes, no crazy people, just high character guys that will listen if you talk to them.

All he needs to do is win the team over and there's no telling what can be done. If Eric Wedge can win this team over, so can Acta. Just look at how he won over everyone at his media session. He is a fantastic communicator and given the quality of this organization and the beliefs they have, this could potentially be a match made in heaven.

Give it a chance. Take an open mind. I wanna go over more later, but let's take in the press conference. Approach this with an open mind and stop looking at the Nationals. This is a new day for Indians baseball and let's hope it is the start of something good.

10.25.2009

Manny Acta named Cleveland Indians Manager

Final Update: Okay Acta is the guy as everyone and their mom has confirmed it and now we found out that the Astros did indeed press the Indians to make this move.
The Astros no doubt played a part in that time frame, as they offered Acta their manager's job. Acta spent 16 years in the Astros' Minor League system, so it had been expected that they might be his first choice. But he turned down the Astros to accept the Indians' offer.
Houston offered him the job, the Indians clearly wanted him from the beginning, so they did the same. He realized this was a better opportunity and took the job and the Indians have their man earlier than expected.

That's how it's shaped out if you ask me.

Shapiro wanted Acta and he got him. He now better make sure this was the right choice or the entire city will be ready to take him out behind the house and rough him up like a big brother does his little brother on Sunday afternoons.

Jon Heyman said that the Indians might have hired Valentine if he was more committed to them which goes back to that "I don't even know if I want to manage" bit. Did he take that stance in the interview? Maybe, and if he did, it should have been clear to Shapiro that Valentine was just trying to get his name out to the public again and wasn't totally into the idea of coming to Cleveland.

Here is the press release...
“We are very excited to have Manny Acta as our Major League manager,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager MARK SHAPIRO. “After speaking with an impressive array of candidates, we feel that Manny is a very strong and experienced leader who possesses great energy and enthusiasm along with tremendous communication skills and a positive mindset that will command a presence in the dugout, clubhouse and with our fans.”
“I am very excited to become part of the Cleveland Indians family,” said Cleveland Indians Manager MANNY ACTA. “I look forward to working with this talented group of young men who seem to possess a lot of energy and passion for their work. I believe we will grow together as a team with the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Cleveland and its fans.”
Buckle Up Cleveland... This is going to be interesting...

Edit 3:05 PM ET: Anthony Castrovince is confirming it...

I'm thinking they completely bought into Acta right from the start and that nothing was going to change their mind, especially after visiting with Lovullo and Valentine. I'm also thinking something has developed with Mattingly to the point where interviewing him would be pointless. Hence the quick stab to get Acta before Houston could.

Edit Again: Paul Hoynes chimes in and says it's going to be a three-year deal. Three years plus a team option for a fourth. They're going to officially announce the hiring today. Press-Conference Maybe?

Original Post, 2:57 PM ET: Jon Heyman is breaking news via Twitter.

He is saying that the Indians are going to hire Manny Acta as their manager.

More on this as it develops, but what's causing this if it happens to be true?

Was Houston making a press for Cleveland's current favorite? Did Bobby V tell the Indians Thanks but no Thanks?

Did something happen with Don Mattingly that has effectively ended the interview process?

Only time will tell, but if Heyman's report is true, Manny Acta will be the next manager of the Cleveland Indians.

Sniff Sniff Boom... Uncovering Manager Tidbits

Sniff Sniff Boom is me for the past few days.

My immune system is as strong as a defense as the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2008 squad.

I never get sick unless something tricks me.

The last time I was actually sick was when Taco Bell gave me food poisoning. But as far as the last time I actually had the flu or a bad cold, I don't even remember.

That being said, I had a little bit of a cold this weekend. I could chalk it up to allergies though because I feel much better today.

Who's ready for this week? I am. The last week of October is good news. I can't wait til November. It's going to be fun.

The last week of October also means that we're going to get some more headway in the Indians search for a manager.

As we went over yesterday, we may have two more candidates in the fold and that means we may have three more interviews to witness. The Indians in my eyes are still ahead of schedule as far as getting a manager before the World Series ends, but even if they don't, who cares?

