BOSTON -- Indians manager Manny Acta held a meeting with his squad prior to Monday's series opener with the Red Sox, just to make sure his players understood what kind of opportunity they had.
Despite being 2-8 over their last 10 games, the Indians entered play Monday just 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Tigers in the American League Central, with a four-game series against the AL East-leading Red Sox and three more games in Arlington against the AL West-leading Rangers on the horizon.
"In a way, I felt like I needed to let them know that we're still in it," Acta said. "Just take the team's temperature and let the guys know that this is fun when you're focused and say, 'Hey, we're a couple of games out and two months to go. Every game is important. Enjoy it.'"
Acta said his players have held a strong attitude through the non-waiver Trade Deadline that passed at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. While the Indians made a pair of moves to acquire outfielder Kosuke Fukodome and starter Ubaldo Jimenez, sending six Minor Leaguers to new teams, the only mainstay from the Cleveland clubhouse to be dealt was Orlando Cabrera.
"Our guys are fine," Acta said. "We're blessed we have a bunch of guys that are high-character, and a lot of them have been together for a while. The guys that are gone haven't been together that long. Our core group has been here for a while, and they handled everything pretty good. They're excited that we're making the club even better."