June 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Manny Acta was surprised he didn't get an interview with Tigers

Former Indians manager Manny Acta said he was surprised he wasn't in the mix for the Tigers job this offseason. (John T. Greilick / Detroit News)

Detroit — When the Tigers went searching for a manager this offseason, they figured to at least give Manny Acta a phone call.

After all, he’d managed against them in the American League Central for three years — and with some success.

But Acta wasn’t on general manager Dave Dombrowski’s short list, and he admitted that surprised him.

“I thought because of being in the division for so long and playing well against the Tigers, probably was gonna give me at least an interview,” Acta told Detroit Sports 105.1 on Saturday, during “Hardcore Baseball” hosted by The News’ Tony Paul.

“But I understand. It’s part of the business. Everybody has their own people, they hired a good guy. I’ve gotten my opportunities, so it’s good that some other guys get their foot in the door.”

Acta, 45, now an analyst on ESPN, managed for parts of six seasons — three with the Nationals and three with the Indians.

Each team was in rebuilding mode during his tenure, but he still was 25-29 against the mighty Tigers while in Cleveland.

“I love the challenge of going on the field and being David and Goliath, as I was for 5.5 years,” Acta told 105.1. “I’ll wait patiently. I have a lot of time ahead of me to wait. I know that probably opportunity will come and knock on my door again.”

Acta was fired by the Indians after the 2012 season, and replaced by Terry Francona.

This offseason, the Tigers hired first-time manager Brad Ausmus, after also interviewing Lloyd McClendon, Rick Renteria and Tim Wallach. Dombrowski also had interest in Barry Larkin, but he declined the opportunity to interview.

Acta, on 105.1, also broke down issues with the Tigers this season. The entire interview can be heard here.