Tag: Bob Geren

Raising the White Flag: Geren Again Proves His Legacy of Incompetence

Bob Geren’s legacy as manager of the Oakland A’s will always be his legendary incompetency. No manager in Major League history is as clueless at using their bullpen as Geren has been.

Tonight illustrates a perfect example of how Geren can destroy the confidence of a young pitcher. Henry Rodriguez came into the ballgame to face Paul Konerko in the top half of the eighth inning, and Rodriguez did his job keeping the game close at 3-1. 

Rodriguez’s biggest problem has been his wildness. So, getting the last out in the eighth inning could have been a huge boost to his confidence, especially knowing that he came in during a key situation and was able to retire the All-Star Paul Konerko. 

Instead, Geren kept Rodriguez in the game. It wasn’t like the A’s bullpen wasn’t rested, considering the A’s had an offday yesterday. There were plenty of choices that Geren had to use in the ninth inning. The list includes Craig Breslow, Ross Wolf, Michael Wuertz, or Brad Ziegler. 

The A’s again paid for another mistake by Geren. Rodriguez was wild in walking the first man he faced in Carlos Quentin, and because Rodriguez has a big leg kick it made it extremely easy for the White Sox to steal on him. 

Andruw Jones pitch ran for Quentin and he stole a base rather easily. Mark Kotsay had a tremendous at-bat against Rodriguez but then again, this isn’t is the minor leagues and hitters aren’t going to be blown away by a high 90s fastball. 

Kotsay served the ball into left field for a single, Jones stopped at third. Brent Lillibridge ran for Kotsay and easily stole second. A.J. Pierzynski followed that up with a single right up the middle driving in both runs. 

After giving up that hit Rodriguez finally settled in striking out the next three batters, but not until the damage was done. Two runs that pushed the lead to 5-1 and with Mark Buehrle in complete control the game was over before the bottom of the ninth even began.

With a 3-1 lead the White Sox had at least the A’s could have made something of the game, but instead Geren threw in the white flag by keeping Rodriguez on the mound. 

It would have been much better if Geren had removed Rodriguez from the game after he induced the ground ball hit by Konerko because it would have built his confidence up and then gradually Rodriguez could be put into the game to pitch an inning. 


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Bob Geren Is No Einstein But He Does Fit His Definition of Insanity

Bob Geren does not belong with the name Albert Einstein, but he does have something in common with him. That is Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. 

Well, for the Oakland A’s and their bullpen, Geren continues to make the same errors in decision making or in some cases the lack of decision making process. Tonight’s another perfect example of Geren’s insanity. 

Craig Breslow came into pitch and I have no problem with Breslow being used in the eighth inning as long as he doesn’t have to face a powerful right handed bat. He got Erick Aybar a switch hitter batting right handed on flyball to right. 

Howie Kendrick was the next batter in the inning and he gave ball a good ride to right center field. If the A’s outfielders hadn’t been playing deep it could have been trouble, but Coco Crisp easily made the running catch. 

Bobby Abreu came to the plate and he hit a soft groundball to Cliff Pennington that he had to make a tough play on and wasn’t able to get Abreu at first. Next up, Torii Hunter, a dangerous aggressive hitter.

The kind of hitter that no manager should want their left handed pitcher to be facing in a situation where if Hunter takes Breslow deep. Geren did have Curt Young the A’s pitching coach go out to talk with Breslow. 

That didn’t work out so well because Hunter unloaded on a pitch and took it opposite field for a line shot over the right field fence. The game goes from being tied at 3-3 to the Angels winning 5-3. 

Luckily for the A’s they made a comeback of their own and tied the game up 5-5, but imagine if Geren actually did what he is paid to do! Would it have been a reasonable decision to bring in a right hander to face the aggressive Hunter? Absolutely! 

Of course this isn’t the first time that Breslow has been taken deep by a right handed bat in a close game either. 

The next lack of a decision came in the top of the 10th inning. Instead of relieving Andrew Bailey, Geren left him in to go two innings. Still the move was questionable at best. 

It’s understandable that Geren wanted to get Bailey some work after all he hadn’t pitched since July 4, but one inning should have been sufficient. Considering that the A’s have two more games to play against the Angels and the games are normally very close. 

What’s even worse though is that the A’s could have built momentum going into the all-star game if they had swept the Angels who had been struggling of late. The A’s were 41-45 coming into the game and the Angels were 46-42. 

Meaning that the A’s were four games back at the start of tonight’s game if they had won the A’s could have been only three games back of the Angels for second place in the American League West.

Instead the A’s are now five games back and can only hope to win the next two games of the series and be three back when the A’s had a chance of being only a game back at the break. 

