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Tribe News and Notes: June 20, 2012

The Illustrated Pitcher, on the lookout for nefarious sign-stealers.
The Illustrated Pitcher, on the lookout for nefarious sign-stealers.

Manny Acta on Cincinnati's charges of sign-stealing: 'Who, us?' Indians Insider |

Because Mat Latos apparently is incapable of having a bad pitching performance without the other team cheating, the Reds pitcher accused the Indians of stealing signs:

"When you go back and look at video, a couple runners on second base, they put better swings on the ball than they did most of the time without a runner on second base,"

"[Shin-Soo] Choo hit that [fourth-inning] double, and then [Asdrubal] Cabrera was up. Me and Hanigan changed the signs up and called for a slider. We were going with a certain call, and that certain call that we were going with beforehand was a curveball. And I threw a slider, and he was looking breaking ball and was jammed on a slider. That, to me, shows me a little something."

Manny Acta, when told of these allegations, was amused:

"That's great that people think our young kids are so bright and so smart that they can do that," Acta joked before Tuesday's game. "It gives us some advantage. Make sure you write about it so that clubs go crazy when we go to town and they start changing signs and catchers get crossed up and we start advancing runners."

An unnamed Indians player had the better comeback, though:

"Tell him you don't have to steal signs when you're tipping pitches," he said.

Bruised Damon out of lineup after misplay | News

Damon wasn't in the lineup last night thanks in part to his collision with the right field wall that led to Brandon Phillips hitting a Little League home run. This comment from Acta struck me:

"I think everybody is well aware that Johnny, he's not a Gold Glove-caliber player," Acta said. "I think we know that he has spent a lot of years DH'ing at the end [of his career]. We got him over here to help us out with our offense."

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but perhaps this means that Damon's time left with the Indians is rapidly dwindling. Damon has looked better at the plate lately, but even if you cherry pick some recent splits, the production just isn't there. Over the last 14 days, he's hitting .219/.286/.375, which is an improvement over what he did in his first month with the team, but not near enough production for an everyday left fielder. Of course, neither Shelley Duncan nor Aaron Cunningham have been much better, so the Indians may try a guy like Russ Canzler, who has been hot of late (.309/.388/.600) in June), or look outside the organization for help.