BOB GEREN FIRED!!!
WHADDAYA MEAN, I'M OUTTA THERE?!??!
Finally! At long last, the worst manager of the Oakland Athletics in my lifetime has been terminated, sacked, stick a fork in him!!!
Let's go to the news room for more details.
What would it take for Billy Beane to fire Bob Geren?
Well, now we know.
It took last place. It took nine straight losses. It took players, past and former, complaining publicly. It took, according to Beane, a constant focus on the manager's job status.
The A's general manager fired his close friend Thursday morning, relieving Geren of his duties and replacing him with Bob Melvin. Melvin, the former Mariner and Diamondbacks manager who had just rejoined Arizona as a special assistant, will serve as the interim manager for the rest of this season, beginning with Thursday night's game in Chicago.
"This was an opportune time for a change," Beane said on a Thursday afternoon conference call.
Bill, any moment of the last two seasons would have been opportune. The word you're looking for is OVERDUE.
The move will stun some people who thought Beane would never fire Geren, who was the best man at his wedding. Others assumed that Beane would wait until the end of the season, if he fired Geren at all.
But the A's, who expected to contend behind a pitching staff that is one of baseball's best, have turned into a disaster that has only gotten worse. By last week, there were rumblings in the organization that Beane could be ready to make a change.
Players questioned Geren's communication skills, and rival scouts and executives derided him as the worst manager in the game.
See? It wasn't just the fans...
"They'll never win as long as he's there," one scout with Oakland ties told me last month, after the firestorm that began when Brian Fuentes and Huston Street ripped Geren in print.
People close to the team said that Geren had lost the trust of his veteran players.
"He could have said the house is on fire, and guys would have stayed, because they wouldn't have believed him," one A's person said.
Thursday, former A's catcher Rob Bowen ripped Geren on Twitter, writing: "Finally the A's have realized Geren has destroyed a dozen pitcher's careers and doesn't have a clue how to manage a big league club."
Yeah, remember what he did to Gio Gonzales in that relief stint last year? It's a wonder Gio hasn't had his arm fall off.
Geren was 334-376 in five-plus years with the A's, and never had a winning season. The A's had been to the playoffs five times in the seven years before he took over.
(players) complained about his inconsistent lineups that kept anyone from getting going.
Those complaints helped fuel the questions about what it would take for Beane to fire Geren, and the GM said that speculation led to his decision. He refused to say whether he had talked to A's players about Geren, but it's hard to believe he hadn't.
The 49-year-old Melvin has local ties, having grown up in the Bay Area and playing one year at the University of California. He played 10 years in the big leagues, and he managed the Mariners for two years and the Diamondbacks for a little more than four years. He took Arizona to the National League Championship Series in 2007, but was fired two years later.
Any of the professional criticism of Geren in the above CBSSports article has only been an echo of what the fans have been saying for two years. I can only hope that Melvin will be able to make progress repairing the damage that having one's best friend work for you has done to this franchise.
Thankfully, there is some hope for the unemployed Mr. Geren. Here are some examples: