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Communication issues meant Bob Geren had to get the boot

Jun 9, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Anyone need a bench coach? Getty Images

It’s a given that Oakland GM Billy Beane didn’t want to let his close friend go: Bob Geren was the best man at his wedding.  Still, the change needed to come with Geren having lost the A’s clubhouse.

In replacing Geren, the A’s chose a lesser baseball man but a better manager of people in Bob Melvin.  Melvin often baffled with his lineup decisions in Seattle and he didn’t get a whole lot better in Arizona, but his players liked him and generally seemed to play hard for him.

Geren has had to deal with both current reliever Brian Fuentes and former reliever Huston Street bashing him in recent weeks.  Former A’s backup catcher Rob Bowen has also chimed in, showing a strong dislike for his ex-manager:

Finally the A’s have realized Geren has destroyed a dozen pitcher’s careers and doesn’t have a clue how to manage a big league club

As CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto puts it:

Geren struggled throughout his 4 1/2-year tenure as the Oakland manager to win  the respect of either his roster or the outside world. It wasn’t that he didn’t know baseball as much as he didn’t know how to convey it, and those who cannot communicate are doomed no matter how smart they might be.

Melvin really has his work cut out for him now.   The A’s are down three starters and their top rotation replacement in Tyson Ross.  The offense is next to last in the AL with 223 runs scored, and the fact that part-timers Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson have actually been the team’s second- and third-best hitters behind Josh Willingham will make deciding on a lineup a tricky assignment each and every day.

Given the hand that Geren was dealt, I doubt the A’s would have any better of a record through 63 games had Melvin been handed the reins at the start of the year.  Still, it was time for a change.  Melvin was far from an ideal choice, but given what was available and the team’s need for harmony in the clubhouse, he’s probably the right man for now.

  1. Old Gator - Jun 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    So the A’s just decided to stop driving on a hub since Geren was a tire that had long since been shredded by contact with multiple potholes and rutted roads, and Beane got sent down to the discount yard to find them another retread. How exciting.

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    I realize Beane’s philosophy doesnt include strong manager types but managers are a very important part of winning. I dont think you should hire a manager just because he can get along with players in the dugout. Maybe he should have looked for the ghost of Connie Mack.

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