CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – “When I flip tables, it just isn’t in front of you. When I say bad words in both languages I just don’t do it in front of you.”
That’s what Indians manager Manny Acta said after Tuesday night’s 7-5 loss to the Twins, which was one game shy of tying the record for clubs longest consecutive losing streak of 12 games.
Thankfully, the 2012 Indians didn’t make history (for all the wrong reasons) after snapping the 11-game losing skid with a 6-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday.
During the course of the teams rough patch, one which Acta said he’d “never seen anything like it before”, fans have begun to question the managerial style of the once trusted skipper.
Fans are claiming that Acta lacks “passion” and “fight”, and that his composure during games makes him appear uncaring and uninvolved. While Acta has remained cool as a cucumber throughout what many are calling “the worst stretch of baseball ever seen”, he stands by his unruffled demeanor.
“Passion doesn’t mean throwing stuff, yelling profanities and disrespecting people. That’s what people are a little confused about. When things are going well, I’m being labeled as cool, calm and collected, but when my team starts to lose, (people say) ‘he doesn’t argue enough, he doesn’t show enough fire or passion.’”
Acta said that just because the fans don’t see such outbursts, doesn’t mean they don’t happen.
“We did have a big time yelling and screaming match with a few words that can’t be said here or printed in the papers, but you know what happened after that? We dropped five more in a row. There is a time and place for that, it’s not in front of the cameras.”
So give him credit for taking the abrasive approach, at least he tried. He made a great point in saying that “no one wants to be yelled at”. While sometimes scolding is indeed necessary, Acta feels that he can manage his baseball team more effectively by taking a softer approach with his players.
“This isn’t high school or college, these are elite athletes playing at the professional level. I shouldn’t have to scream and yell at them to get them to do something, and if I do, I have the wrong guys,” Acta said.
Since managing at the Major League level, Acta has yet to lead a team to a winning record. His overall winning percentage in five seasons (three with the Washington Nationals and his first two with the Indians) as skipper is .422.
Despite five (going on six) seasons with losing records, Acta feels his managerial style is in no need of a makeover.
“This is how I lead. I’m going to stay true to myself. I’m not a chameleon, I’m not going to change it just because a few people think that screaming, yelling and turning tables in front of cameras is the way to go. I reflect calmness to my players. When I have to yell and scream which I can do in two languages, I’ll do it behind closed doors.”