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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SF Chronicle: Shea: A’s manager Bob Geren under spotlight now

The aftermath of the first victory in a week provided relief for manager Bob Geren amid public criticisms from his closer.

Ex-closer, that is. Geren demoted Brian Fuentes one day after Fuentes criticized Geren for his in-game managing and communication skills.
...
Fuentes had cited Geren’s “unorthodox managing” and said he was handled “pretty poorly,” thanks to “zero” communication.Former A’s reliever Huston Street took it a step further Tuesday by calling Geren the “least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports.”
...
On Tuesday, Street, now with the Rockies, offered his harshest public criticism of Geren in a text to Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser:

“Bob was never good at communication, and I don’t want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left. For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27. I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager.”

For Geren to be worse than Ken Macha in this regard is actually pretty impressive.

The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: May 25, 2011 at 06:39 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, rockies

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   1. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: May 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM (#3837153)
Geren is worse at everything than everybody.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM (#3837159)
One of the hazards associated with the creation of the 'closer' role is the inflated sense of self it creates.

Now, it is VERY possible that Geren is a putz. But one thing that has been a common event over the last decade is guys in the 'closer' role speaking out in loud terms when reassigned.
   3. Flynn Posted: May 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM (#3837167)
I mangled this message on another post, but my first reaction was that Fuentes was whining until I read the support for Fuentes on the Athletics Nation blog. Huston Street's also texted Susan Slusser (the A's beat writer for the SF Chron) saying Geren was his "least favorite person in sports".

So there is definitely some fire amongst all this smoke.
   4. Joey B. Posted: May 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM (#3837171)
Geren is worse at everything than everybody.

What does this say about the guy who hired him and continues keeping him on the job?
   5. Mudpout Posted: May 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM (#3837174)
Are ####### managers the new market inefficiency?
   6. Danny Posted: May 25, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3837236)
For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27.

Coincidentally, Geren is also the only person to ever demote Street from the closer role.
In September 2008, Street had to be separated from Geren by shortstop Bobby Crosby after getting pulled from a game in Detroit. Calling himself "selfish," Street later held a meeting to apologize to his teammates.
Here's the story at the time from Susan Slusser:
Street, angry at being asked to walked the Tigers' Gary Sheffield intentionally to load the bases and then being removed in favor of new closer Brad Ziegler, yelled at pitching coach Curt Young when he came out of the game. Then he had to be separated from Geren by shortstop Bobby Crosby.

"I do feel like what I did was wrong," Street said. "There's a difference between being competitive and selfish, and the way I acted was unprofessional. I've got to use it as a learning experience. It's the first time in my life I've lost my cool in that kind of environment, and there's no excuse. You're allowed to disagree, but what I did crossed the line, and I'm thankful I have the opportunity to work past it.

"The ultimate reward in this game is not money or fame but respect from your teammates, and I'd be lying if I thought that in that moment, I deserved their respect. I guess at certain points everyone wishes they could hit the rewind button and get a second chance."

Geren added, "I'm satisfied with his apology and the coaches are satisfied. Water under the bridge."

It's probably paranoid, but I feel like this article is an effort by a Giants fan (Shea) to stir up #### about the A's while their regular beat writer (Slusser) is off covering the Sharks (not icing!).
   7. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: May 25, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3837242)
One of the hazards associated with the creation of the 'closer' role is the inflated sense of self it creates.


This. A thousand times this.
   8. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: May 25, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3837251)
Fuentes has to be the all-time record-holder in losing the closer's job. BTF seemed to be very high on him when he signed with the Angels. I didn't get it, since from my perspective as someone who didn't follow the Rockies too closely, it seemed he had lost his job 2 or 3 times. So what is he up to now, 4 or 5? Impressive.

Also, I can't believe this is Geren's 5th season.
   9. Dat Yat Posted: May 25, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3837273)
It's probably paranoid, but I feel like this article is an effort by a Giants fan (Shea) to stir up #### about the A's while their regular beat writer (Slusser) is off covering the Sharks (not icing!).


