Indians GM Chris Antonetti expressed support for manager Manny Acta and his coaching staff following the least successful trip in the franchise’s 112-year history.
Cleveland went 0-9 at Minnesota, KC and Detroit, ending the trip with a 10-8 loss to the Tigers on Sunday when All-Star closer Chris Perez gave up 5 runs with 2 outs in the 10th inning.
Cleveland trailed Chicago by 3 1/2 games when the trip began and went into Monday 9 1/2 games behind the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox. Football scores
Antonetti spoke to reporters prior to Monday night’s game against the Twins. Questioned if Acta, who is signed through 2013, would return as manager next season, he claimed, ”I have no reason to believe otherwise. I am very happy with the job Manny’s done.
Obviously, this has been a really tough trip, but he’s continued to provide superb leadership throughout not only thru the trip, but his full tenure. I certainly think he’s part of the solution, not part of our concerns.”
Antonetti isn’t contemplating any changes in the coaching staff.
When asked if Bruce Fields (hitting) or Scott Radinksy (pitching) were in danger of getting fired, Antonetti expounded, “That’s not where we’re targeted. We’re focused on how will we get the guys here performing better. We are committed to giving those guys each resource at hand to help them be successful.”
Antonetti admitted the unlucky streak that has knocked the Indians out of the race in the AL Central has been a team-wide freefall.
”In some cases it was beginning pitching, in a few cases it was offense and in 1 or 2 other cases it was actually the bullpen,” he revealed.
The Indians finished their latest homestand with a comeback win against Tigers ace Justin Verlander, but any hope of momentum was buried in the team-wide collapse. The Indians were outplayed 74-28 on the trip and lost 6 games to the Royals and Twins, the 2 worst teams in the league.
”I do not think we foresaw losing 9 successive games,” Antonetti said. ”It’s important to turn the page. There’s nothing we can do about the trip. It’s over.
We need to focus on what we are able to control – playing better baseball and moving forward.”
Antonetti asserted he and his staff perhaps over-evaluated the team’s talent level when the season began.
”That’s certainly possible,” he said. ”Those are all things we’re going to have to explore. As a team, we haven’t performed to our expectations and we’re in the midst of reviewing what might have caused that.”
This season’s team hasn’t been a triumph with fans despite leading the division in April and May. The Indians are last in the league attending and have been the target of feedback on local radio talk shows during the current slump.
”I’m sure we’re all remarkably popular,” Antonetti said with a laugh.
The Indians cut pitcher Derek Lowe and outfielder Johnny Damon on the trip by designating both vets for assignment.