After guiding his team to a 65-91 record through 156 games, Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta was relieved of his duties on Thursday. And while Cleveland's upper management placed the blame for its team's poor play on Acta, Indians players feel that they are responsible.
Designated hitter Travis Hafner lamented Acta's firing, stating that it falls on the players' shoulders to produce:
"It's unfortunate that this had to happen. It was just a bad second half. The players are the ones out there playing. They're ultimately responsible for how the team does. We're the ones who take the blame. It's unfortunate when coaches lose their job and things like that."
Cleveland suffered through an August slump during which it compiled a 5-24 record. Indians players had a hard time staying motivated, but third baseman Jack Hannahan felt that it wasn't up to Acta to motivate his team:
"I've respected the fact that Manny was a manager that let his veterans do the policing. That's something that I respected about him. This is the big leagues. You don't need a babysitter in the big leagues. You need veterans to lead the way."
While Cleveland players aren't happy to see Acta go, they are pleased that Sandy Alomar, Jr. has been selected as interim manager. Alomar has a wealth of baseball experience and knowledge, and that isn't lost on his team:
"You look on the back of his baseball card. It's instant respect for a guy who's been in your shoes and knows and understands that the game is not that easy. I think he'll be able to connect with the players and get the most out of players and really be successful."