Indians executive vice president and general manager Chris Antonetti and Cleveland Indians Manny Acta spoke to fans and and answered questions as part of the Summer Sports Series at Landerhaven in Beachwood Thursday. Here's Acta and Antonetti's opinions on some of the questions that were rasied:
Acta on how the role of the American League DH has changed: "Some people don't want to hear our answers at times when it comes to that. It has evolved to a point where just about every team is trying to stay away from having a strict designated hitter type of guy, which is our situation with Travis (Hafner), who is one of our best hitters and very productive for us.
"Ideally, you want to have a guy you can rotate through it so he can play some first and maybe left field so you can get some guys off their feet on a weekly basis. Most of the teams are headed in that direction. Although if you can find a guy like Travis, there's always going to be a spot for him, a guy like him and in Boston. Ideally, you do want a guy who can play the field so you can keep everybody fresh."
Acta on where Hafner is in his rehab: "He's having his first session of batting practice tomorrow in New York. He'll hit batting practice for a few days. Once he's clear, we'll send him out for a rehab assignment."
Antonetti on instant replay: "As long as it doesn't impact the time of the game. From what we've seen the boundary calls, the home run calls, they've been able to get those calls right without too much delay, so Manny's not running out on the field and arguing for a half hour. They'll say, 'We're going to take a look at it' and they'll come back and get it right.' I'm for expanding it to a point, to the point where a decision can be made very clearly and quickly. Without interrupting the game, I'd be all for it."
Acta on instant replay: "I'm with Chris. You've got to have some limitation to it. I don't like taking the human element out of it. If you're going to replay everything, if you're going to make it like football and throw a flag out of the dugout every time, they might as well not have umpires. Just pull four guys out of the stands and say, 'C''mon, Joe, go to first, go to second, go to third'. Because whatever happens on the field we're going to replay it.' The home run thing has been good. It has a place in certain things, not in everything that happens on the field. I would not want to make it into a flag-throwing game."
Antonetti on Interleague play:"I think there are attributes to Interleague play that continue to be attractive. But the way it's currently set up, it probably needs some modifications. We've got a nine-game road trip with the National League this year, we play in a league with a designated hitter. It changes the composition of our team. Especially nine consecutive games in a row in a National League ballpark, it puts us at a potential competitive disadvantage. Overall I'd be in favor of keeping some form of Interleague play, but maybe a little differently."