Slap Hitter: Fire Bob Geren


The Oakland A's are one helluva mess.

Losers of oodles in a row, getting pounded by scores of 10-2 with shocking regularity, they don't hit, they can't field, they aren't pitching. The roster is filled with has-been's, never-were's and never-will-be's. Our trades have all backfired, nobody's coming to the games and everyone who I didn't already mention is on the disabled list. For life. Time to fire the manager.

How is Bob Geren to blame? It isn't him dropping pop-ups, walking the bases full, pulling his hamstring, or failing to lay down a bunt. But you really can't fire all the players, and somebody's in charge. And it's well past time for him to go. Of the A's managers this decade, only Geren has had the ear of General Manager Billy Beane. Art Howe was largely ridiculed in Moneyball as a cats paw for the mad scientist. In the on-deck circle, Ken Macha (manager of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers) was shown the door after consecutive playoff appearances because, um, he wasn't that easy to talk to.

Let em all go, the batting coach, the fielding coach, the pitching coach, the guy who lays out the post-game spread. Bob Geren has managed the A's to two consecutive losing seasons, not two straight post-season experiences and was granted a third try. And he blows.

Why should Geren get the axe? Because things are getting worse, and his name is on the top of the list. (We can work our way down). When rookie Trevor Cahill won a starting pitcher's spot, that he wouldn't have won with any other team in the major leagues, and was allowed to leave the ballpark Sunday in Detroit after squandering a 6-0 lead in two innings, he shouldn't have just handed over the baseball to his skipper, but the uniform on his back. The message needs to be not: We'll get em next time, but rather If you can't hold a lead you can't be on the team any more Recognizing that Cahill is marginally more talented than guys in the minors, the young right-hander needs to get the reminder of a bus ride to Fresno that talent is the minimum requirement to be in the bigs. And the A's manager communicates patience and understanding when he should be pointed toward panic and kitchen sink throwing.

The A's are deeply flawed, if there's light at the end of the tunnel, we're too far back in the tunnel to see it. We're the worst team in the American League's worst division. Better managers have been ash-canned for far less. Time to do something the A's haven't done since 1986 and that is fire a manager mid-season. Back then the A's were 29-44. Geren would need a hot streak to reach that dismal record. Billy's boy has stood watch while the ship is sinking, let's hand him an anchor and start again.— Kibby Kleiman