Basketball diaries: Acta edition
With the Final Four upon us — you guys all had UConn vs. Butler like I did, right? — it seemed fair to ask Indians manager Manny Acta if he was following the NCAA tournament at all. Sitting in the home dugout, Acta shook his head.
“No, man,” Acta said.
But, is Acta a basketball fan?
“That was my passion before baseball,” he said. “But I haven’t followed it in a long time.”
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Acta loved basketball, especially the NBA. While everyone else was jumping on the Chicago Bulls’ bandwagon, though, he decided to pull for another team. His choice?
“Seattle,” Acta said. “It was easy to root for Michael Jordan and the Bulls. I liked Seattle.”
And his favorite player?
“Detlef Schrempf,” Acta said.
Acta said he was a shooting guard with a dream of one day playing in the NBA. That was until his dad pointed out how rare it was for a kid from the D.R. to make it as a basketball player. To date, there have only been five Dominican-born players to make it to basketball’s highest level.
“My dad said, ‘Now look how many Dominican players are in the Major Leagues,” Acta said.
So, Acta decided to hang up his sneakers and he dedicated himself to baseball. Things did not get off to a smooth start, though. When Acta went for his first tryout with a professional organization, he was not signed.
“I came home and walked right by my dad, bouncing a basketball,” Acta said.
Things worked out in the end.
Here are today’s lineups…
White Sox (2-0) at Indians (0-2)
at Progressive Field, 1:05 p.m. ET
Pitching: LHP John Danks (0-0)
1. Michael Brantley, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, 1B
5. Travis Hafner, DH
6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
7. Travis Buck, LF
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Lou Marson, C
Pitching: RHP Justin Masterson (0-0)