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Acta Impresses, Valentine Bombs

October 22, 2009
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I usually do not remark much on the happenings on the big league side of things with the Indians, but in listening to Bobby Valentine's 35-min presser today I have to say I was not impressed at all with what I heard. I listened to Manny Acta's 18-min presser on Tuesday, and listened to it again just before Valentine in order to compare the two back-to-back, and to me Acta just absolutely blew Valentine away at least by means of presentation, delivery, and knowledge of his team/opponent.

When Acta was asked in his interview about the Indians, he knew everyone and named players and what he'd like to see. When asked why he knows so much about the Indians, he said he knows all 30 teams inside and out because he needs to know that as a manager. Meanwhile, when Valentine was asked in his interview about the Indians he said he didn't know anything about them nor about the Central Division or the American League in general. Acta may have prepped beforehand to know all those things he talked about in regard to the Indians, but to me it shows a level of preparedness you should expect out of a field general and Acta doing it and Valentine not doing it speaks volumes.

Valentine also remarked in his interview that he has been away from the game in the United States for the last six years as he was in Japan, so know very little about the players in the game today or even some of the general changes to the game in the states. Also he said he is not very familiar with all the new subjective and objective stats that have become prominent in the game over the last four to five years. Again, this is another difference between him and Acta. Acta is very knowledgeable of the players playing today, and is a big time stats guy who is very up to speed on the en vogue stats in the game today. Terry Pluto actually asked Valentine halfway through the interview if him not knowing all this stuff if he was making a case for not being hired as the Indians manager.

Overall, just looking at the interviews straight up, Acta blew away Valentine. Both had a long day of travel and interviews, but Acta showed no wear while Valentine did. Acta's delivery, preparation, and more upbeat personality came across much better, while Valentine seemed tired, distant, and out of touch.  Acta acted like he had the job, Valentine was lost and too worried about mentioning how tired he was.  This stuff probably does not mean a ton in the grand scheme of things, but it shows you a little about the inner workings and the drive a guy has. Valentine came across as old and disinterested, while Acta came across as alive and hungry.

The Indians are obviously using a lot more than the interview session with the media to evaluate the candidates, but based on this unique interaction between the media and the candidates it is safe to say Acta is by far the better option over Valentine. Going in I was torn between Acta and Valentine on who I would prefer if it came down to them. To me, after hearing this, there is no question I would prefer Acta over Valentine. No doubt.  Acta is clearly the frontrunner, and it looks like Valentine bombed enough to where there should be no way even if Acta goes to Houston that Valentine would be a fallback option for the Indians job.

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