Tag Archives: Bob Geren

Christmas Came Early, the A’s Fire Geren!

It’s no secret, MCeezy and I have been begging for Bob Geren to be fired for the better part of two years. Recently there’s been more of an internet buzz jumping on that bandwagon as he seems to make more and more questionable calls as the season went along. Finally this June 9th, the A’s made a move to get him out of town. It must have been hard for Billy Beane to fire his BFF Geren, but he finally sucked it up and made the much needed change. To say the team didn’t seem like they liked playing for Geren is the understatement of the year. Hell, I could barely figure out why he was making a lot of the moves he was, and I’m sure a professional player had just as hard a time making sense of his in game moves. Honestly it was like trying to figure out what happened to Lebron in Game 4.

Geren for the most part was a puppet for the front office like most of the A’s managers over the last decade plus. All his job really was supposed to be is relaying the messages from the front office to the players, and he couldn’t even handle that. When Fuentes said he never talked to Geren about his role in the bullpen, and former A’s player Huston Street said he was the worst baseball person he’s ever encountered, I think we all knew that he had completely lost this locker room. If that’s pretty much your only job, you should at least be talking to your players. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to credit the players for going on this current nine game losing streak playing as bad as possible in an effort to get Geren fired once and for all. They were in first a few short weeks ago, and now they are in dead last in the AL West 8 games out of first.

I don’t know a lot about our new interim manager Bob Melvin. He had a couple good years in Arizona going to the NLCS one year, but had a couple REALLY bad ones after. I’m glad they didn’t hire him on for good and are just trying him out for the rest of this year, so we aren’t stuck with him if he sucks too. He also had a stint with our AL West rival the Mariners, so he’s familiar with the division. I did read that Melvin grew up in the Bay Area near Palo Alto, and even played for the Cal Bears, so hopefully he has some A’s pride deep down. I hope they let him hire a new hitting coach, because that’s where we need the most improvement. Well, that and maybe a room full of hyper-barrack chambers to prevent all our guys from getting hurt like they have been.

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Mondanity

It’s actually far from mundane where the sports world is concerned, but the A’s got swept by the Giants and I’m not really able to see a lot of positives out there at the moment. The world is lousy right now as far as I’m concerned, but at least we’re all still here, right? Well, maybe minus 100+ of us out in Southwest Missouri. That storm was nasty, and while I constantly question why anyone would settle in Tornado Alley, I don’t think anyone could have seen one of that caliber coming. Oh, and we also lost a legend in the Macho Man Randy Savage. Dude took intensity to a whole nother level and probably should be credited as one of the primary founders of the concept of swagger. Turning my attention back to sports, here’s what captivated my interest now that the weekend is over….

FIRE BOB GEREN – I told Chappy the other day that we need to bring back the “Fire Bob Geren” movement. That was before they got swept in San Francisco, and have now lost 5 in a row to drop to 22-25 on the season. People who aren’t fans of the A’s – which apparently is all but 10,000 people in this world – will say Geren doesn’t exactly have a lot of talent to work with. The reality is he has the best pitching staff in all of baseball. Even with injuries to Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, and Tyson Ross, as long as Cahill, Anderson, and Gonzalez are still standing, they’re alright. Admittedly the offense is terrible, but they went out and got Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui, and David Dejesus. None of them are all-stars, but each has proved himself as a big league hitter, which is something I can’t say for guys like Daric Barton or Cliff Pennington. This is Geren’s 5th season as Manager, which is practically an eternity in this day and age. The problem is he’s Billy Beane’s best friend, so you can’t count on him firing his best friend. Now, if he were Lamar Odom it’d be another story! (And if you get that reference you should be ashamed of yourself)

If you care to hear more about the Fire Bob Geren Movement, head over to AthleticsNation, where someone apparently felt the same way I did waking up this Monday morning. Only this person must not have a job to go to, because this is the longest blog post I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, Geren’s managerial shortcomings can provoke one to express a lot of frustration, so I completely get it.

