“The annual Cleveland Indians press tour made a stop at Akron’s Tangiers restaurant Jan. 26 to meet with fans and media. Indians notables including manager Manny Acta, outfielder Michael Brantley and pitcher Jensen Lewis, all participated in the conversation about the future of the ball club.””
The annual Cleveland Indians press tour made a stop at Akron’s Tangiers restaurant Jan. 26 to meet with fans and media.
Indians notables, including manager Manny Acta, outfielder Michael Brantley and pitcher Jensen Lewis, all participated in the conversation about the future of the ball club.
The new skipper drew the majority of interest.
What I like about our club is we have a chance to get out of the so-called American league mold, Acta said.
It’s wide open, and that’s what’s so attractive about our division, he said. This division is just the most balanced one.
Balanced or not, after the last disappointing season many fans have already written this years team off.
This is America and you have to respect everybody’s opinion, Acta said. But at the end of the day you have to put it behind you and go to work and play 162 games.
Right-hander Lewis said, contrary to public opinion, the team was not rebuilding because they had not fallen apart.
Lewis said that fans had already written the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays off and they ended up playing in the World Series.
You have got to look at it as ‘Why can’t we?’ Lewis said.
He encouraged students to take a trip up to Cleveland and watch the game in person.
I think college kids just love a lot of action, stuff going on, Lewis said. I think we’re going to have a pretty action packed offense.
We’re going to be a fun team to watch, he said. We get all kinds of fans. It’s going to be great to have them come up to see us.
Brantley, like many of the fans, was just meeting his new manager for the first time.
He’s a down to earth guy, Brantley said. We had about a 10 to 15 minute conversation already and I look forward to playing for him.
Something that has not gone unnoticed for many fans has been the opportunity for younger players to make the team.
There is always competition everywhere; you have guys coming up through the minor leagues right behind you, so you just can’t take a day off, Brantley said.
Brantley said that his dad had given him some advice to keep in mind: Play hard, have fun and just try and enjoy every experience you have.
The biggest obstacle the Indians are going to have this year – inexperience.
We don’t have that much experience on both sides of the ball, Brantley said. Both for pitching and for position players. But at the same time we have some of the veteran guys who are going to help us.