SAN FRANCISCO -- Manny Acta has seen baseball from both the American League and National League perspectives. Before joining the Indians, Acta previously served as the skipper for the Nationals.
That gives Acta a unique voice in the debate over baseball's use of the designated hitter. Asked if he felt the game should have a DH in both leagues, however, Acta kept his comments as neutral as possible.
"I don't think my opinion is going to change anything," Acta said. "So I'd rather keep it to myself."
One thing that's clear is that Acta was not thrilled when he first saw the 2011 regular-season schedule. The Indians are currently on a nine-game swing through NL ballparks, where the DH is not permitted. That has forced the Tribe's cleanup-hitting DH, Travis Hafner, to ride the pine as a pinch-hitter.
This is the second year in a row that Cleveland has been scheduled to play nine games in a row with the pitcher forced to hit. The Tribe is the only AL team to have such a stretch in both 2010 and '11.
Scheduling issue aside, Acta made it clear that, as a manager, he prefers working with a designated hitter in his lineup.
"The DH, just in general, makes it a lot easier for the manager," Acta said. "I don't doubt that every single one of us in the American League can manager in the National League, but it's so much easier to manage [in the AL]. The National League game is a challenge to manage. There's a lot more strategies involved right after the fifth inning.
"You're making decisions on the pitcher, or giving up an out, not giving up an out, doing a double switch. How the game was invented was without the DH, but we've had the DH forever and we have two leagues. We live with it. I've been on both sides. To me, it's a lot easier and relaxing to manage in the American League."