CHICAGO -- The Indians finished the 2010 season with 10 rookies on their roster and they had one of the youngest teams in the big leagues throughout the year.With so much inexperience, little was expected of the Tribe this season in terms of victories -- and, in the end, little was delivered. But after gathering his players together for one last meeting before the season's final game against the White Sox, manager Manny Acta stressed that his expectations for this team will rise in 2011. "Next year," said Acta, finishing up his first year at the helm, "youth is not going to be an excuse to lose. Most of these guys are still going to be young, but most of them will have at least one year of Major League experience. We can't use [youth] as a crutch. We've got to continue to get better." Acta said he appreciated the effort his players put in to improve all year. "I told them we did take some steps this year, especially in the starting rotation and the bullpen," Acta said. "I also thanked them for the way they represented us off the field."
Choo sits finale, wraps season with .401 OBP
CHICAGO -- After all this time, a .300 batting average still means something to those in the Majors. And Shin-Soo Choo's .300 average meant enough to Manny Acta that the manager opted to rest his best player for the season finale against the White Sox.Choo was sitting on an even .300 (165-for-550) after going 1-for-3 in Saturday's rain-shortened loss. By sitting Sunday, he was ensured of becoming the first Indians player ever to have consecutive seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers and 20 RBIs. "It just sounds better than .298, for some reason," Acta said. But Choo was also sitting on an even more impressive mark -- a .401 on-base percentage. So with his 2010 season complete, he became the first Tribe outfielder since Manny Ramirez in 2000 to achieve that feat and the first player from any position since designated hitter Travis Hafner did it in '06. "Not many players do that," Choo said. "A .300 batting average is special, but still, a lot of players do it. Not many have a .400 on-base percentage." This was the second straight season in which Choo was rested the final day. Former manager Eric Wedge extended him the same courtesy this time last year, when he was also sitting on .300. Both times, Choo would have preferred to play, but he appreciated both managers looking out for him. "I really appreciate [Acta] thinking about my career and stats," Choo said. "Same thing last year." Choo's career stats will earn him a lot of money this winter, when he will be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. A contract extension is a possibility, though Choo said he is leaving that up to the Indians and his agent, Scott Boras. The focus for Choo at this point is on the Asian Games, where he'll play for South Korea and hope to earn a military exemption by winning the gold medal. Choo will travel to Korea next week and begin training with his team on Oct. 25. The Asian Games begin in mid-November.
Acta enjoys first season in American League
CHICAGO -- After 2 1/2 seasons with the Nationals, Manny Acta said he enjoyed his first year managing in the American League. He doesn't miss the mid-game decisions that come with starting pitchers due to bat and double-switches."It's just a little bit easier," he said. "You can lay back a little bit more. You're not thinking about your starting pitcher having 90 pitches and coming up to hit the next inning and all that stuff. I kind of like [the mental side that comes with the National League], but I also enjoy a less-stressful environment." Acta said in the AL, starting pitchers pretty much make the decisions by themselves. If they pitch well, they stay in until they reach their pitch limits. If they get rocked, they come out. But that's not to say the AL doesn't offer some tough decisions. "The biggest challenge is when your rotation is going well and you're trying to find innings for the relievers," Acta said. "In the NL, they're going to pitch no matter what. But in the AL, it can be a challenge if you have five guys in the rotation going well."
Manny Acta will spend October attending the Indians' Instructional League in Goodyear, Ariz., and helping out with Fox Sports en Espanol's postseason coverage of the NLCS and World Series. Then he'll head home to Florida. But he does have plans to spend some time in Cleveland this winter. "I'm coming to Snow Days," he said, referring to the Indians' new winter wonderland that will open at Progressive Field. "I'm serious. I'm not joking. I'm going to ride that tube all the way down. I'm pumped about Snow Days." ... The Indians entered the season's final day with a .248 team average. They had not hit below .250 as a team since hitting .249 in 2002.