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The knives are out for Bob Geren

May 25, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Bob Geren

I don’t think anyone disagrees that Brian Fuentes was wrong to spout off about Bob Geren to the media the other night. Even Fuentes agrees, saying in his apology yesterday that he still believed everything he said about Geren’s lack of communication skills, but that he merely shouldn’t have shared it publicly like he did.

Sharing his distaste for Geren publicly today is former A’s pitcher Huston Street, who had many of the same complaints that Fuentes had. Only he, in a text sent to Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser, was a lot more expansive when it came to his feelings about his former manager:

“Bob was never good at communication, and I don’t want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left. For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27. I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager.”

The Chronicle’s John Shea goes on to remind us of a blowup Street had with Geren on a road trip in 2008 and how, on that same trip, Mike Sweeney went after Geren too due to what he felt was, again, a lack of communication and ultimately poor treatment. This being the same Mike Sweeney whose primary mode of expressing himself is via hugs.

There are a couple of players quoted who, while not giving Geren a ringing endorsement, don’t slam him either. But yeah, it does seem like one of those situations that is gonna snowball. There aren’t many “the manager is losing his team” stories that end well for that manager. And that’s true whether the manager is best buddies with the GM or not.

  1. largebill - May 25, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    While yes I agree from a team viewpoint nothing negative should go public, there has to be a reason it does for some managers and not for others. Almost always the complaint about a manager that players take public is the lack of communications bit. This goes back to manager hiring and evaluation. As fans and announcers, we like to rip managers for bunting (or not bunting enough), pulling the starter too soon (or too late), etc and other game decisions. However, a manager is not going to win or lose more than a game or two a year because of important in game decisions. Much more important to team success is the manager’s ability to communicate clearly and create an atmosphere of trust. I’ve had complaints about player usage by guys like Gardenhire, Scoscia, etc, but you don’t hear many players ripping them for lack of communication or dishonesty. A GM considering a potential managerial hire should be as much or more concerned with ensuring he is hiring a great communicator than hiring a baseball genius. Anybody in the game long enough to rate an interview for a Major League manager job knows the game well enough to snow a suit during an interview. Harder to evaluate is his ability to communicate. Charlie Manuel is a great example. Ivy League grad Shapiro didn’t think Manuel was great shakes as a manager because he couldn’t understand him. Thing is the players have no problem understanding Charlie and they know he is straight no BS.

    Having said all that, Geron is gone. Only question is when.

    • paperlions - May 25, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      Yep, in any managerial/administrative position, the most important leadership quality one can have is effective communication with those that work for/with you. When people know what to expect and why things are being done, they feel more like part of the team and have greater understanding about the larger goals….keeping people in the dark can only engender distrust and frustration.

      • Old Gator - May 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Bring back fear! In the old days, the manager kept the common herd in order. When he called you into his office, you knew God was in His heaven, and all was right with the world. The punishment for taking clubhouse matters public was to be broken on the wheel.
        First, the fibula, crack. Then the tibia, patella and femur, crack, crack, crack!
        Then the corpus, ulna and radius….crack!

  2. APBA Guy - May 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Well, I can say that AN is getting strident in their calls for Geren’s cabeza, (OG how are getting italics into your comments?) and are even beginning a whispering campaign about the great and powerful Beane. The sense is that Geren has indeed lost the clubhouse, and that rumors of an impending Crisp trade (“He can too bat lead-off. Ignore that he has a .301 OBP, down 30 points from his career .331. You need CoCo Crisp.”) mean that once again, the Wolfe/Fisher/Beane cabal are throwing in the towel in May. This endless loop horror show has been too much for even the hard core fans. Right now the Chron is just reporting the unrest, but once they turn it will be all over. And as the fans begin to digest that Fuentes is the highest paid pitcher on the payroll, and if Joey Devine can keep his early form up, Fuentes may disappear too, but that money won’t be reinvested this year, you’re going to see more unrest.

    Then ultimately will come the announcement :”Regrettably, we have been unable to make the franchise viable in the Oakland market. Therefore, we have no choice but to relocate to —- where we hope to succeed under our new manager….”

    And very few will care.

    • Old Gator - May 25, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      How the hell do you lose a clubhouse? Does it get behind the dirty socks? Do you vapor lock and forget where you put it? Is it like forgetting where you parked your car? I mean, a clubhouse is kinda big, innit?

      Oh, the italics: basic html coding. place a set of opposed with the appropriate symobols in between them on either side of the word you want to embolden or italicize: i for italic, followed by /i at the end of the word; use b for boldface.

      • Old Gator - May 25, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        Sheesh, you can’t even put them together – try again: a set of opposed

      • Old Gator - May 25, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        Forget it, you can’t even use one by itself – it’s the laterally canted V-shaped bracket above the comma and period. Pointed to your left first, then i, then pointed right. Repeat the brackets after the word you want to italicize with /i between them. Try it.

  3. burtkauf - May 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Soneone’s gotta say something sometime or Geren’s ineptitute will get worse and worse , as it has been. This team, with the top pitching staff in AL should be well over .500 Don’t blame Crisp. The solution is not to keep trading the team’s best players. Get rid of Geren and Crisp’s average and production will go up 30 points, as will all the other players. It’s all about motivation, confidence and strategy, of which Geren shows little or none and Little has left the building. Thank you Fuentes. Geren will be gone by season’s end when his contract runs out, firend or not of Billy beane. Four years in a row of non-winning teams is more tha enough. Geren puts no preparation into games, aside from not communicating, an extreme contrast to Giant’s Bochy (and I hate the Giants), who picks up all these one-run wins with good strategy, knowing player match-ups, walking and running in the right situations…
    Poor A’s fans. Billy Beane is the biggest one to blame. hiring inept managers like Macha, Howe and Geren (At least Macha and Howe and consistently winning records – Geren is the only manager who has had losing seasons under Beane’s reighn….
    More at

