A couple of weeks ago, in the wake of dissension in Bob Geren's ranks, I wrote :
Prediction: If the A's are still below .500 on June 15, Geren is gone.
Sometimes players make their managers look smart, and sometimes managers make their chroniclers look smart. So thank you, Bob Geren.
It's not quite the 15th of June, but that's irrelevant because the A's have fallen to 27-36; the best they could be on the 15th is 33-36. Frankly, my only question today is what took so $%&@# long.
You can lose. You can inspire the public ire of your players and your ex-players. But when you're losing games and you're losing the respect of your players, the situation becomes untenable. When the Brian Fuentes thing came down, the A's were still right in the thick of the American League West race. But while the Rangers have been winning the Athletics have been slumping, and now the A's are on the verge of dropping completely from contention.
Anyway, from the Athletics' press release Thursday morning:
Oakland Athletics' Vice President & General Manager Billy Beane announced today that Bob Geren has been relieved of his duties as manager and former Major League manager Bob Melvin has been named interim manager for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Geren, 49, was named the A's manager on Nov. 17, 2006. He registered a 334-376 (.470) record in four-plus seasons with Oakland, including a 27-36 mark and last-place standing in the American League West this year.
I like that last little bit. A gentle shiv.
Geren's best season was last year's 81-81 squad. He certainly hasn't been granted with a great deal of talent in his five seasons at the helm, but on the other hand you'd expect the occasional over-achieving team, right? Geren certainly hasn't demonstrated that he's not a good manager ... but he's pretty firmly established he's not a great one.
Meanwhile, here's a chunk of the new skipper's résumé:
The Arizona Diamondbacks' all-time winningest manager, Melvin arrives in Chicago today and will assume his managerial duties tonight when the A's open a four-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The 49-year-old Palo Alto, Calif. native has compiled an overall record of 493-508 in seven previous seasons as a Major League manager from 2003-09 with the Seattle Mariners (156-168, 2003-04) and Diamondbacks (337-340, 2005-09).
In his rookie managerial season, he directed the Mariners to a 93-69 record in 2003. Four years later, he won National League Manager of the Year honors after piloting Arizona to a league-best 90-72 mark and the NL West Division title in 2007.
As reactions from around baseball come in, we'll continue to update this StoryStream.
For much, much more about Bob Geren, Bob Melvin, and Bob Athletics, please visit Athletics Nation.