CLEVELAND -- The Indians are no longer fighting for a place in the postseason, but that does not mean the ballclub is going out without a fight. In fact, the Tribe's decision makers are monitoring the players' efforts closely down the stretch.
So far, Indians manager Manny Acta has no complaints.
"They've been pretty good," Acta said prior to Wednesday's game against the Twins. "Some of those guys are obviously a little fatigued, and [August] took a toll on them mentally, but it's been a good response this month."
For evidence, Acta was quick to point to the fact that the Indians forced the American League West-leading Rangers and the AL Central-contending Tigers to use their closers in a stretch of six consecutive games, beginning on Sept. 11.
The way Acta sees it, that shows the players are still giving a strong effort.
"If you make two top teams in the American League bring in their closer six games in a row, they're giving their best," Acta said. "Just because you're not winning as much as you want to win, that doesn't mean that you've quit."
The Indians went 5-24 in August, falling out of the playoff chase during that forgettable stretch. For the season's final month, Acta said he made it clear to the players what the organization wanted to witness.
"Its time to evaluate and see character," Acta said. "We've seen how people's character was tested throughout the whole ordeal of the second half. That's something that's being evaluated. Who can handle it? Who can't? Who's going to point fingers?
"Who's going to take responsibility? Who's going to move forward? Who's going to keep their head down for too long? Those are things we're evaluating."