Acta, Indians take to links to support charities

Acta, Indians take to links to support charities

Indians manager Manny Acta typically posts a "Song of the Day" on Twitter. When asked Thursday for his daily tune, he broke out into a musical number.

"Come on Irene," Acta shouted, waving his hands while singing to the tune of "Come on Eileen," a 1982 song by the British pop group Dexys Midnight Runners.

Acta was referring to one of his golfing partners for the day, Irene -- one of six players in Acta's group and about 300 total at the 19th annual Cleveland Indians Celebrity Golf Classic at Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord, Ohio.

Each golf fivesome was paired with a local celebrity. A number of former and current players participated, including Kenny Lofton, Len Barker, Andre Thornton and Chad Ogea. Carlos Baerga watched on from a distance.

"I don't golf," said Baerga, who starred at second base for the Indians from 1990-96. "I just come to say 'hi' to everyone. I just don't like to be a golfer. I like to have fun with the people."

After a grueling week capped by being no-hit by Angels starter Ervin Santana on Wednesday, Acta encouraged his players to take part in the golf outing. Outfielder Michael Brantley, pitcher Josh Tomlin and catcher Lou Marson did just that.

"For the players, to give up a precious off-day really says a lot, because there's guys that we know need to rest their bodies," said Bob DiBiasio, Indians senior vice president of public affairs. "Plus, we have two months of crazy baseball ahead of us that's going to be a lot of fun."

Marson hasn't played much golf recently. He wasn't thrilled with how he performed.

"Terrible. I don't play enough. I need to," Marson said. "Being from Arizona, I should play a lot more."

The outing has been the top fundraiser for Cleveland Indians Charities, a foundation that enhances recreational opportunities for youth in Northeast Ohio. This year's event raised more than $150,000, according to Curtis Danburg, Indians senior director of communications.

"We have thousands of youngsters who count on us to provide educational and recreational opportunities they otherwise would not have," DiBiasio said. "I think it's fun for all the companies that come out here and get to see the 50 celebrities that have chosen to spend their day with us. Everybody's out of their office with smiles on their faces, having fun for a good cause."

Acta enjoyed breaking up the team's nine-game, 10-day homestand with a day on the links.

"You meet a lot of great people and it's for a good cause," Acta said. "I love being out here."

Still, the Tribe skipper wasn't ready to give up his day job.

"My game is not as good as I want it to be," he said, "but as long as I can contribute with two or three shots for the 18 holes, I'm fine."