Indians name Manny Acta their new skipper

The Indians hoped to have their new manager in place by the end of the World Series, but Manny Acta sped up their timetable.

acta1.jpgActa was the first candidate to come to Cleveland for a formal interview, and he left a lasting impression. He has been signed by the Tribe to a three-year contract through 2012, with a club option for 2013.

Acta beat out Bobby Valentine and Torey Lovullo for the job. The Indians were expected to interview Don Mattingly this week.

The Astros were also interested in Acta, which might have forced the Indians’ hand. Acta spent 16 years in the Astros’ system, but he opted to take on the Tribe.

Some quotes from the release:

“We are very excited to have Manny Acta as our Major League manager,” general manager Mark Shapiro said. “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.”

Said Acta: “I am very excited to become part of the Cleveland Indians family. 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.”

The Indians will hold a press conference with Acta at 4 p.m. ET Monday at Progressive Field.

Thoughts?

UPDATES: The Astros had offered Acta a two-year contract with an option for a third year to be their manager. He opted for a longer guarantee with the Tribe.

Here’s the link to an interesting background piece from my MLB.com colleague Jesse Sanchez from a few years back.

53 Comments

ok negative nancys lets here you guys complain.

valentine would wouldn’t have worked. i doubt he would have even accepted.

let’s be positive. he while not exciting could end up being solid.

I actually like the hire. The Washington Nationals mess was not Manny Acta’s fault. You can only work with what you’ve got; and in that case, the Nationals had a AAA team. He had an impressive press conference with the Cleveland media and really did his homework about the team. At one point, he was considered a top future manager. Bobby Valentine made me wonder how he even got the job at ESPN, Lovullo and Mattingly have no managerial experience, so clearly, Acta is the right guy for the job. Go Tribe.

Bobby Valentine wouldn’t have worked, in my honest opinion. And Lovullo is not what they needed, according to many of you who did not want someone from within the organization managing. Here’s hoping Manny Acta will turn the team around. But let me ask you, how much better of a team were the Nationals than the Indians where Acta only won 26 out of 51 games with them?

I’m sorry, 26-61

Well, after Lovullo’s interview, I had my heart set on him. However, I’m ready to embrace this decision and look forward to next season.

Right now I don’t have a huge opinion either way. I am looking forward to seeing the entire staff put together. What I will say, why I don’t know the impact it will have, is that it is nice to have a Latino manager, in part because if you look at some of the guys struggling on this team who we desperately need to return to form, perhaps having him as a Manager, they can restore faith in themselves if a nice relationship develops. I am talking about Fausto, Raffy, Jhonny, Marte and perhaps others.

I guess they call this sort of thing the honeymoon period, so I am happy to give the benefit of the doubt right now, but I am mostly just looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.

Well, it beats watching the Browns.

Call me a negative Nancy all you like, but I hate this hire. Those of you who say Valentine wouldn’t work are right, because the problem is not in the manager’s position, it is in the front office. Valentine wouldn’t have worked because he would expect results and for the team to give him something to work with. Acta is a yes man. Shapiro can push him around the same way he did Wedge. How sad that we are pulling leftovers from the frickin Nationals. This is JUST like the Browns. Don’t get anyone involved who will expect to win or get upset when we don’t.

eyeshade FTW!
Yeah, Lovullo won me over, but I have nothing negative to say about this. Saying the Nationals got better after he left isn’t much — law of averages says they had to get better at SOME time.
He’s pretty much the middle choice of my options, although I’ll admit that I’m surprised they didn’t even wait for Mattingly.

Ah, yes, Valentine would expect results, what with that long history of winning he has.
Oh, wait, he has no such thing.

I dare you to compare the record of Valentine and Acta and tell me Acta is the better.

djacks, if you think Mark controlled Wedge, you couldn’t be more wrong. Wedge was responsible for Brandon Phillips to be fired, not Mark. Eric also had everything to do with Eddie Murray being fired and Derek Shelton be hired, Eddie was a close friend of the Shapiro family. That says it all.

And I am sure you remember the 2000 season when he took the Mets to the World Series. Manny Acta watched a World Series on tv once.

His career winning percentage is .510 — doesn’t exactly scream “gets results.” And getting to the World Series means he won exactly one more game then Wedge did.
Hey, Wedge actually managed to win a division — maybe we should hire him (Valentine’s never done it).
It took Valentine 13 years to get to that World Series as a manager and, again, he never won a division and barely ended his career over .500. Add that to the comments he made about the job, and how is he even remotely a guy who expects results? There’s absolutely no evidence to support that. Or, fine, say he does expect results — he certainly hasn’t gotten them.