Joakim Noah Called Someone a Fag – Man, why is this such a huge story today? Maybe I tuned in at the wrong time, but this entire Thunder – Mavericks 2nd quarter broadcast has been all about Noah’s “homophobic slur.” Now don’t anybody comment on why it IS such a big deal, because I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been fined and publicly reprimanded. What’s frustrating for me, and everyone else out here in California, is it has been acceptable to be gay for like 20 years now. I’m tired of seeing the rest of the country showing up all late to the party trying to overcompensate. Add to that this ridiculous commercial with Grant Hill and Jared Dudley telling us that it’s rude to call things gay. Please, Jared Dudley grew up in San Diego. I’ll bet my life he’s called plenty of things gay in his day. I guess these commercials are breaking news to a large population of the U.S., but what’s next, Shane Battier and Blake Griffin telling kids it’s okay to be of mixed descent? Get with the times. (I just saw on the ESPN ticker that the Phoenix Suns President announced he’s gay. That happened like two weeks ago. It’s a big move for him, but we should have moved on by now.)

Ray Lewis NEEDS to Remain in the Public Eye if the NFL Has a Lockout – If you saw Sal Palantonio’s interview with the Ravens’ linebacker you know what I’m talking about. I like Ray Lewis on the field a lot, but I MAY just like him even more in a different capacity, like, say a reality show. He might even have a career as a pro wrestler. Shoot, just as long as he keeps doing interviews I’ll be interested. Just watching the man talk…. it reminds me of nights in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. You know that old probably homeless, possibly a crackhead grandpa that tries to talk to you and you just keep walking? Well I have a tendency to engage that guy in a conversation. I may not always take away something constructive from it, but grandpas always seem to have a way of making it seem like what they’re telling you is the most earth-shattering stuff you’ve ever heard, even though you have no idea what in the world they’re talking about. That’s the same feeling I get when I watch Ray Lewis talk. I just want to see more. (If there’s a fantasy football season, I’m naming my team “Evil, Which We Call Crime”)

Asdrubal Cabrera is the MVP of the American League – Sure, Jose Bautista has better numbers (he just hit his 19th HR of the year tonight), but how is HIS team doing? I’m the last guy you need to notify that the Cleveland Indians have the best record in baseball, seeing how I made them my preseason pick to win the AL pennant. I can’t say I saw Cabrera being this good though. If I did, I would have drafted him instead of Omar Infante in the 22nd ROUND of our fantasy league’s draft. True, yesterday’s 5-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI performance may just be fresh on my mind, but thanks to a little ESPN2 exposure tonight, I’ve just watched this kid go 3-4 with another home run, plus a key go-ahead RBI double in the 8th inning. If the Indians do end up making it to the World Series like I’m predicting, it will because Asdrubal Cabrera got them there.

Warriors Hired Jerry West – This is exciting for obvious reasons, but I’m not sure what effect it will actually have on the team on the floor. It doesn’t seem like anything will really get the Warriors over the hump anytime soon, but you wouldn’t just bring on Jerry West if you didn’t have a good reason would you? Well, maybe. Like Matt Steinmetz points out, it will, at the very least, give the Warriors  a little more credibility. If I were a free agent, I’d probably let Larry Riley go to voicemail. But if Jerry West were calling…. You see where I’m going with this. We’ll see what the results end up being, but this is the biggest hire since the Chris Mullin / Don Nelson regime was brought back, and THAT got us that one memorable playoff appearance, so there’s reason for optimism. Just like comedian/actor Kevin Hart says, “You ain’t a Warrior if you don’t G.S.!”


Why Is Bob Geren Still Here?

That’s a rhetorical question. Bob Geren is still here because he’s Billy Beane’s BFF. I just really wish the A’s would try to find a good manager instead of apathetically letting the GM’s buddy run the show. Today, the Oakland Athletics exercised the option on Bob Geren’s contract for 2011, meaning he’ll be back for another year at the helm. It’ll be his 5th year as manager and he has yet to top 76 wins. Granted, he’ll most likely top that this year, but the guy hasn’t even managed a .500 season in his tenure. He has a career record of 302-334. What club actively brings back a manager after four consecutive losing seasons? It’s not like they’re a struggling franchise like the Royals where a 70 win season could be considered a success. This is a team that had EIGHT STRAIGHT WINNING SEASONS, capped by an ALCS berth. Then the Geren era began, and it’s been all losing ever since. Sometimes I feel like Lou Wolf and the A’s ownership are recreating the classic film, Major League – I probably allude to that every time I write about the A’s – except Lou Brown would probably do a better job.

