SEATTLE -- Indians manager Manny Acta is not only trying to direct his team back to the win column, he is also trying to offer direction for the stretch run of a season that has seemingly slipped away from the reeling ballclub.
Part of Acta's task right now is to find a way to keep his players motivated.
"It's challenging to keep them motivated even when you're going good," Acta said on Wednesday. "It's a big amount of people. This is not a basketball roster. It is a challenge, but in this type of situation, yeah, it is harder, especially because you don't have that many veterans on the team.
"The coaching staff and myself, we have to be very hands-on with every single one of these guys, just making sure that they stay upbeat and they don't allow this to crush them and get them down."
Entering Wednesday's game against the Mariners, Cleveland had lost seven in a row and was 1-7 on its current trip through Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle. Dating back to July 27, the Indians were a Major League-worst 4-20 with the highest team ERA (6.39) in baseball over that span.
In those 24 games, Cleveland has tumbled from 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central to 2 1/2 games from the worst record in the league.
"It's hard," Acta said. "But I'm leading these guys, so whatever I [feel], I just don't do it in front of them. I show up every day with the same face and I prepare myself the best way possible to try to continue to put them in position to win a ballgame.
"Is it hard? Yeah. Am I sleeping like in any normal period? No. It's hard. That's the way to put it. I'm just not going to be crying in front of you guys. I don't think that's the right thing to do."
Acta said he is not spending any time worrying about his job security.
"As cliche as it might sound," Acta said, "I'm going to tell you the same thing over and over again. All I can control is preparing myself for every day and do the best I can. I'm doing the best I can."