Acta has managed for less than 2 years. Valentine has managed for 15 years. There’s nothing to compare. Ask this question again 13 years from now when it actually makes sense.

I actually like this pickup, but with a side dish of confusion. They had time, regardless the fact of the Astros’ placing faster action. How can you simply pick up a guy who looks good without at least interviewing Don Mattingly, who has the most experience out of everyone in the candidates box? however, i do like this trade. regardless of going 21-60 or something like that, he had to deal with a AAA and AA team of callups. Now he’s got that and experience too..Grady, Hafner, A. Cabrera, Choo….that list is small, missing people like..CC, V-Mart, Lee…anyways..he’s got more tools. And you know, despite the whole hype over “were probably not going to be in contention this 2010″ well B.S, i think we have a shot only if Acta can have a winning record after all star break. That is Acta’s goal..winning record coming to to all star break AND consistent pitching, we dont need a whole new 40 man roster coming in the next half for 2010.
Acta has alot riding on him, and i honestly think he can do well.

Mattingly was never going to take the job. He’s too big market for Cleveland. I’m not in love with this move either, but as stated above, let’s see what the rest of the staff looks like and go from there.

I don’t love this move, my feeling is they needed someone who’d be a little more fiery, a stronger emotional leader than what Acta appears to be … The Indians don’t have a lot of leadership coming from their players, we’ll see how it goes. At the very least Acta should be better at drawing up the lineup to maximize the run-scoring potential and better at handling the pitching staff than Wedge was … I just question his motivational talents, but I’m just going off of what I’ve read about his Nationals tenure so I’ll certainly give the guy a chance … I would’ve liked to see them at least interview Mattingly, from what Mattingly had said to the media it seemed he was interested in managing sooner rather than later and he seemed interested in the Indians job

I know it’s probably ridiculous, but — even if he had the fact that people would consider him the same old same old — I wonder if Lovullo’s comments to the press pushed him further out of the running. I wonder if the FO considered his not-so-veiled criticism of Wedge’s managing to be a strike against him (whereas the rest of us all thought it was great).
Still, I’d love to know what it was that Acta said that convinced them to make this decision so quickly.

This is a blunder of monumental proportions. Seriously. I am not surprised by this hiring as I predicted it on the 19th. Most everyone thought that he was the guy so it doesn’t surprise nor upset me at all. He brings qualities that are needed to this organization. Hindsight 20/20, I would like to have Acta’s intellect of sabermetrics combined with Lovullo’s philosophy, at least those articulated in his post interview meeting with the media.

Here’s why this situation is a total blunder: YOU ALLOWED ANOTHER TEAM TO INFLUENCE YOUR DECISIONS! Call it whatever you want, they rushed. The FO decided not to interview Don Mattingly because the Astros offered Acta a two year deal with an option for a third. How did Shapiro respond? Let me offer you three years guaranteed with an option for a fourth before we finish our scheduled interviews. IF they felt that way then they should have hired him immediately following his interview.

As I said, I predicted this move and I approve of it in the end. What I don’t approve of, as a paying customer/fan, is that they decided to throw their process out the window in order to jack-knife the Astros’ candidate. Unacceptable.

When Acta was offered that two year deal from ouston then spineless Shapiro should have stuck to his guns and said, “we’re finishing our process and we understand you have to do what you need to do.”

I must also say that I find it interesting that he got a 3 year deal. I don’t know if that is standard in the major leagues let alone for a small-to-mid market team that is “reloading.” For some reason, I think Acta is the bridge to Travis Fryman in 2-3 years.

Let’s not rush to judgment. He didn’t have anyone in Washington to even consider the idea of competing with. I think their main goal is to get this pitching turned around. I also read some where that he likes to wait for the 3 run homer. We shall see. I prefer to see a little more small ball. More than what we have seen in the past.

I agree AM, I don’t understand the rush, I guess they were totally enamored with Acta and didn’t want to lose him, but then, why wait as long as they did? … personally I thought Acta and Lovullo were about even, so I wouldn’t have been so concerned about losing Acta to Houston, if Acta went to Houston and they ended up not wanting or being unable to get Mattingly, I wouldn’t really have a problem with Lovullo … here are some comments from Ryan Zimmerman when Acta was fired:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2009/07/zimmerman_players_needed_more.html
I do question whether Acta is what the Indians need … they need someone who can instill a sense of urgency from the beginning of the year. From what it sounds like Acta did well at game management, but not so well at motivation, which to me would mean he’s better suited for more of a veteran team than a young, leaderless team like the Indians

I just don’t like this signing. I don’t think he has the right attitude to get the most out of the players. I don’t like how his teams don’t have very good Aprils.

