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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman: Indians Ownership Not Happy with Acta

From Heyman

“Indians manager Manny Acta received a vote of confidence from Indians ECO Paul Dolan, the son of owner Larry Dolan, a couple weeks ago. Votes of confidence are never ironclad, but the one for Acta feels especially flimsy.

Even a couple weeks ago, just after that vote of confidence, which also covered GM Chris Antonetti and club president Mark Shapiro, a source said Indians ownership was “unhappy” with the Indians’ second-half slide. Now, with the team 4-12 since the younger Dolan’s vote of confidence, Acta’s job security seems even less certain.”

The ‘vote of confidence’ is generally considered to be a kiss of death in professional sports. Nobody should be surprised if Acta loses his position after this abysmal season. Nobody is saying he had the right cards to play and misplayed them, but someone’s head has to roll after this season. The bigger question is whether Acta’s head rolls by itself, or if others will be lobbed off alongside his.

[Related: Paul Dolan changes not coming soon]

  • Steve

    “Nobody is saying he had the right cards to play and misplayed them”

    I’ll say that he misplayed them. I’m not sure if there was enough talent to win the division, but there sure was enough to be better than this.

  • mgbode

    well, we apparently blew the last 4 seasons and are left with a barren top-of-the-farm-system.

    whose head shouldn’t roll? maybe Bud Grant?

  • Kildawg

    Introducing the manager of the 2013 Cleveland Indians: #15 Sandy Alomar Jr!

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    If you put one of the “best” managers in the MLB in the Indians dugout would they have 75wins right now? No way. Not even Mario Andretti is not going to win the INDY 500 in a Go-Kart.

  • mgbode

    I vote for Charles Nagy.

  • Steve

    Sarbaugh should get a good long look. I know we love Sandy in this town, but Sarbaugh has had some real success managing, and has even overseen the actual development of some pitching.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Okay who explained things to Paul Dolan?

  • AMC

    I don’t think the manager of the year could have saved this season. I think the players quit. Did they quit on Acta specifically or did the quit on themselves and/or the organization? I don’t know. So it’s fair to say Acta didn’t motivate them enough down the stretch, but it’s also fair to say that it’s unlikely that his potential replacement would have either. The Indians are just a horribly depressing franchise right now. Not only are they currently awful, there’s no reason to believe it’s going to get any better regardless of who the manager is.

  • Steve

    75 wins right now? Maybe not, but if they had any coaches that could work with pitchers, they wouldn’t end up with fewer than 75 total this season.

  • Steve

    75 wins right now? Maybe not, but if they had any coaches that could work with pitchers, they wouldn’t end up with fewer than 75 total this season.

  • Roosevelt

    I felt terrible for Acta the minute he was hired by the Indians. He seems like a good guy, and had good managing potential, and he made the mistake of signing with a small market team that has no interest in winning. Now, his career arc is going to consist of going from teams like the Indians to teams like the A’s with the absolute pinnacle being the Twins, or God forbid, the Mets.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I submit a vote of zero-confidence in the front office. Guess what guys, YOU are the problem! Terrible drafts, bad free agents, interminable contracts for broken players, and a loser’s mentality throughout. Occasionally fleecing Seattle in trades doesnt cut it. No one could win with a lineup that features something like 5-6 guys batting sub .240 and a pitching staff with “aces” like Ubaldo and Masterson who wouldnt be #3 starters on 90% of the rest of the league’s rosters. Fall off something tall please.

  • EyesAbove

    Manny Acta seems like a very nice man, but this is a bottom line business and his record is pretty awful. Both here and in Washington. Take away the 30-15 start from last year and his record is downright ugly.

    Acta shouldnt be the only one to go however.

  • Harv 21

    People are foolish to assume Sandy Alomar is available as the next manager. He has a good reputation, he already had managerial interviews last off-season and he’s likely going to get an offers elsewhere very soon, if not in 2013 then in 2014.

    With our paucity of talent and lack of finances, why would he want to manage the Indians if he has other options? He’d be nuts not to go to a team with some talent and a chance to contend annually.

  • Steve

    Running a small market team is very easy to do in MLB

  • Dee P

    You could also flip this to read….Acta not happy with Indians ownership…..what’s the difference?

    Fans not happy with any of it.

  • mgbode

    no, it’s not. but, frankly, that is why you can not afford to miss and miss and miss on both trades and FA targets while a emptying your farm system (both to the MLB club and in trades).
    the team we have we can upgrade this offseason. we should have money in the budget. even for a small market team. but, Antonetti has done little (if anything) to garner the confidence he should be the one deciding which upgrades to make.

  • Mattunderwood

    acts unhappy with Indians ownership

  • Mattunderwood

    Acta!!! Damn you auto correct!!

