Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bob Geren First Manager Axed in 2011

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-Digger's Daily-

Bob Geren is out as manager of the Oakland Athletics. Oakland's current 9 game losing streak places them last in the American League West after trailing by a mere 1.5 games back on May 29. Geren's firing marks the first time in nearly 25 years Oakland replaced a manager mid-season.

Geren had his hands full juggling an oft injured roster over the past few years. Oakland expected to compete in 2011 after signing a few veteran bats to bolster team offense in support of a strong starting rotation. Veteran DH Hideki Matsui (.209) is hitting 80+ points below career averages... complete bust. Big things were expected from budding starters Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden but injuries ended their year. Throw in closer Andrew Bailey and 2011 quickly became a recipe for disaster. Infielders, outfielders and replacement pitchers all rotating through the disabled list revolving door.

Geren's departure was meant to inject a spark, wake up call, or whatever catch phrases associated with trying to snap a team out of a prolonged funk. As I type, the struggling White Sox are taking it to the A's 6-3 with 3 innings to go. Looks like a double digit streak is only a few outs away.

In recent years Oakland has been masterful getting the most out of low payroll players. Not an easy task in AL West play without a true power hitter. Pitching, defense and small ball used to lead the way. From 2000-2006 the A's played playoff caliber baseball winning 102 & 103 games in back to back years (2001-02). 91+ wins in 5 of 6 seasons. Under Geren, Oakland hasn't finished with a winning record in 4+ years. Time for a change.

Welcome Bob Melvin. He takes over to finish out the year and audition for 2012. Melvin skippered Arizona to the '07 NLCS and owns a 493-508 career managing record.

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