Isn’t that why they fired Wedge? This isn’t a change that will make any difference. They are too much alike.

I just don’t like this signing. I don’t think he has the right attitude to get the most out of the players. I don’t like how his teams don’t have very good Aprils.

Isn’t that why they fired Wedge? This isn’t a change that will make any difference. They are too much alike.

Damn software.

One more thing. This feels like the Dellucci signing.

Why did they give Dellucci a 3 year deal? Because somebody offered him a 2 year deal. So they gave him 3 years even though they didn’t want to give him 3 years. Seems like the same thing here with Acta.

On Wednesday, Game 1 of the 2009 World Series. I sit and ponder the possibilities. Cliff Lee versus CC Sabathia. My wife put it best…..What a bite in the @##.

On another note…Like the Browns, the Tribe has hired a new manager with a poor track record. Way to go Shapiro!! Why are you still here?????????????

Ok, listen folks, I know this hiring may not be too popular with the average fan, due to Acta’s record. However, let’s give the guy a chance, and remember he was managing the worst team in baseball.
Also, I think AM’s original comment has merit. However, I’m not ready to throw Shapiro under the bus just yet, as rtm0112 and other are calling for. Let’s give this time, and see how it plays out. This may be a futile argument, but I’m making it just the same.

I am on board with Acta. I like him and I don’t see his record in Washington as holding too much weight in his abilities or lack thereof. I am just confused by his process and how he broke from it.

I will not rush to judgement on this. Obviously the popular choices seemed to be Valentine (I was rooting for) and Mattingly. The Valentine interview had me scratching my head and you knew that he really wasnt that into this job and maybe was just trying to get his name out there. Mattingly too was never a true possibility; he is in line to be Torre’s successor which will probably be after next year and why would he choose Indians over LA. And so it was down to Acta, Lovullo, and the 2 unnamed sources and at this point I don’t understand how any fan cab criticize FO for hiring one guy over the other. Everyone seems to be bashing Acta for his terrible record with the Nationals, but cmon he was managing the nationals. Also lets not forget Torre’s first managerial tenure when he couldnt win more than 67 games with the Mets for 5 years. I know it isnt the sexy pick, but Indians didnt really have a shot at that. I wish Acta and his soon to be assembled staff the best and hope for better furtunes for Tribe nation in 2010!

I put this in the same ranks as the Eric Mangini hire. Unimpressive and too quick. They both have barely winning records and are taking over a team with little to no experience in winning. And both hires didn’t even bother to interview someone who has won in the past. I think they made a huge mistake not even giving a face-to-face with Mattingly. Just like the Browns should have at least interviewed Shotty or Shanahan.

Though I don’t have the immediate bile-induction that I did when Mangini was hired, I don’t really care for this one. Like I said with Mangini, maybe I’m wrong. But my gut certainly wasn’t wrong about him.

I have to agree with anyone who is making a big deal out of Acta’s record in Washington. As has been pointed out to some degree, you don’t have to look further than arguably the two best managers in baseball, to see what is possible. Now I am not saying Acta will be a hall of famer, but if you look at Joe Torre before he went to New York, his record was very unimpressive, if you look at Terry Francona’s Philadelphia years, you never would have hired him to lead Boston to two World Series championships.

I think the guy deserves a fresh start and a fresh chance. And maybe for once Cleveland can be the team where a coach or manager can have a not so impressive past and come in and get a championship or two, instead of the other way with the Bill Belichicks and Charlie Manauels of the sports world.

I agree with the folks who’ve pointed out that this was a little too quick or desperate. If you want to include Dellucci, you need to add Kerry Wood to that list as well.

I wish the guy all the luck in the world, but this doesn’t fix the overall problems in the organization. They still need to address the lack of quality coaching in the minor league system AND the hap-hazard scouting department.

Look, we’re not going to be a serious contender with the current ownership. If we’re going to be force-fed “top prospects with major upswings and plus arms” we need some coaches and managers who can get the most out of them.

We have to at least be able to finish ahead of the Royals…

Oh, and GO CLIFF!!

