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Indians hire Manny Acta as manager

TOM WITHERS | 10/25/2009, 7:08 p.m.

The Cleveland Indians hired Manny Acta to be their manager, giving him the job about three months after he was fired by the Washington Nationals. Acta signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2013, Indians spokesman Bart Swain said Sunday. Additional terms were not disclosed.

"I am very excited to become part of the Cleveland Indians family," Acta said. "I look forward to working with this talented group of young men who seem to possess a lot of energy and passion for their work."
The Indians chose Acta after a second interview over former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Indians Triple-A manager Torey Lovullo. The team had been expected to interview Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly this week.

"We are very excited to have Manny Acta on board as our major league manager," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said in a statement.

"After speaking with an impressive array of candidates, we feel that Manny is a very strong and experienced leader who possesses great energy and enthusiasm along with tremendous communication skills and a positive mindset that will command a presence in the dugout, clubhouse and with our fans."

The 40-year-old Acta, who was drafted by the Astros as a 17-year-old first baseman, also interviewed for Houston's opening this offseason. The Indians will introduce him at a news conference Monday.

Cleveland tied for last in the AL Central after coming into this season with high expectations. The Indians fired manager Eric Wedge in the final week of the season.

Acta went 158-252 in 2 1/2 years with the Nationals, who fired him after a 21-61 start this season. The Indians, though, dismissed Acta's poor record and appreciated the way he developed some of the Nationals' young players.

"I believe we will grow together as a team," Acta said, "with the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Cleveland and its fans."