Washington and Houston are really the only other teams looking to make moves right now and who's Washington going to steal from us? Houston might take Acta, but that really is the only common candidate the two teams have.

My head is spinning though and it isn't because of this little cold.

There is so much interesting information and little bits about this manager search that are being uncovered that make this situation more intriguing by the minute.

I'm not sure where to start.

Let me get this out of the way.

Bud Shaw had quite the interesting outlook on Valentine's session with the media. Almost as if Valentine's outside opinion and the fact the has absolutely no clue about the Indians may work.

Wait what? As crazy as that sounds, it has a lot of sense within it.

Maybe the fact that Valentine has no opinion or idea of what has been going on here, he can come in with no prior slants or influences and do what HE thinks is the best.

That may be starting Chris Gimenez at catcher..

Would it work? Who the hell knows.. But if it does, Valentine would be a genius.

This bring us all back to Valentine's curious interview. What the hell was he trying to accomplish? Was he mailing it in for the media and if so why? Was he just jet-lagged and tired after sitting through an interview already? Given some of the things he said about "Gee I didn't know how thorough this would be" maybe that was the case. But he met with the media longer than any of the other candidates have so far.

It's just... Weird and no one knows what to think because according to Terry Pluto, Valentine impressed Shapiro and company in his interview. I can't imagine he did so by saying some of the same things he did to the media.
On his visit, he had a knack for remembering names and getting a sense of what the Indians are about, despite his public claims not to know much about the Tribe or the Central Division.

3. That's why the Indians should invite Valentine back for another interview, and suggest he do some homework on the team. This is a way for them to find out how serious he is about the job. Valentine makes sense only if he sees this as a real opportunity to re-establish himself as a big-league manager and take a team near the bottom of the American League and lead it back into contention in the weak Central Division within a few years. If Valentine passes on another interview, then he really doesn't want the job.

Boom Terry Boom. That's right on point.

If Valentine really want this job. He's no doubt the best choice. He's a bit of an evil genius. Like I said earlier. He's a risk that would pay off big-time if he bought in. But is the risk of him buying in worth taking?

And then there is this guy we've got.

7. Class AAA Columbus manager Torey Lovullo is selling himself as the anti-Valentine, the manager who has paid his dues in the Tribe farm system and knows everything about the young players and the organization. But this team cries out for a different view and some new ideas, which brings us back to Valentine or Acta.

My oh my...

What a mess... What a lovely mess we have.

What do we want for the Tribe?

At this point, I have absolutely no clue.

And whatever concerns there were with Manny Acta, they seem to be given a curious excuse.

His backers say the front office stacked the roster with several difficult personalities and did not back Acta when the manager wanted to impose some discipline. Houston also is very interested in Acta, meaning he is a finalist for two jobs after being fired in Washington with a 162-254 record in 21/2 seasons.

He Sucked with Washington > Oh yeah, the talent sucked, who wouldn't?

He wasn't discipline enough > That was all the management not letting him do that.

We are nuts for hiring this guy when another team fired him > Houston also wants him and it appears now that if he doesn't get hired by either, Toronto would love to have him in some capacity.

Can we make as many excuses for Bobby Valentine?

Actually we can, we can make many many more. But that is only because there are many many more questions about Valentine.

Why though? Maybe because he turned the media session into his own playground rather than a caged cell where the Cleveland media could get an accurate read on them.

Again, more of the genius and maybe more excuses.

I encourage everyone to take a read of Paul Cousineau's latest at The DiaTribe. Two of them. One in response to Valentine's first interview the other in sort of a review as a part of his lazy Sunday.

Some of the same topics I've brought up here are ones that Paul has initiated or expanded upon.

As I said earlier.. We've got a mess on our hands.

Is it a good mess?

I don't know but it certainly is interesting to think about.