To be totally honest – I am just happy to see a change in direction. I’m not going to judge Acta by his record in Washington, that team was terrible. Also, as pointed out by a Nats fan on another comment board, Acta got no support from Washington management, he was managing a rookie pitching staff. It’s easy to say the team played better after he left because of his (mis)management, but it’s also likely that rookie pitchers getting a feel for the big league game would naturally perform better with experience.
I am a diehard Tribe fan – I live in Calgary for crying out loud! I’ll continue to support this team and look forward to seeing what Acta brings to the table, his choice of coaches and his approach with this team. More than anything else, I’m looking forward to a consistent line up ;)

Boy, you anti-Valentine guys sure come across strong, but just think; our team has been traded and Jacobs (oops, Progressive Field) is empty. Maybe Bobby Valentine isn’t perfect for this kind of AAA team, but he would put some fannies in the seats and he just might win, since he is a proven winner. Is Manny Acta a proven winner? Aah, didn’t he manage the AA Nationals (and they fired him). I think it is appropriate that on the eve (well, almost) of game one of the World Series that CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee are squaring off and Steve Dolan (yes, Steve Dolan, and not Mark Shapiro) has hired a retreaded perfect loser. Tells you something of this organization, doesn’t it?

Let me also say that I have rooted for the Indians since 1950 and I have stuck with them through the 60s, 70s & 80s, when they were horrible. Never did I turn off the radio or TV set when I could get an Indians game. I couldn’t stomach them this year and I would imagine that I will have a hard time dealing with them for the next three years. I would have renewed my Directv MLB package next year if the team had hired Bobby Valentine. Now, I don’t think I want to deal with them. I’ll root for my second team, the Phillies; medium market team that are world champions.

After being irate yesterday, I slept on this move and thought about it…I still frickin hate it. We got a guy who never played Major League Ball, had a losing record in the minors as a coach, and got fired from what was the worst team in major league baseball last year. But wait, it gets better. The worst team in baseball got better when he left. Don’t give me the crap about his communication with Latin players because outside of Ozzie Guillen (who hasn’t done much recently) the top managers in the game are NOT latino, and they have no problem communicating with their latino players. I get the money thing, but was Lovullo that expensive? I’d rather my neighbor coached the Tribe than Acta. His little league team went 2-14. His kid still runs to third after hitting. We need to rename the field. Regressive Field. Oh wait, we let an insurance company buy it so we would have more pocket money to go after big stars and high profile candidates for open positions on our team. HA.

My biggest problem with all this is the rush. There were some excellent candidates that didn’t even get interviewed in person (i.e. Mattingly and bench coach for Angels). Scioscia is probably the best manager in baseball, and his guys play a great brand of baseball. His bench guys are better than some of these other bums bouncing around from team to team trying to figure it out and refusing to learn along the way. Wedge failed to grow with the team with his managerial skills, and so he was canned. Now we rush into another relationship rather than taking the time to walk away and objectively measure all the candidates. If Acta was so insecure he would have signed with the best deal with the Astros, then he’s probably not the guy we wanted anyway. Like the Lee and Martinez trades, we rushed to get something done. Until this past season, I really liked a lot of what Shapiro was doing. Now, my confidence is very low. Hopefully Acta works out … I’m just disappointed we didn’t take our time with this one. Acta’s like a rebound relationship, and those rarely work out well.

I find it incredibly puzzling that so many tribe fans are already calling the Lee and Martinez deals “failures” when we haven’t even seen a half season of what these kids can do.
Let’s be fair – Shapiro pulled off a landmark deal with Bartolo Colon. We need to give these moves time to see if they pan out.
As far as Acta’s concerned – don’t judge him by his time with the Nationals – at least the Indians are a AAA team compared to their (almost) AA team. I know this season was brutal and painful – but let’s give our guys a chance. Time will tell…

He hasn’t even managed a game and he’s the “Wrong” one. My god, Do you think the Joe Torres of the world started out Great? NO!! (NOT that he’ll be great, but…)

Let’s wait before rushing to judgment.

Here’s an interesting note from Keith Law about the Houston Astros. The last line involves Mark Shapiro and the Indians.

“This is just another piece of evidence on why Drayton McLane is the worst owner in baseball, and the one for whom people in the game would least like to work. His front office chose an excellent managerial candidate, arguably the best of the ones they interviewed, and McLane let him get away because he refused to guarantee the third year of a deal. That sort of meddling and the implied lack of autonomy for the GM makes Houston a lousy place for executives to work – and will continue to hamstring the team going forward as they attempt to rebuild. (It’s also an example of why the media and the industry still respect Mark Shapiro even after two disappointing seasons. They make solid, sensible moves, built around good people whose value is evident even to outsiders.)”

