Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – It’s been no secret that the tools that have been given to Indians manager Manny Acta this season have been anything but stellar.
The team was expected to compete for a division crown and make some type of run into the playoffs, but as of today, they are on pace to end the season with between 70-75 wins.
The job of the manager is to manage, as well as to get his team ready to play and make the tough in-game decisions. The question with the 2012 Indians will come down to this – is Acta’s voice not being heard enough to warrant another season with him in charge in 2013?
The season ticket holder base will once again go down next season, that is unless the team makes a ton of offseason trades and pickups in free agency, which appears unlikely.
Already at about 9,000, how much more can the ticket season base go down before the Dolans are forced to start making major moves – and those would include the job security of Acta, GM Chris Antonetti and team President Mark Shapiro.
Before you make that decision of who to fire, remember though, it’s the Dolans who put these men in the positions they are in, and if there’s going to be a change, it has to start at the top.
The change has to be admitted before it can be put into action. The Dolans have to admit that the current formula is simply not working. While the team doesn’t need to go out and ink a $200 million dollar player to mean business, the plan of stop-gap players year after year has to end.
This year those players have all been a true disaster – Johnny Damon, Derek Lowe, Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman. None of them (notice Kotchman is the only one still with the team), have made enough of an impact to warrant the type of money that was paid to get them.
Then there’s the curious case of Grady Sizemore, who got $5 mil and it’s now an almost certain he won’t play a game in 2012. It was a risk that just about everyone said not to take – but for whatever reason the Indians did.
This offseason huge questions will have to be answered. Right now on the roster, there’s only a handful of players that appear even to be worth thinking about keeping aboard for the longterm.
Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Caberera, Shin-Soo Choo (who will cost a ton entering his last year of his deal), Vinnie Pestano, Chris Perez, Michael Brantley, and maybe Justin Masterson.
That’s the core of this team, and the issue with that is there needs to be a lot more around them if they are going to play with the big boys in baseball like the Tigers, Rangers, Angels and Yankees.
The decision for the future will be up to the Dolans. The shift they must admit and must make comes down to one thing – stepping up and spending the money needed to make this team what it could be with the core around them.
If 2012 proves anything for the Indians and their men at the top, it’s this – something within the structure of the organization is very, very wrong.
It’s up to them all to get it fixed.