Entering the 2011 season, the Oakland A’s were figured to be one of the better teams in the American League West. Hope surrounded the young A’s team that had a strong starting rotation capable of keeping the team competitive during the season, but injuries and a general feeling of frustration have the A’s nine-games under .500 in June.
The team has come completely off the rails since March, as the team has dealt with various injuries to starting pitchers Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Tyson Ross, Brandon McCarthy, and Rich Harden.
No amount of depth could’ve prepared the A’s for the type of turmoil they’re currently in this year.
So, after losing nine straight games and falling to a season-low nine games under .500, the A’s front office finally relieved skipper Bob Geren of his duties on Thursday. Filling in for the remainder of the season will be former major league manager Bob Melvin.
Geren, a good friend of Beane’s, ultimately became a distraction according to Beane, and the team’s focus just wasn’t there. Too much attention was being paid to the speculations and rumors about Geren’s job security.
After leading the team to an 81-81 record and a second place finish in the AL West last year, Geren had trouble guiding this year’s Athletics. Players like veteran reliever Brian Fuentes and ex-A’s closer Huston Street came out and questioned Geren’s managerial skills. Ultimately, both players complained about the skipper’s lack of communication.
The A’s offense was also stalling under Geren this season as well. While showing a lack of communication with some of his players, Geren also showed a lack of judgement when coming up with different lineups this season. His decision to have struggling 1B Daric Barton hit in the No.2 spot night after night also demonstrated Geren’s poor managerial skills. His frequent lineup shuffles weren’t very helpful, either, as the team scored just 223 runs under Geren this year.
Beane, who fired Geren’s predecessor, Ken Macha, for a lack of communication, justified Geren’s firing in an address to the media on Thursday, “Let’s face it – in this business, the best response you get from the field staff is obviously ultimately in the wins and losses column…” Beane’s decision to fire Geren was a step in the right direction, as the focus of the organization started to drift off of the players and more on to the situation surrounding Geren’s job security.
The A’s will begin a new chapter mid-way through a season that is shaping up to be a forgettable one, and the A’s front office is hopeful that interim manager, Bob Melvin, will be able to help the A’s finish the season on a positive note. Injuries have derailed the team this year, and while the season is far from over, the A’s are remaining realistic about their chances at a major turnaround this year. Given the injuries they’ve sustained, the A’s should be happy with another .500 record.
In the end, it is all about business. The A’s handed Geren the reigns back in 2006, but as you can see, he didn’t take them very far…
Tags: A's A's Baseball A's Starting Rotation AL West Billy Beane Bob Geren Fired Bob Geren Firing Bob Melvin Brandon McCarthy Brett Anderson Dallas Braden Firing Gio Gonzalez Job Performance Oakland A's Oakland Athletics Rich Harden Sports Injuries Team Injuries Team Performance Trevor Cahill