Manny Acta Lands on His Feet

Cleveland apparently used to losing

By Chris Needham
|  Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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Manny Acta Lands on His Feet

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A whole new team gets to see him smile simply.

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Ah, you gotta love baseball.  It's a sport where if you're a terrible manager or a terrible left-handed pitcher, your lack of competence is no barrier to future employment.  Such is the case with Manny Acta.

His .385 winning percentage, which is 10th worst among managers who managed more than a handful of games, didn't stop Cleveland from hiring him yesterday.  'Cause if there's one thing the Indians need to stop their 61-year championshipless streak, it's Manny Acta.

Even more incredibly, teams got into a bidding war over Manny.  Not only was Cleveland hot and heavy for Mr. Positivity, the Houston Astros offered him the job, too!  That certainly tells you what both those teams think about the quality of players that Jim Bowden and the Lerner family handed him.  Or maybe they're just not thinking, period.

Acta's defenders point out that he didn't have a lot of talent to work with.  There's a lot of truth to that.  But the team he was handed this year certainly had more talent than the 26-61 record he guided them to.

Acta has his strengths: his optimism, his tone-setting, his leadership.

But he has plenty of weaknesses, mainly his stubbornness and his optimism leading him to hoping things will work out, instead of directly addressing things or actively correcting them.

Maybe it'll work out for him in Cleveland, although their pitching stinks -- mostly because you can see their two aces starting in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday.

But for three games -- when the Nats travel to Cleveland in June -- Nats fans certainly won't be rooting for him.  And, truthfully, there'll be a whole lot of Nats fans rooting against him all 162.

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