I like the Manny Acta hiring as the new tribe manager. He is realy knowagable and knows a lot about our roster and I think he will be a good manager. We shall see ofcourse but I like Acta allready.

I will give Acta a llittle bit of credit for spelling it out for Tribe fans. Top-tier candidates don’t go for the less glamorous jobs in the industry, especially those that are rebuilding. Walking into a situation where the lineup is pretty much set and the dollars are there to be spent (NYY, CHW, DET, LAA, etc) are few and far between. At least he seems to understand the small market mentality.

I loved his quote about “big shots are just little shots that keep shooting.” And, I can say with assurance, I look forward to the season. . . . despite what it will likely bring.

any time you can hire a guy who’s a hundred games under 0.500 as a manager, you need to do it before he gets away.

bigzombie, I said it before, but this time I’ll ask: How, exactly, is Valetine a PROVEN winner? No, really, how? Because he made it to a World Series after managing for THIRTEEN YEARS? Is it his mighty .510 career winning percentage? Is that it?
And, even better, please, please tell me how it is, exactly, that Bobby Valentine would sell tickets. Because that’s just mind boggling to me, particularly considering that the Tribe couldn’t sell out when it was in first place in ’07 until the very end.

After four seasons with the Phillies, Terry Francona’s BEST season was 77-85. His next managing job? The Red Sox.
Joe Torre’s winning percentage after his first 2 years was .413. He was below .500 for the first SIX YEARS of his career as a manager.
For that matter, Valentine’s average winning percentage after 8 years with his first team, the Rangers, was under .500.
So, yes, by all means, let’s judge Acta based upon less than two seasons with a god awful team in Washington — because baseball managers never get better over time. It NEVER happens.

AM, good quote, although Law might not have a grasp of what outsiders think. It does underscore the fact that people who work in baseball, day in and day out, seem to think that Shapiro makes good decisions, and that Acta has what it takes to be a great manager.
Although, I think, even they would have to raise the red flag on Shapiro’s track record with FA signings.

One last bit:
You have to love Cleveland. The Tribe might lose a lot next year, but at least we can see that they’re rebuilding, and that the younger guys are going to get a chance to prove whether they have what it takes or not. And no one will go to the games.
Yet the Browns, who have absolutely NO direction and continue to play an awful QB in place of a most-likely-equally-awful-QB-but-one-people-want-to-see-and-who-actually-has-a-little-hope-left, will continue to sell out every single game.

LACF, we have discussed that problem before and AC himself has been quite honest in his assessment that this area, especially under its current economic status, is a 2 1/2 sports city. LeBron + Browns = Indians get neglected by the casual fan DESPITE being able to spend less money for more games at Progressive Field.

For example, 8 football games X $80 per ticket in the Dawg Pound (which is a mid-range price) + $15 parking per game = $760. That same $760 can get you about 20 upper reserve games and parking for about $700.

Shouldn’t this website been shaded in black today in honor of Game One of the World Series?

LACF & AMSeeley: I’m not throwing the Indians a pity party on the attendance. The economy in this state/region is kicking EVERYONE in the teeth. The Browns have PSLs that people aren’t so willing to eat right off the bat.

I know as a fan I looked forward to the Tribe as a distraction. It was two hours everyday I looked forward to and got me through my day. Now its an additional factor to my not-so-shiny outlook.

bvielhaber, I respect your opinion. I don’t think that we were trying to throw a pity party for the Indians attendance woes but I understand your logic. The economic condition is unfortunately furthering the gap between the major and the small-to-mid markets throughout baseball. Whereas the previous free agency period devalued particular players to a more appropriate market norm in terms of length of contract and total dollars (IMO) the spending of the Yankees alone skewed the entire system.

I don’t think it bothers me so much that people pick the Browns over the Indians as it does that Tribe fans will complain about the team by NOT going to games, yet the Browns continue to sell out.
I mean, I don’t understand how anyone can justify continuing to support that organization, and yet they do. The Tribe, on the other hand, doesn’t get the Get Out of Jail Free card that the Browns get every single season. It’s crazy.
I’m fine with people not wanting to spend money on the Tribe, but continuing to spend money on the Browns is just enabling their incompetence.

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