CLEVELAND - Former Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove said he was not surprised by the teams decision to fire manager Manny Acta Thursday.
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“When things go as bad as they’ve gone for the Indians this second half, people such as the manager tend to pay the price for it,” he said. "Manny's a good man, he's a good baseball man, he's got a really intelligent quick mind, but it didn't surprise me."
Does Hargrove think Acta lost the team?
“I don’t know. When you lose a team you start hearing people bicker and I didn’t hear a lot of bickering.”
“We haven’t played well, you know, we haven’t executed wel,l but it hasn’t been from lack of effort and in some cases, probably too much effort. It’s been my experience when you see teams that quit on their manager, they don’t necessarily go through the motions or they’re not far from it and I never saw our guys do that,” Hargrove said.
The Indians named Sandy Alomar, who played for Hargrove in the 1990s, as interim manager. Hargrove said he supports Alomar for the job.
“Obviously, I’m a big fan of Sandy’s ,always have been. Sandy’s an intelligent guy, he’s got definite ideas and he also has compassion for the players. I mean, he’s been there done that. There’s not a whole lot a big league player that plays for him can do that Sandy hasn’t done already.”
“Everything points to Sandy at some point in time being a very, very good manager and he’s got to start somewhere and I think, and this is just my personal opinion, I would love to see him get the job permanently. ”
But would Hargrove, who is still held in high regards by the fans of Cleveland be interested in the position?
“Yes and No,” he said. “Yea,h I would be very interested in coming back, but as long as Sandy’s in the mix than probably not.”
“I do have an interest in managing again somewhere, here would be great but as long as Sandy’s being considered as one of the primary candidates then probably not,” he said.
As someone who calls northeast Ohio home, Hargrove has seen the frustrations of the Indians fan base.
“There has to be some glimmer of hope, some glimmer of something there for people to latch onto."
“Indians fans the world over, there are a lot of them, I think are the most resilient best fans in the game, you know. They’ve survived so long just on hope that something needs to grab their attention,” said Hargrove.
“A lot of times when things are going good, things aren’t nearly as good as they seem and when they’re going bad they’re not really as bad as they seem.”
“I firmly believe that the right people are in charge. I think that Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti are good at what they do, they work awfully hard at it, they’re intelligent,” he said. “And so I think that we need to just grab the fans attention. ”
“It’s easy to sit here and say ‘Don’t give up on the Indians.' I mean, its an easy thing to say. It’s a tough thing to do, but things will get better and I think it has a chance to get better a lot sooner than we all expect it to,” he said.
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