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Who would have thought that the Cleveland Indians would be the best team in the majors at the end of April?
Manny Acta has turned around the Indians in just his second season with the club. After trading away superstars the past few years in C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez, the Indians had really struggled to get wins.
Acta has found success from the spoils of those trades and has developed young players well into integral pieces on his team. Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley have matured this year into everyday players and are really making the Sabathia trade look great. Justin Masterson, who was acquired from the Red Sox, has been lights out and is sinking the ball like he used to in relief for the Sox. Carlos Santana, who was in the Casey Blake deal with the Dodgers, has emerged as one of the best young catchers in the game.
Those players, mixed with veteran stars like Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera, have turned around the fortune of a lowly team. All of this could not be made possible without the leadership of Manny Acta.
His prowess was shown in their early series sweep of the Boston Red Sox, where Acta made the perfect pulls to coax his bullpen to shut down the heavy hitters that Boston has racked up.
Acta has made the Indians relevant again in the AL Central and they should be in the mix deep into the season thanks to his great tutelage.
Runner-Up: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels