Acta's Hiring Brings A Lot Of Unknowns
With the hiring now official, my initial reaction is I don't know what to think of this hiring right now.
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.
I went into this manager search really with as open a mind as I have ever had with anything sports related in Cleveland. With the lack of any favorable candidates or someone exciting once my favorite John Farrell removed his name from consideration, I let the process play itself out and waited to hear how the candidates performed in their private interviews with the Indians as well as their interview sessions with the media.
When Acta conducted his 18-minute presser on Tuesday, having never really listened to the guy nor having an understanding of his philosophy and approach to the game of baseball, I came away highly impressed with him. Apparently the Indians felt the same way as I have heard he really shined in his private interview with the Tribe brass.
Acta has also been the benefactor of some overwhelming support from the baseball community this offseason as many in the game believe he is a lot better than what he showed while with Washington. Terry Pluto mentioned in his Sunday article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Bobby Cox was very impressed with Acta and even went as far as to call the Indians and endorse Acta for the Indians job. We have also seen a lot of support in the media for Acta as writers such as Joe Sheehan and Joe Posnanski have had glowing reports on Acta prior to his hiring. I think in the coming days we will see that goodwill continue as national pundits will chime in from all over and consider him as a solid or better hiring for the Indians.
With Acta now in the fold, he and the Indians will work to fill out the rest of his staff in the coming days and weeks. It looks like a veteran coach will join his staff as a bench coach, and it is almost a certainty that Torey Lovullo will be a part of his staff likely as the third base coach. Also, expect the hitting and pitching coach to be filled from within with the likes of Ellis Burks, Bruce Fields, Dave Hudgens, and Jon Nunnally getting strong consideration for the hitting coach job, and Dave Miller or Scott Radinsky almost locks to be the two final candidates for the pitching coach job.
I do find it interesting that Acta