KANSAS CITY, Mo.: The fact that the Indians have lost six of eight against teams trying to stay out of the cellar prompted manager Manny Acta to call a team meeting this afternoon.
""I have the right to tell them that we're not happy with the way they're playing,'' he said. ""I know we're not a better club with the guys we lost (Grady Sizemore to injury, Jhonny Peralta, Austin Kearns, Kerry Wood, Jake Westbrook, Russell Branyan to trades), but we have to compete.''
Most of the Tribe roster is composed of novices or players who have been backups elsewhere. Job security is a scarce commodity on this team, and most players need to be cognizant that there's no guarantee they'll be with Cleveland or any major-league club next year.
""These guys have to take advantage of the opportunity they're getting now,'' Acta said. ""We're not going to be rebuilding forever. It's about making progress. For us, that's the challenge.''
Chris Gimenez is one of the young players fighting to establish a major-league career, and he thought the meeting was helpful.
""Things aren't going well right now, and they don't like it,'' he said. ""The fact that we're young is not an excuse. Everybody here knows how to play baseball. When you make a mistake, you have to learn from it. You can't keep making the same mistake over and over.''