But like many before him and surely many after him Geren had to be the fall guy because, well, you can't fire the entire team. Although, I agree Geren did play a role in his dismissal, I also agree that it wasn't all his fault. Yes, he had problems maintaining order in the clubhouse. Yes, he was not well liked by many of his players. And yes, his organizational skills were a C+ at best. But at the end of the day there's only one common denominator in this whole thing-- THE A'S STINK! And that isn't Geren's fault. He can't turn frogs into princes.
The only component the A's have that make them a legitimate major league team is their excellent pitching staff and it has been riddled with injuries all season long. Last year the A's had a respectable 81-81 record and it was all due to their great pitchers who bailed out their anemic hitters all season long. But this season the injury bug has plagued their pitching staff making it harder to bail out their STILL-ANEMIC HITTERS.
Geren had to deal with the following injury problems: Dallas Braden out for the season. Rich Harden on the 60-day DL since March 22. Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross are on the 15-day DL. Closer Andrew Bailey just got off the DL. And even with all their injuries the A's still have the best team ERA in the American League (and 5th best in the major leagues) at 3.33.
But the problem for Geren and general manager Billy Beane is the same old story-- Their hitters can't hit for beans (pardon the pun). They STINK!
Once upon a time, Beane was considered a miracle worker for his ability to put together playoff teams after playoff teams mostly with the talent he had in the minor leagues. In those days, superstar after superstar was either traded or left via free agency and Beane always found a way to replace them and put a good product on the field. But unfortunately for Beane, "them days" are over. Losers like Mark Ellis (.211 BA), Daric Barton (.217 BA) and Kurt Suzuki (.244 BA) AREN'T doing for him what Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, Miguel Tejada, Nick Swisher and others once did for him. I mean let's face it, sooner or later, Beane's formula was going to implode and fall apart. How he was able to do it for like a span of 8 seasons (1999-2006) is beyond me?
So here's Beane's new reality--
When your leading hitter has a .261 BA, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you have issues. When your team BA is .239, you have a problem. When your team is 28th in the majors in runs scored, you're not gonna win many games.
So my question is--
Who in the world do these clowns think they are giving Geren a hard time in the dugout? It's not like they're all-star caliber hitters who have the right to command respect. Most of them are either rejects who landed in Oakland (dirt cheap) because nobody else wanted them or scrubs who came up through the organization. So even if new manager Melvin turns the dugout into a harmonious setting, what makes anyone think he's going to get any production out of these guys?
Harmony or no harmony-- THEY STILL STINK!
....And that wasn't Geren's fault, Mr. Beane.