CHICAGO -- Manny Acta's managerial tenure with the Tribe might have begun in October, but it had its ceremonial start on Opening Day against the White Sox. While Acta appreciated the significance of his first official game with the Indians, he said he appreciates every day that he has this opportunity. "I'm thankful," he said. "I'm lucky to have a chance to win or lose in a Major League game. I could be winning or losing in an independent league."
Then he summoned his inner Seinfeld. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added, careful not to offend anyone in independent leagues. Acta, who was dismissed by the Nationals last summer only to land the Tribe job a few months later, wouldn't find anything wrong with his Indians getting off to a strong start this season. He preached the importance of such a start to his players early in spring camp, and he knows it would help fans get excited about a team that lost 97 games last year. "We have a passionate fan base that's been turned off the last few years," Acta said. "It's important to win some games so they don't go, 'Here we go again.'"