And something I totally missed was brought up by Paul in those posts... Lovullo pretty much distanced himself from Eric Wedge with everything he said. Which wasn't a bad move. Sure he may have created a little bit of a drift between himself and Eric Wedge if they ever cross paths again. But he put a lot of confidence into the minds of everyone else who was looking at him as just another Wedge in the pie.

One note about coaches to add...

It appears that Jon Nunnaly is in line to get serious consideration for the position of hitting coach, regardless of who gets the manager's spot.

According to "whoever played for him this year in Columbus" he is "the best hitting coach they ever saw."

So Trevor Crowe, Matt LaPorta and Andy Marte's opinion are enough reason to elevate him?

Look he may be the best hitting coach ever, but according to a few Indians minor leaguers that don't exactly have long track records?

Is this coming from the likes of Tony Graffanino? If so I might buy it more.

Results speak for themselves though, so I have no problem with Nunnally getting the job. The Columbus Clippers were one of the best in the IL for team batting average. He's doing something right.

Finally...

Shapiro said it's bittersweet watching CC and Cliff doing what they are doing in the postseason. To me, it's frustrating.

In response to what CC would say to the fans of Cleveland about him and Lee now pitching for postseason contenders.

"I don't know what to tell them," he said. "It's not our fault."

Ohhhhhhhh REALLY?

It isn't?

It isn't your fault that we lost the ALCS?

"Don't take anything for granted," Sabathia said. "We were in the best position possible a couple years ago in Cleveland, but you've got to finish it off. We weren't able to do it. But we've got the guys here who have been through this before."
I still have a soft-spot in my heart for CC.. But this rubs me entirely the wrong way.

It was SABATHIA that mucked up game five in the ALCS. It was CC that gave up eight earned runs in the first game of the ALCS.

With this team needing just one win, you provided NONE in two chances.

"The only guy I know over there is Grady [Sizemore]," Sabathia said. "And Jake [Westbrook], when he comes back [from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery]. That's it."
Errmm.. The entire team didn't die CC.. You were here last year. Sure a good portion of the team is young and players that you did not play with, but there is more than just Grady and Jake Westbrook.

It seems as if the bright lights of New York has gotten to our much loved Carsten Charles. How quickly has he forgotten the team and organization that gave him so much.

"You don't have to," he said. "You've got Derek Jeter, you've got Alex Rodriguez, you've got Robinson Cano, you've got Johnny Damon and all these guys behind you. You don't have to do too much. You just have to be yourself, and let everything else take care of itself. It definitely helps to have this great team behind you."
Are you serious? Is that the excuse you are giving us for sucking?

I still have a little love for CC, but with these stupid quotes, I'm starting to lose it. This is sickening in a way to read this garbage. It's as if we no longer know the big guy. It really as if New York has changed him.

When I talk to my grandparents, in Youngstown, they ask me if it's cold outside.

They ask it as if I'm in California and they are in Ohio. I'm 45 minutes away in Kent, of course it's cold outside. Just because I'm not where you are doesn't mean it isn't cold.

Sure you could ask me if it's raining, that would differ.

But the weather is relatively the same, so don't bother asking the question.

CC Sabathia is basically my grandmother asking if it's cold outside. Don't forget where you came from. You only got traded in 2008, not ten years ago.

Jhonny Peralta, Travis Hafner, Kelly Shoppach, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Aaron Laffey, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis and the two you just mentioned were all there when you played.

Stop acting like you left ten years ago and things have completely changed. Just because things move two miles a minute instead of a mile a minute in New York, doesn't mean the world was leveled and Cleveland is a new place.

Please... Ignorance...

Enjoy your Sunday.

BBA AL MVP Award

So the Cleveland Indians haven't had a legit MVP candidate since Travis Hafner's awesomeness a few years ago.

If Grady Sizemore is healthy and this team can contend, he'd be up there.

But I can't really make any Indians comparisons here, so let's just get into the voting.

Here is the final award for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance award voting.

In a landslide, Zack Greinke took home the AL Cy Young Award. As if you didn't see that coming.

The MVP voting is a different animal as we get ten slots. I'll keep the remarks brief.

