The Cleveland Indians axed third-year manager Manny Acta Thursday afternoon and appointed bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. as the club's interim manager, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
At 1 p.m., after being summoned to Progressive Field, Acta was fired as manager by General Manager Chris Antonetti.
Afterward, Antonetti called bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and made him acting manager for the final six games of the season.
Acta and the Indians got off to a promising start for the second consecutive year, only to collapse after the All-Star break. The team went into the season's mid-way point just three games back in the AL Central, but never got any closer after that. The Tribe has gone into a free fall over the past three months, putting up an AL-worst 20-51 record since the midsummer classic.
While the Indians' problems do not likely begin and end with Acta, someone had to pay the price for their poor play this season. Antonetti expressed his condolences to Acta but said the team needed to move in a new direction:
"Today is an exceptionally difficult day for the organization and me personally," said Antonetti. "Manny is a tremendous person with great baseball experience. Every day that Manny was here, he worked tirelessly to make the organization better.Unfortunately, our results on the field fell short of our expectations.
The Indians said they plan to start their managerial search right away, but they will likely wait until after the postseason to make any selection official. Alomar Jr. is expected to be a top candidate for the job,