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The Athletics fire Bob Geren, hire Bob Melvin

Jun 9, 2011, 12:22 PM EDT

Bob Geren

Wow: ten minutes after I do an extended “Logan’s Run” riff on Bob Geren, speculating that he’ll be gone come this September when he turns 50, the A’s go and fire him.  Geren is out: Bob Melvin takes over.

The A’s have lost nine in a row and absolutely nothing has gone right for them. They depended on the offense improving and it hasn’t. They depended on the pitching carrying them like last year and there have been injuries preventing that.  And the whole reason for hiring a guy like Geren in the first place — even keel, do the front office’s bidding, etc. — was called into question a few weeks ago when Geren got into a public dispute with reliever Brian Fuentes.  If a middle manager can’t keep the peace, what’s the point of having a middle manager?  Given his famous friendship with Billy Beane, one wonders if he simply lost the A’s clubhouse entirely.

Replacing Geren is Bob Melvin, who compiled a 337-340 record in four-plus seasons with the Diamondbacks.  The same Melvin who, just a couple of weeks ago, was re-hired by the Diamondbacks as a “special baseball advisor.” He probably hasn’t even finished his Dbacks new employee orientation yet, but now he’s the boss of the A’s.

Tough break, Bob. Congratulations on the new job, other Bob.

UPDATE: Here’s the Athletics’ full press release on the firing. It’s mostly just biography on Geren and Melvin. Presumably there will be a press conference later when someone can lie and say that Geren was not fired due to a full-on team revolt as many who have covered the A’s before are suggesting on Twitter this afternoon.

 

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    So, Billy Beane gave the struggling A’s a “melvin”. Hopefully, this wedgie will propel them to some winning.

  2. hep3 - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Geren is fired for having a disagreement with a lefty that can’t get lefties or righties out and is over paid, no matter what he was making?

    Doesn’t sound like a moneyball move to me.

    • baseballstars - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      Moneyball was always a bit overrated and inflated due to the steroids era. Flame on.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        Right right we get it. Billy Beane hasn’t won a World Series so it’s obvious whatever he’s been doing doesn’t work.

        How original.

  3. RickyB - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Talk about awkward. The Athletics drafted Geren’s son on Wednesday, then turn around and fire Geren on Thursday.

  4. ricofoy - Jun 9, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Good luck Bob Melvin! A class act all the way!

  5. SmackSaw - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    The A’s stink. Bob Melvin won’t change that.

  6. APBA Guy - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    This is stunning. I wanted to check the AN website to get a “sense of community” before I commented, but it was swamped. Jubilation, no doubt.

    Not that much will change. The Great and Powerful Beane will no doubt find a home for Geren somewhere, after all, he was Beane’s best man and the A’s just drafted Geren junior in the courtesy round. Geren did do the front-office’s bidding for over four years at the Mausoleum. And therein lies the problem.

    Watching the O’s play to an average of 13,000 people against the A’s, the parallels between the two organizations are clear, at least in terms of their on-field product. Both are mediocre at best, this year, and both have recent histories of disappointing results following years of being regarded as a premium franchise (in terms of results, the A’s have 4 WS titles since locating to Oakland).

    The difference now is hope. The O’s have the financial wherewithal to compete for players, have a quality stadium, a quality manager, and at long last, a franchise direction towards competitiveness. The A’s have none of these things. And from a strategic point of view, it can be argued that the Beane trades of Nelson Cruz, Andre Ethier, Carlos Gonzalez, and Dan Haren are a net reduction of the team’s effectiveness compared to the impact of Mr. Anderson, Gio, and the White Rabbit because at this time offense is much more rare than pitching, and defense is cheaply obtainable.

    Additionally, the passive approach adopted by the A’s throughout their farm system translates to moribund ML effectiveness, witness Suzuki, Pennington, Barton, all of whom are defensively outstanding but combined average .639 OPS.

    For an example of the opposite approach, many commenters mocked Dusty Baker when he ordered then-rookie Joey Votto to be more aggressive at the plate. Votto did so and became the MVP caliber player we now know, while still maintaining an OBP over .450.

    Granted the talent differential between Votto and the A’s farm hands, but the point is about the approach adopted by the A’s offensively compared to a more aggressive approach and the results obtainable from the latter.

    Even the A’s begrudgingly recognized that they need to become more aggressive, and last year and this offseason brought in several players to improve the offense. Unfortunately, unlike with SF last year, there were no Aubrey Huffs to be found.

    So no question that Geren had lost the clubhouse, much as Art Howe and Ken Macha before him had done. Is Bob Melvin the answer?

    No. Things might get a little better. But as long as the A’s pursue a corporate course of profit before performance, and adhere to a system-wide theory of offense that is proving unworkable, the Lew Wolff end game looks increasingly like relocation within 3-5 years.

    • Panda Claus - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      I’m surprised. First that the O’s got a manager fired (when probably saving his job by being swept in Oakland 10 days prior). Secondly, they’ve been competitive, but with no offense to support the decent pitching, losses happen.

      The comparisons you made between the A’s and Orioles are pretty accurate.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      In today’s AL East, there really is no hope for the O’s. Same for the Blue Jays too. The Rays are right now feeling the effects of going against the two monster payrolls of the Red Sox and Yankers. There should just be a 4th division added…the Red Yankers, that contains only those two teams because, except for a possible 2 to 3 year run every decade, either the Red Sox or Yankers will be the AL East champions moving forward. Financially, there’s no way this doesn’t happen.

  7. scatterbrian - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Awesome awesome awesome

  8. henryd3rd - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Nine game loosing streak will get anyone fired; no matter that he was the best man at the GM’s wedding. This just reminds me of that old adage, “never do business with friends or relatives”.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    I called him a couple of weeks back as the first coach fired in a conversation with co-workers. I have evil powers. Now, if only the Yankees would fire Kevin Long, I’ll be dead on!

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