I think it’s time for the A’s to do what the other Oakland teams did and bring back an old coach that had success. The Warriors brought back Don Nelson and before you knew it were back in the playoffs. The Raiders brought back Art Shell and they only gave up 332 points – their lowest in a season to date since the Super Bowl season in 2002. They went 2-14 but that’s neither here nor there. It’s time to bring back Art Howe. Maybe Ken Macha will be available after the Brewers finish the season. Shoot, Don Wakamatsu, former A’s bench coach, is available. Oh wait, we’re locked in on Geren for another sub-.500 year. I guess the A’s are just going to milk another revenue sharing season and let attendance dwindle even more so they can continue to build their case to leave Oakland. I’m fed up with this charade. The fanbase is there, but this ownership regime continues to alienate. I’m the biggest A’s fan I know, but it’s hard to support a group that simply can’t compete. Sure, there are some great young players, and the future is bright, yada yada yada. But Get Carter had a great cast and that doesn’t make it a good movie. Anyway, I’ll sit through one more year. It’s not like they signed Geren to an extension; they just exercised his option. That’s same thing as someone putting on Get Carter, so you sit through it, as opposed to going to the theater and buying a ticket. I’ll tell you this much though, if the A’s buy a ticket to Get Geren next year, I’m done. But by then they’ll probably have a deal in place to move somewhere so I won’t really care…..


The Curse of the Wash!

ron-washington

With the A’s clearly on their way to another losing season, I’ve tried to figure out what is wrong with them for awhile now, but nothing seems to make sense. This has been one of the least fun A’s teams to watch, especially since they are constructed to win now, as far back as I can remember. Their defense is horrendous kicking around 56 errors so far this season. This definitely isn’t helping the confidence of the plethora of under 24 year old pitchers they are throwing out there on a nightly basis. It got me wondering how we got to the point where we just keep tallying the loss column. This year I blamed it on the signing of players that are past their prime and “the trade” (Holliday) which hasn’t panned out so far. So now, I have to boil it down to where everything started going wrong. Aside from their last playoff run under Bob Geren, he hasn’t kept the team competitive. 00I watched the Macha era, and he is about as boring of an interview as you’ll hear, but it seemed like the team was having fun playing for him. Maybe they overachieved for some of those division title years, but they always looked like they were having fun and were battling every game. This year’s team doesn’t have that same feel, they have the feel of the Bonds era Giants clubhouse, and rarely give me the feeling that they will come back when they are faced with any adversity in a game. I’ll attribute their downfall on two areas that sunk them: the fun and loose clubhouse, and the loss Ron Washington 2006!

Ron Washington resided with the A’s from 1997-2006 as their 3rd base and infield coach. He was credited for transforming many players, including six time gold glover Eric Chavez, into the defensive players that you expect to make every play. 040328_ron_washington_vmed_3p.widecHe was well documented in Moneyball for the role he played in transforming Scott Hatteburg into a serviceable first baseman. He’s an old school type coach, that preaches his philosophies with many examples and details. Wash wasn’t just the infield coach to the players, he was a mentor and the soul of the team that kept them loose all the time. In years past I didn’t worry about defense, because I expected them to make every play, even the tough ones! Instead of getting hired as the head coach, which I lobbied for heavily, he was picked up by the Rangers, and we hired Bob Geren. bgerenWhen you lose a coach of Washington’s status from a leadership standpoint,  it doesn’t matter who you sign in the offseason, or what savvy decisions you made to get some young prospects if there’s nobody helpful coaching them.

His time with the Rangers started rocky, but he has changed the culture there, as they are now in a tie with the Angels for first and on a five game winning streak replacing the lackluster A’s squad in the perennial  divisional battle with the Angels. It was either the A’s or Angels who has won the division since 2002, but this year Texas looks to change that. The Rangers have never lacked talent, they just lacked a guy like Wash to make them realize that they could win! The Rangers look like a loose team having fun, and playing well every night. Sound familiar A’s fans? It should! We gave away the most constant thing we had over our run of six winning seasons making the playoffs most of those years.

When the season mercifully comes to a close, I hope the A’s first order of business is to find a new Manager. If it isn’t, then I hope it’s because they are finalizing our new stadium deal. Since that second scenario will never happen, I’m praying for the first. If it isn’t then this will not be the last you will hear about the The Curse of the Wash!