Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oakland Athletics: Bob Geren Is Losing the Clubhouse, Needs to Be Fired

I won't run through all of the reasons that a manager should be fired; you know them all.

I won't run through all of the mistakes that Bob Geren has made over the course of his tenure with the Oakland Athletics; it would turn this into a novel rather than an article.

(I do feel compelled to express my frustration over the Trevor Cahill / Hideki Matsui / Conor Jackson switch Friday night, though. Yes it was a National League game and we needed offense, but COME ON. Okay, I feel better now that I got that off my chest, back to calling for Geren's firing.)

What I will explain, though, is that lack of communication is the "official" reason that Ken Macha was relieved of his duties as A's manager following the 2006 season; a season that saw Oakland in the American League Championship series.

If a manager can be let go after taking his team to within one round of the World Series, then why not when he has underachieved every season since 2007?

The A's now have a season-high six-game losing streak. They have fallen to four games under .500 and into last place in the American League West.

The A's have wasted stellar starting pitching performances all season. Yes, the offense is largely to blame for the majority of those losses.

Yes, the defense has cost Oakland a few winnable games. Yes, the bullpen has blown a few wins.

YES, all of these scenarios are the responsibility of the manager!

Following tonight's loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (that is such a ridiculous name to have to type by the way), closer Brian Fuentes vented about Bob Geren's managing.

MLB.com's Jane Lee posted Fuentes' interaction with reporters following the game in her blog.

According to Lee, when asked how Geren has handled him as a reliever, Fuentes replied, "pretty poorly."

Asked how much communication he has with Geren, Fuentes stated "zero."

Asked to elaborate, and his response was, "There’s just no communication."

Fuentes then went on to call Geren's managing style "unorthodox" and said that tonight was "pretty unbelievable."

When Macha was fired, there were no players hanging him out to dry until after he was fired.

Fuentes is the first to come after Geren publicly, but likely not the only player with issues regarding his managing.

Bleacher Report's Jared Feldman called for a total house cleaning. While I don't share the opinion that the entire lineup needs to be dumped, I do agree that severe changes need to be made if this season is to be turned around.

The first, and most important, move needs to be to change the leadership in the dugout. Bob Geren does not deserve the opportunity to try to turn the season around.

If he hasn't yet lost the clubhouse, all signs indicate that he will very soon. The A's under Geren are not capable of coming back from a larger fall in the standings.

They simply can not afford to wait things out and give Geren any further time, not without sending the message to their players and the fans that the front office has waved the white flag on 2011 and is already looking to 2012.

I can only imagine what Ken Macha must be thinking about the decision to fire him in favor of Bob Geren as manager.


Brandon McClintock covers the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball for BleacherReport.com. You can follow me on Twitter:    @BMcClintock_BR.

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