PS.. Despite my want, I did not put Franklin Gutierrez in my top ten. But you know I wanted to.

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10. Alex Rodriguez, NYY

Ugh... I didn't want to, but the team did suck before he returned from an injury. I made peace with giving him a vote, but giving him the tenth place vote. You don't think the writers do this kind of stuff?

9. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE

What? I have ten votes, why not spend one on an Indian? This team would realistically suck even worse without Cabrera.

8. Miguel Cabrera, DET

Despite getting drunk and getting into an argument with his wife, he really was the Tigers core player on offense.

7. Bobby Abreau, LAA

You know this team really took on a different sort of identity with his addition. I'll throw him a bone.

6. Aaron Hill, TOR

Dude went from having a concussion and possibly a lost career to being an absolute mammoth. And he's some shrimp that plays second base? How does someone like him hit 36 home runs? Makes me think I'm almost good enough to make a minor league roster somewhere, anywhere. I love baseball.

5. Ben Zobrist, TB

I wouldn't be surprised if this kid could play three-ways in football (my guess is QB, Safety and Kicker), be a successful two guard in basketball and make a mean left winger in hockey as well as play baseball.

4. Jason Bay, BOS

There was one point in the season that J-Bay was hitting everything insight and knocking in all the runners ahead of him.

3. Kendry Morales, LAA

Who saw this coming? Apparently the Angels as they had the balls to let Tex walk and replace him with this stud for a way cheaper price.

2. Mark Teixeira, NYY

Offensively and defensively he really changed the Yankees. Perhaps his offensive presence also has enabled A-Rod to be the jerk he has been in the playoffs.

His defense though has boosted that team way up.

1. Joe Mauer, MIN

I might riot if this guy doesn't win the real MVP award. He missed a month and still managed to lead the free-world in average, OBP and hit his career high in home runs and RBI.

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There is way too much I want to talk about for the manager job, so check out the other post.

10.24.2009

Lovullo States Case, Roenicke Now a Candidate

Let's talk...

Yesterday before Torey Lovullo faced the media, we had a bit of news break about another candidate being in the running.

When Acta interviewed and Mark Shapiro spoke to the media, he noted that there could be two more candidates added to the process..

He also mentioned that one of the four had current obligations.

Everyone assumed that was Don Mattingly. (And by the by, it appears ever so much that LA has intent on keeping him so he can take over for Torre after 2010 if that's the case.)

But now that Ron Roenicke has been included into the discussion, who really knows?

The general thought to be believed is the three that have interviewed (Acta, Valentine, Lovullo) are candidates with Mattingly, who has yet to schedule an interview or even be confirmed by Cleveland, and now Ron Roenicke. It's also believed to be that Clint Hurdle is the other unnamed candidate.

The LA Times report has the Indians have asked and been granted permission from Los Angeles to speak with Ron Roenicke.

There is still some uncertainty if Roenicke is actually a finalist or if that permission was from when the Indians first had a list of 10 candidates they wanted to speak to over the phone.

Let me just say right now that I had Ron Roenicke in my top five guys to go after. In fact, if you remove Gonzalez and remember I had Bobby V at the top of my list, Roenicke is someone I'm very high on.

I wanna know more though. Acta and Lovullo were so impressive in their media sessions. I want to see what Roenicke brings to the table because he's a bit of an unknown. We've got three interviews down and if the Indians are in fact considering both Roenicke and Hurdle, they'll have three more left.

Three down because yesterday, Torey Lovullo interviewed.

And damn.

If he was anything like he was with the media, the Indians are going to have a bit of a tough decision to make and an even tougher decision to tell Lovullo, You are probably the best candidate, but we're going somewhere else.

If Lovullo had an ounce of major league experience, I think he'd be a slam dunk. It seems as if there would be a backlash and a "Eric Wedge 2.0" cry if the Indians made this hire, that it doesn't matter what Lovullo says.

Everyone just hears Wedge 2.0.

Not the case in the least bit.

The guy killed his media interview. He did... Let's go.

