The first manager of 2011 bit the dust on Thursday morning as the Oakland Athletics announced that Bob Geren had been relieved as his duties.
As Lookout Landing's Jeff Sullivan put it, "relieved" is probably the best way to describe how Geren must be feeling right now. The A's are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak and have fallen eight games behind the Texas Rangers in an AL West race they were still hanging around before the slump.
Geren, hired in 2007, leaves his first managerial job with a 334-376 record and no playoff appearances. He'll be replaced for the rest of the season by Bob Melvin, who was most recently with the Arizona Diamondbacks (and was also the first manager fired in 2009).
Because he's the first manager to be shown the door this season, Geren is also the first to receive the usual chorus of "it wasn't really all his fault." And it's true. The A's opening day pitching rotation has logged too much DL time and fielding a competent offense has only been a rumor at the Coliseum. Can we really make Geren the lone scapegoat when the A's organization failed to cultivate any homegrown bats during Geren's entire tenure? Melvin has a tough road ahead of him.