  • Matt S

    There’s nothing that Dolan can do to fix the PR nightmare he has on his hands. Nothing.

    If he has Acta fired, it will just have people complaining that the Front Office was left in place. If he fires the front office, then I guarantee that we’ll see articles popping up here and elsewhere that Dolan is just covering his own ass, and that nothing was solved. There will still be people thinking that it’s the Dolan’s fault.

    Even if he sells, the org still has problems. They can’t compete financially when they make $120M less in cable revenue (not even taking account of their attendance revenue being much lower due to both low prices and low turnout). What are the odds you’re going to find an owner like Mike Illich? Very few rich people would be willing to sink HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS into buying a team and then be perfectly okay losing tens of millions of dollars per year. And if he puts the team up for sale, what are the odds that there will be interested investors who would want to keep it in Cleveland?

    The only thing that fixes it is winning. And even a few winning seasons won’t be enough. That’s what the focus has to be on. There is no catharsis to the fans by firing people. Just look at the Browns, firing Mangini brought exactly zero good will to the fanbase. Firing Holmgren will be the same. So arguing for a change based on it being “cathartic” is a stupid argument, and it should hold no water here.

  • deesh

    could Dolan’s head be lobbed off along side… I dunno, everyone else? Please?

  • WFNY_DP

    This. Sarbaugh has consistently done more with less in AAA for the past few years. Two championships in years where the better parts of his roster were in Cleveland in September. He’s got background as a hitting instructor, too, which can only help this anemic offense.

  • WFNY_DP

    Mark Cuban? 🙂

  • Jeff G.

    Manny Acta does not pitch. He does not step into the batter’s box. He does not even field a position. He coaches these players. It’s these players who should be blamed. Well, I’ll take that back. Most of them can’t be blamed either, since they are doing their level best. The just don’t have the talent to be up in the majors.

    The real blame should be placed on the owner. SPEND SOME MONEY!

  • mgbode

    I agree with the first paragraph. but, I don’t think a team in our situation will ever get more than $80mil/year payroll (at best). The poor drafting, bad FA choices, and trades not working out are the reason for this mess.

  • mgbode

    only 30 of these jobs and usually only a handful open each year. if we offer him in November, can he afford to say no?

  • Harv 21

    Good question, but Sandy isn’t Mike Sarbaugh or some coach looking for their big-league break. Sandy has a rep, a pedigree and, presumably, money banked from his long playing career. If he isn’t a manager this year he will be a top-paid major league coach somewhere. And he will be getting manager interviews the day the season ends.

    The best chance to secure him here would be to fire Manny now and try to sign him as the permanent manager. But: 1) again, why would he want a job guaranteeing futility (see above), and; 2) Antonetti’s own head is dangerously close to the chopping block. Doubt this month Antonetti has ownership approval to do anything except call up minor-leaguers for a look-see.

  • Managers do a lot to motivate players, decide when and where to play guys, and keep the team on track. You can’t tell me that it’s solely lack of talent that is causing these guys to flounder.
    Why do guys who look so good through the minors seem to regress when they get to the majors? Can’t the coaches – presumably the best in the organization if they’re with the major league team – be able to help them out?

  • The Dolans don’t operate using this kind of logic. Sandy = glory days = more tickets sold = better bottom line. End of story, they’ve showed this time and time again.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cuban is to smart plus he likes to make money!

  • Depressed@Work

    Manny has never shown he is a winner. This is pretty much what I expected out of him. Oh well, he was “good for the Latin community” as they liked to boast.

  • JRS19

    Harv is right…Alomar is probably going to get some looks elsewhere this offseason. Boston comes to mind as a team prob looking for a manager that can jump in and offer resources galore.

    As much as Alomar and Sarbaugh may be natural replacements, I would really like this team to start anew with some fresh blood. If the Dolans are as mad as they appear to be, then cutting ties with Antonetti and some other long-term FO pieces should be considered. The past few years, some old baseball vets have been resurfacing and doing good work. Duquette in BAL, Wren in ATL, and Jocketty in CIN. Doubtful we’d pay $$ to attract some of these established names, but the Tribe is like a flailing company that goes out and hires an outside consultant to re-establish the brand, etc. That’s what we need here. Even it’s just someone for two-three years to breathe some new perspective into things. Granted, Acta didn’t have any ties to the organization before, but I imagine he was just thrilled to be getting another shot at managing and didn’t want to rock the boat. All bets should be off now.

  • WFNY_DP

    To be fair, it’s not like the Mavs were a perennial powerhouse/marketing draw when he bought them. He’s smart enough to know you have to invest to make money in sports. Whether Cleveland is a place he’d be interested in doing that…..