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News and Notes: Acta Speaks, Again.

Indians skipper Manny Acta: 'I want to become one of the elite six or seven' managers | Cleveland Indians - - -
Manny Acta sits down for a lengthy interview with Paul Hoynes.

The major acquisition the Indians seem to be targeting this offseason isn't a particular player, but the interest of the Cleveland sports fan. Two consecutive painful and disappointing seasons tend to drain the enthusiasm out of a fanbase, especially when this past season saw two high-profile players (Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee) get traded for prospects. And while last offseason the Indians made a splash by signing Kerry Wood to a big free agent contract, it seems extremely unlikely that type of move will happen this winter. The major moves have already been made, and aside from a couple roster decisions (Kelly Shoppach, for instance), the Indians seem content to play out the 2010 season largely with what they have.

The biggest move the Indians make this offseason will probably be the hiring of Manny Acta as manager. And to that end, the Indians have saturated the Cleveland market with him in hopes of winning him over with the fans. He's appeared on almost every radio show, in numerous newspaper and Internet articles, and on local TV to boot. Any semi-attentive sports fan in this town has probably seen or listened to or read about Acta in the past two weeks. And, in my opinion, it's been a great PR victory for the Indians, as Acta has come across very well in every interview he's done. He's come across as very prepared, understanding in detail the particular problems that face the Indians (for instance, noting baseball's adjustments to Fausto Carmona's sinker). He's been very open about his coaching philosophies, stressing his view that a manger should base his strategies on the abilities of players on the roster, not the other way around. Because the Indians do now have a roster of athletic players, the Indians will run, which will satisfy the Smallball advocates, but if the Indians become again a team of power-hitting plodders, Acta will adjust accordingly to an Earl Weaver style of managing.

In this particular interview, Acta answers all the basic questions about his coaching philosophy, including changing lineups, avoiding a slow start, the frequency of team meetings. He also speaks at length about his career as a player, and his accession up the coaching ladder.