Well, we all knew the ax was going to fall on someone(s). First on the chopping block is Indians manager Manny Acta.
The Indians announced this afternoon that he will not return as manager and that Sandy Alomar, Jr. will be interim manager for the final six games of the season. Alomar will also be a candidate for the manager position.
Hiring Sandy Alomar as the Indians manager would be a great move on a number of levels. He’s respected as a player and as a coach. He’s a smart guy. But aside from his baseball smarts, people in this town love him. Making him the manager would be a good start at recovering some level of affection. Unfortunately, he’s not going to get a chance to prove himself in six games.
From the way I read the press release about this change, it sounds as though Chris Antonetti (and by extension, his mentor Mark Shapiro) will be hanging around. The release reads (in part): “I have great respect for Manny and appreciate the effort he exhibited not only leading our team, but also the contributions he made in our community over the past three years,” said Cleveland Indians Chairman/CEO Paul Dolan. “I fully support Chris’ decision to make this change and am confident that he will lead a tireless search to find the right individual to lead the club to our ultimate goal of winning the World Series.”
Sure sounds like Antonetti has a job next season (in more ways than one).
This feels somewhat like a token replacement–the team sucks, dump the manager. But the trade decisions come from the front office. The long-term vision comes from the front office. The player development philosophy comes from the front office. To paraphrase a commenter on this blog, Casey Stengel couldn’t have done much with this team either.