Shea wrote the article, but Slusser contributed to the reporting. The text from Street was to her.
   10. Padgett Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3837276)
It's probably paranoid, but I feel like this article is an effort by a Giants fan (Shea) to stir up #### about the A's while their regular beat writer (Slusser) is off covering the Sharks (not icing!).
That may be part of it, but it was Slusser that got the quote from Street. Street may hold a residual grudge against Geren, but he also has always struck me as a comparatively smart, grounded, rational guy, and I'm inclined to think that he's not completely full of it.

(Too late. Coke to Dat Yat.)
   11. Danny Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3837288)
That may be part of it, but it was Slusser that got the quote from Street. Street may hold a residual grudge against Geren, but he also has always struck me as a comparatively smart, grounded, rational guy, and I'm inclined to think that he's not completely full of it.

Fair enough on Slusser, but I'm having a hard time guessing what Street's problem would be other than communication issues regarding losing the closer job to Ziegler. What regular communication do the closer and manager need beyond "are you ready to go today?"
   12. A triple short of the cycle Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3837289)
I was amazed by Street's comments about Geren. Both in how negative they were, and that he would say anything at all. No one who is currently with the team has stepped forwards to support Geren. Ellis' comments were polite but telling in their lack of praise for Geren. It really makes me re-think my support for Geren that I expressed in the Fuentes post yesterday. It really seems like the team is not behind him.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3837310)
Geren might not be a good manager. But that doesn't excuse Fuentes' public whining.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3837311)
Not that it will carry very far in the A's clubhouse, but I'm behind him. Anybody who can thoroughly infuriate two closers is OK in my book. I really dislike that species of ballplayer.
   15. Bourbon Samurai Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3837321)
Fuentes was always the temporary closer until Bailey got back. He's signed for another year, its a problem if he thinks hes the closer.
   16. stanmvp48 Posted: May 25, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#3837331)
"Not that it will carry very far in the A's clubhouse, but I'm behind him. Anybody who can thoroughly infuriate two closers is OK in my book. I really dislike that species of ballplayer."

Me, too. Street blew one the other night in the bottom of the 13th after Dailey pitched a solid 12th and was not pinch hit for when the Rockies went ahead in the top of the 13th. Street and Fuentes seem comparable to me; pretty good but not great pitchers who are required to pitch an inning three times a week and considered successful if they don't give up three runs in an inning. Does anyone know what the overall save success rate is under the current definition?
   17. KingKaufman Posted: May 26, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3837893)
So Geren's a lousy strategist and his players don't like him. What exactly are his strong points?
   18. puck Posted: May 26, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3837897)
I second #10...minus the coke. Yeah, we're all great at sniffing out self-serving comments yada yada yada. However, in his time w/the Rockies Street has never struck me as the sort of person who is full of himself or shirks responsibility. He's had some tough losses in Colorado but he doesn't duck anything in the post-game interview and answers the questions w/patience.

Is it so hard to believe Geren might just be an #######? Perhaps the bias with closers is those are the only guys either conceited enough for on edge enough to say something about it.

But then again I also have not heard Tracy throw anyone under the bus and we all know that guy's Steve Garvey's half-brother.
   19. Tom (and his broom) Posted: May 26, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#3837898)
#17 - He's cheap and he is really good friends with Beane, that about covers it.
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 26, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#3837912)
Is it so hard to believe Geren might just be an #######? Perhaps the bias with closers is those are the only guys either conceited enough for on edge enough to say something about it.


It's not hard to believe it at all. It's probably a reasonable default position about anyone who makes his living on the diamond.

The problem is the kind of guy who calls his boss an #######, or goes out of his way to call his former boss an #######, has a strong tendency to be an ####### himself. And many of us are naturally distrustful of #######s, so we're just left in the same position we were before all the ####### charges started flying.

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