In what has been a disappointing 2011 season, the Oakland A’s announced on Thursday that manager Bob Geren has been relieved of his duties. The recent downward spiral that has the team sitting in last place in the AL West, probably had a lot to do with the team’s decision to let Geren go.
Filling in for Geren will be ex-Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin. Melvin, who was serving as a special baseball advisor for the Diamondbacks. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Melvin will officially take the reigns tonight in Chicago when the A’s begin their series against the White Sox. Melvin owns a 493-508 career mark as a major league skipper. He’s spent time with the Seattle Mariners, and Diamondbacks.
The A’s needed a change, and firing Geren was probably a step in the right direction. In his four-plus seasons as the A’s skipper, Geren compiled a .470 winning percentage and failed to put together a winning season. Injuries have hit the A’s hard this season, which is one reason for the team’s current 9-game skid, but Geren’s questionable managerial skills have taken a lot of the blame as well. Earlier this month, A’s co-owner Lew Wolff hailed Geren as “fantastic,” but with this recent firing seems to contradict all of the praises made for Geren by Oakland’s front office.
Geren’s clubhouse has been filled with frustration for the last month or so, as players like Brian Fuentes and ex-A’s closer Huston Street have come out and questioned Bob Geren’s managerial style. There have been complaints about a lack of communication on Geren’s part, and as a major league manager, communication with your players is everything. But it looks like the A’s are finally ready to move on, and that’s important.
Let’s hope that this Bob (Melvin) is better than the last…