  4. gogigantos - May 26, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    what should have been one of the great days of my life,,
    a public transportation playoff double header, became a nightmare,,,,
    watching the Giants beaten by Jay Payton from the bleachers at the best yard in ball in a game won by J.T. Snow with a monster shot,,, a ride on bart to my best available seat bought the week before at the ticket window,, have always loved that getting good seats in season or post season in Oaktown has been so simple,, behind the effin Yankee dugouot,, who the night before looked totally beat,, only to see T effin Long lose one in the odd sun and the Yankees win game 5 against a completely ineffective Heredia,,, those A’s had those Yankees looking beat, tired and old the night before, and each time I saw them the next day, witnessed this behavior several times, those effing Yanks looked like not a thing was wrong,, never saw them look like their back was against the wall the next day, the night before they looked beaten three times over, the next day was all new,, hate and respect for those teams,, today is a different deal, a bit less classy,, eff those guys back then
    on another thread someone mentions no sympathy for the A’s cuz they were close not so long ago,, seems like ages to the locals, so much has changed that, except for the disaster that Mt. Davis made of the Coliseum, it seems another century, oh, maybe it was,, the feeling has changed from expecting to getting it done, have fun, and competing to, yes, competing, but knowing somehow that it won’t happen,, Mr Wolff, Mr Selig, and the Oaktown government all seem to conspire against the fan and continue to fail to provide a decent yard to play and watch and enjoy quality baseball, eff, fail to provide a plausible vision of what the future may be except none future,, I bleed orange and black from ages growing up at the ‘Stick, but have always loved enjoying the AL in Oaktown and am very very fond of the guys in green, my pain for the situation pales to those I know who love and care,, proud fans and what was a proud franchise seems pale these days, competing they are, such as it is. In a better venue, they might find better love. With stronger leadership from Mr. Selig and Wolff, they would find love right where they are as bad as the yard is. Mr. Beane can’t get a grade free agent to sign cuz the yard is sh** and the fan feels like nobody cares about him,,, honest, why would a quality veteran want to play there, nobody much cares til they find a solution to where to play. If it is to be under Mt Davis for the near or long term, say so and get on with it, if not, well,, say so and get on with it Mr. Selig,,
    Mr. Selig,,, sure much done to make the game more profitable for some, and fun for a few more, will be remembered in this fans heart for a cancelled World Series, the whole mess in LA, his buddy with the Mets, Mr. Loria and all his gifts in Florida and the disaster that has become the A’s love and attendance and ballpark,, Mt. Davis becomes an ode to Selig for me.
    Much love to those who still care, love, support and even attend to cheer and witness the quality ball played in Oaktown.
    Geren, guy has got to go, agree that for a long while they have needed a stronger personality in the dugout. I nominate Godzilla as player manager, been a while since we had one of those,, would be cool, communication might be an issue with the language and all, but really think it would be fine,, thinking more on it, and love it. Suzuki can be his bench coach and wear the shin guards,, love it,,
    I agree, trading Coco is addition by subtraction and I hope isn’t throwing in the towel. There seems to be more pitching in the pipeline and that is good good good. Not strong for sure, but not most weak in the AL West,,, go A’s
    getting windy and a bit teary,, maybe need an editor
    sorry about all this, but damn,, those A’s need some love ball fans.

  5. burtkauf - Jun 8, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    It’s pretty simple. For those who believe the manager doesn’t make that much difference
    in a teams record, let’s look at this year’s A’s and Giants records and results.

    The A’s team pitching was actually better than the Giants thru last week, with a significantly
    lower ERA. Hitting-wise both teams have nearly identical batting averages a t .240.
    The A’s have actually scored more 4 runs the Giants thru June 6.

    So, why the huge difference in win-lost record? I rack my brain but I can’t come
    up with anything other than the manager and his strategy. I see Giant’s Bochy
    bringing making excellent matchups between hitters and pitchers, stealing bases,
    bunting and using his whole bench; the Giants, as much as I hate to admit it,
    are winning a lot of one-run games. With the A’s its just the opposite.
    I really think the A’s could do as well or better without a manager than what
    they’re doing now.

    A lot of people say the A’s don’t have the players. Again, compare with the Giants
    and previous years. One thing nice I’ll say for Billy Beane is that he has made
    some nice trades (bad ones too). Problem is that when the players get here
    they aren’t used correctly. The A’s do poorly, the players lose confidence, etc
    Hidacki(sp) had a good year last year with the Angels; there’s a reason his
    batting average is 50 points lower this year, beyond just being one year older
    and playing in a pitcher’s park. The A’s have gotten the power hitters, like
    Matt Holiday, only to see them leave in a year and have a much better season
    later. Wach Hicacki to the same. Barton’s a good player and with a little better
    coaching and hitting help – AND THE TEAM DOING WELL – we’d see him hitting at
    least 30- poings better. It’s not a coincidence that almost all the A’s are

    With Geren, I could overlook the lack of communication if he were a good strategic
    manager but he’s far from it. Anyone who would walk an opposing batter with no outs
    and nobody on base as he did last year against Minnesota is grounds for firing
    on that single incident alone. (Morneau , of course, came into scorre after the intentional walk.)

    Deep down I really wonder if owner Wolf and Beane are just waiting out the time
    until they can move… getting the fans more and more frustrated so fewer
    will show and the league will let them or encourage them to move…

    Finally, this is the third manager in a row that has lost the confidence of the team.
    Howe , then Macha , now Geren. The difference is that Howe and Macha had winning
    records every year. Geren is the only one to not have all winning seasons – in fact

    Your thoughts?

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