You can see five or so minutes of his session in Hoynes' article.

I'll look for the full audio, which is something I had earlier but the Plain Dealer has replaced it. I listened to the whole audio and damnit he rocked.

Familiarity was the key I highlighted in my pre-interview case for Lovullo and that's obviously something he knew was an advantage and he used it. Smart man.

"I've had almost everyone of these guys," said Lovullo, the third man to interview for the Indians manager job in the last four days. "That's a built-in advantage I may have over other candidates. When that's all said and done, how much that impacts their decision, that's up to them."

"I'm familiar with what motivates these players," said Lovullo. "There won't be a feeling-out process. They understand my beliefs. I think that initially will help us get off on the right foot."

While he may be managing in the big leagues for the first time, he may have an adjustment period in that sense. But he's adjusting to being a major league manager as compared to a manager. It will be a learning process, but given some of the success guys like Don Wakamatsu have had recently, is it really that big of a deal?

He's got something all these other guys don't. He's got a bond with the team. He doesn't have to earn as much trust and respect as someone like Acta or Valentine would.

That's huge.

"One might say I was groomed in this system," Lovullo said. "I was groomed by the people who just sat with me and talked baseball with me. There's a great level of comfort in a lot of different areas."

What I came away with in this is how... Assertive Lovullo was. The best part of the whole thing was when someone would ask him a question and he would take it on as if he was the only one that had the answer. The question would get asked, he'd say "certainly," pause and then answer the question.

The media used his as a spot to ask him a lot of questions about the team and about last season. Where as someone like Acta and Valentine weren't asked about Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta. That is what happened here and Lovullo did great. Along with that, they asked him about certain things you could tell was directed at some of the flaws Wedge had.

Some of the qualities and ideas that Lovullo would bring to the table.

"What I think I'll bring to the team is some young, enthusiastic energy," he said. "I enjoy the art of teaching. I enjoy the idea of going out and being a leader. All managers possess the same qualities and have the same ideas. There are certain things you can do in the structure of being that leader that can help a ballclub. That's what my intentions are."

When asked about someone he looked up to as far as being a manager, he named Terry Francona.

When asked about what he would do to try and eliminate the slow starts, he went back to spring training and proposed an idea that I thought was absolute brilliance and something we should do anyway.

He said he'd take the team on the road three days before the season, as so many other teams are starting to do. End the idea of spring training coming to close and sort of implying that the team might feel a little bit more of a "oh man spring training is finally over!" attitude rather than one that would better prepare them for the season to start.

I loved that answer and idea. He hit it.

He was asked about lineups and bullpens. He was strong on establishing roles for pitchers in the pen, players on the bench, and establishing a set lineup. There isn't a better answer than that. He wants players to know where they are in the lineup or if they are in the lineup on a daily basis and he almost sort of poked at Wedge's misuse of Jensen Lewis in a way. I don't know if he did this knowingly, but he said he thinks some of the relievers last year might have struggled due to being taken out of a position they were comfortable in.

That's Jensen Lewis being turned into a long reliever. Pretty much on point.

Alright sum it up for us Torey.

"I'm a manager that's been in the system for eight years," Lovullo said. "I'm somebody who has dreamed of this opportunity and has prepared for this opportunity. I want the fans of Cleveland to understand I'm ready for this opportunity should it arise."

That is a determined individual that is ready to go. Don't tell him the other candidates have major league experience. Don't tell him possibly three of the other candidates are former major league managers. Don't tell him he's an afterthought because he is looked at as another Eric Wedge.

He isn't Eric Wedge, he is Torey Lovullo and he's bringing something new to the table. Mark Shapiro is going to have to be really convinced to pick Lovullo because of the circumstances and if he does, he'd be making one hell of a move. But Lovullo gave him plenty of reason to do so.

If anything, if anything at all. PUT HIM ON THE STAFF! Not much left to prove in Triple-A. Whoever you hire, you tell them, this guy is going to be on the staff, because he has way too much promise to continue to be at Triple-A. He's going to be a major league manager someday and he would be an asset to us.