I applauded Billy Beane and the rest of the Athletics organization for cutting ties with manager Bob Geren earlier this season, and took an instant liking to their replacement, Bob Melvin.
The two managers share only the same first name, but Geren and Melvin definitely have different approaches to the game. Geren, according to several A’s players, was not very vocal, and leading up to the days before his firing, many cited Geren’s lack of communication as a reason behind the team’s early season troubles.
Reliever Brian Fuentes outed his coach’s (Geren) questionable and unorthodox managerial skills, and ex-Athletics closer Huston Street did not have a very positive opinion about Geren either.
The only real beef I have with the A’s is that they allowed a guy like Geren run their team for four-plus seasons, dating back to the start of the 2007 season. The A’s fired Ken Macha back in 2006 after getting swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS for a lack of communication, but let Geren hang around for a few years before getting the axe.
Oakland’s injury history played a leading role in the Athletics’ 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, but Geren’s managerial style remained questionable throughout his tenure as the team’s skipper. His mishandling of the bullpen, his frequent shuffling of the lineup, and other questionable calls really exposed his flaws as a manager.
His misuse of designated hitter Hideki Matsui this season is just one example of how he differs from A’s current manager, Bob Melvin.
Melvin has rolled with Matsui since day one, and since the beginning of the second-half, Matsui is hitting .340/.348/.500 with five home runs and 30 RBIs.
Geren usually put Matsui on the bench when the team faced left-handed pitching, but guess what? Eight of Matsui’s 11 home runs this season have come off left-handers, suggesting that Geren had no idea what he was doing.
The A’s are still not playing all that well this year, but at least under Melvin the A’s are showing some signs of life. Under Geren, however, the team looked half-dead. I like the new energy from Melvin’s squad, and I think many of the current players like playing for the guy. The A’s made a great decision to finally fire Geren, but let’s hope they make another great decision in bringing Melvin back after this season.
What do you think? Does Bob Melvin deserve to come back after this season?