CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 28: Third base coach Steve Smith #10 and manager Manny Acta #11 of the Cleveland Indians watch a home run hit by Chris Carter #22 of the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at Progressive Field on August 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
What an embarrassment.
OK, we know that the Indians are woefully deficient in talent in several areas. We know that the rotation has been brutal, and the offense almost as bad. Those are things that a manager by and large cannot control. Yes, he can try to deploy players in order to maximize their abilities, but when you have a 25-man roster peppered heavily with dreck, you have no choice to but to put dreck in the lineup.
But there are some things a manager should be able to control, with the attitude of the players being the foremost part. Do the players hustle? Do they play every game the same way? Do they avoid fundamental short-cuts, such as back-handing a ball in the dirt? Even a bad major-league club should still play hard, because they should take pride in their play, no matter what the outcome. Even in the dog days of August with many losses in their memories and many more awaiting in September.
It's not Manny Acta's fault that the Indians were constructed so horribly, but he's responsible for how the Indians played tonight. Dumb errors, indifferent (or worse) play...those things fall on his shoulders, and if he doesn't correct them immediately, he's going to lose his players and eventually his job. I would hope that the paint is peeling in the clubhouse right now, because this team needs a tongue-lashing.
So what of the game? Indians pitchers had 16 strikeouts, but were lacking the other types of outs, as they allowed seven runs on 11 hits and 3 walks. Five of the Oakland hits were for extra bases, including two home runs. Zach McAllister, the team's ace by default, couldn't get out of the fifth inning. The Indians got eight hits, but could never string any of them together. In the fourth, the first two Tribe batters got on, but the next three struck out. Lather, rinse, repeat - it's nothing much different the other 20 losses this month.
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