But let’s localize the example. The Indians have fallen off a fiscal cliff of their own due in no small part to imprudent management with an amazingly consistent ability to make bad decisions. And while it wouldn’t surprise if the players all looked around and said to themselves “if the owners don’t care why should we?” why is it that Manny Acta can’t seem to channel Lou Brown, the manager of the fictional Indians in the movie “Major League” and rally the troops against the avarice of the owners?
Maybe because he’s lost the team.
I’ve seen 40+ years of Indians teams and in well too many of those years they have been lifeless blobs of protoplasm so it is worth remembering that when you try to contextualize this year’s model. Still, the team that slept walked through a recent west coast trip in which it won one game, barely, but mostly embarrassed itself for nearly two weeks is in the running for its own special place on the bobby prize shelf.
Particularly dispiriting was the series against
. Up until the recent series was completed, these two teams were twin sons of different mothers. In truth they still are. But as the Indians barely registered a pulse in losing three straight, the Mariners ended up looking like a much better team. Seattle
Is that how this is going to go for the rest of this season? Probably. The better question though is can Acta survive it? The answer depends on what Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti want out of Acta.
Presumably Acta was hired to develop the young talent on the roster and get them to a place where they could compete. Of course that was Acta’s charge in
and his teams then pretty much look like his teams now. Washington
That’s not to lay all or even the lion’s share of the blame at Acta’s feet for how miserable the Nationals were under him or how miserable the Indians are under him now. In both cases he was saddled by bad upper management that delivered to him an odd mix of young players with some potential and aging veterans that came cheaply. In truth few managers around can make that mix work.
I suppose you could just focus on the young players on the Indians roster and ask yourself whether they are developing under Acta. That’s where it gets difficult. Asdrubal Cabrera has hit some sort of wall the second half of the season and has been mostly a non factor. Jason Kipnis is finding his second year difficult. Michael Brantley is developing but Carlos Santana is struggling.