After suffering a major collapse in the second half of the 2012 season, the Cleveland Indians have fired manager Manny Acta and named Sandy Alomar to finish the season, the team announced on Thursday.
“The Cleveland Indians would like to thank Manny Acta for everything he has done for the organization in his three seasons as our manager,” Indians executive vice president and general manager Chris Antonetti said. “Manny’s passion for the game, positive attitude and tremendous knowledge of baseball helped guide us to a number of high points during his tenure. Managerial changes are never easy or taken lightly, but as we approached the end of the season and turned our attention to assessing the year, we determined a change was necessary.”
Acta, who was hired in 2009 by the Tribe after spending two years in Washington, went 214-266 in nearly three seasons with the Indians.
After a promising start in 2012, the Indians were just three games out of first place in the American League Central Division going into the mid-way point of the season.
After July 21 however, the team began a downward spiral, losing 21 of its next 25 games, going 5-24 in August, and eventually sliding all the way to the bottom of its division with an AL-worst record of 65-91 on the year.
“I had a great three years here,” Acta, 43, told ESPN on a conference call after news of his firing went public. “I have no regrets and no bitterness. I gave my best and that’s all I can do.”
With Acta’s release, bench coach Sandy Alomar, a six-time All-Star catcher for the Indians and fan favorite, will step in as interim manager for the last six games of 2012. The rest of the coaching staff will remain intact through the remainder of the season.
Antonetti called Alomar a “primary candidate” to possibly replace Acta as Cleveland’s next manager but wouldn’t label him the front-runner.
“Sandy brings a lot to the table,” Antonetti said. “He’s obviously been a managerial candidate in other places and I’m confident he will be a primary candidate. Where he will fit among the alternatives, I don’t think it’s fair for me to speculate at this point.”