I remember, a long time ago, writing about how excited I was to see the Cleveland Indians hire Manny Acta. It seems like it happened in another life – a life where hope existed for winning baseball in Cleveland.
I’m still not convinced that I was wrong about Manny Acta, but there’s no doubt that his talents didn’t take in the Indians clubhouse. Acta’s three seasons in Cleveland were marred by managerial mistakes, both by him and the front office. So when the news of Acta’s firing came down the wire, I wasn’t surprised.
I was disgusted.
Firing Acta with six games to play in the season was just another Indians front office gaffe to add to a resume so comically bad that it’s funnier than anything a satire writer could make up. The act intimated blame on the embattled Acta, regardless of what General Manager Chris Antonetti said in a hastily planned press conference a few hours after the announcement.
But placing blame for the Indians season is purely elementary. The decision makers aren’t going to change, so wasting energy to find out how many personnel moves Acta made is pointless. The fact remains, however, that Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro put themselves in a stupidly difficult position by offing the manager before the season was over.
We all know that the hearts of Cleveland baseball fans belong to the 1990s, nothing aside from a World Series championship will change that. We also all know that Sandy Alomar, Jr. is the logical next in line for a manager job out of all the people in the Indians organization. So now that Sandy is the interim manager, the 90s obsessed fan base will be insane if he’s not the manager in 2013.
And Sandy Alomar, Jr. managing the Indians in 2013 would be fine… if Terry Francona weren’t interested in managing the Indians.
Now I’m not at all convinced that Francona is as interested in managing the Indians as the local media seems to want the fans to believe, but he brings something to the table that Alomar doesn’t; championship experience. Francona is clearly the better managerial candidate for the Indians – for any team, really – but the organization has backed itself into a PR nightmare if they actually can land the better candidate. Alomar will surely land a job somewhere else in the league soon, and then Cleveland will spend months dissecting how this front office managed to run off a player that both was part of our fondly remembered past, and had the potential to be a part of a fondly remembered future.
I really like Sandy Alomar, Jr.; I just don’t want to be stuck with him if he’s not the best guy available for the job.