Tonight’s just another example of just how bad a manager Geren is. There’s no excuse for the way he manages a game and furthermore, how he has kept his job for so long is beyond any A’s fans comprehension. 

Yes, Geren’s General Manager Billy Beane’s best friend, but there comes a point in time where Beane has to man up and fire his best friend. At the all-star break would be a great time to do it. 

Also, along with Geren hitting coach Jim Skaalen can go too!  

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Another Loss for the Oakland A’s After the Bullpen Is Misused Once Again

Bob Geren’s continued misuse of the Oakland A’s bullpen is getting very tiresome. Another game for the A’s where the decisions made by Geren were headscratching to say the least. 

Although, there was one decision that Geren made right was taking Gio Gonzalez out after pitching seven solid innings and bringing in Craig Breslow. This because Breslow has been the most consistent reliever out of the bullpen this year for the A’s. Every other decision after that has cost the A’s runs and the game. 

After Breslow pitched an inning, he was relieved by Andrew Bailey the A’s closer for the ninth inning. Most managers know the only reason to bring a closer into a game is in a save situation, unfortunately Geren doesn’t realize this. 

With the way Breslow had pitched in the eighth inning there was no reason not to bring him out for the ninth. Bailey came in and got the first out with a strikeout, got the second batter to fly out to shallow centerfield, but Bailey was not able to get the third out. 

He gave up a walk and then Bailey who was not paying attention to the runner allowed an easy stolen base. Jay Bruce was at the plate pinch hitting and even though Bailey got ahead of him and had him with two strikes, he left a pitch on the inside corner that was way too good of a pitch in that situation, and Bruce smacked the ball easily into right field for a single. Ryan Sweeney had no chance at throwing the runner out who scored from second. 

Bailey got out of the inning without incurring any more damage. Now, Bailey has also shown he can go more than an inning and at this point would have been left in. He didn’t take the loss because Kevin Kouzmanoff hit the first pitch he saw from Fracisco Cordero out of the ballpark tying the game up at 2-2. 

Into the game came the struggling Michael Wuertz. First pitch Ramon Hernandez sees he hits a rocket out to left field hitting the foul pole for a homerun. The next batter was Brandon Phillips who hit a single to right center. 

Wuertz was actually lucky that Phillips didn’t hustle down the line because he could have easily been at second base. Paul Janish was the next batter and he sacrificed Phillips to second. 

Joey Votto was the next batter for the Reds. Instead of bringing in a more experience left handed reliever in Jerry Blevins, Geren brought in Cedric Bowers to face Votto. Bowers didn’t help himself by falling behind to Votto with a 3-1 count. 

Instead of just letting Votto go to first, he tried to groove a pitch into Votto who was sitting dead red and hit the ball out for a two-run homerun. A game that was tied at 2-2 to start the inning was now a 5-2 Reds lead. 

Bowers should have been taken out right after he gave up the homerun, instead he was left in to face the dangerous Scott Rolen who promptly hit a solo shot off of Bowers to add to the Reds lead, 6-2.

The A’s in the bottom of the inning put some pressure on the Reds who actually showed Geren what you do in those situations. Cordero walked the first two batters of the inning. 

Baker then replaced Cordero with Daniel Ray Herrera who gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki but no runner was able to score. The A’s had the bases loaded with nobody out. 

Ryan Sweeney was the next batter up for the A’s and Herrera induced a ground ball to the right side that allowed a run to score, but now the A’s had runners on second and third with one out. 

Jordan Smith then relieved Herrera for the Reds. He got Kouzmanoff, the A’s hottest hitter, to ground out to third that allowed another A’s runner to score cutting the Red lead to 6-4. 

Jack Cust with a runner at second and the ability to tie the game just missed tying the game. He ran the count full, but ended up striking out that ended the game. 

Baker shows he’s been around for a while and he’s not going to leave a pitcher who is struggling in very long. In this case Cordero started the inning with back to back walks. 

Geren on the other hand, after Bowers allowed the two-run homerun to Votto, left Bowers in to face a dangerous hitter in Rolen. 

Not too mention the fact that Geren went in the top of the 10th inning with a reliever coming into the game with a 6.35 ERA and the pitcher replacing him had a decent ERA of 3.24 but didn’t have experience in a situation he was put into. 

It has come to the point for Geren to use Wuertz only in blowouts. It is clear that Wuertz’s confidence is not 100 percent and the only way for him to build into games where he isn’t going to blow a win. 

Yet, that’s too hard for Geren to realize. He still believes that Wuertz is the same guy from 2009 when Wuertz hasn’t even been remotely close to pitching like he did last year. 


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Bob Geren Is the Reason Why Billy Beane Can Only Trade for Prospects

The Oakland Athletics were hanging tight in the race for the American League 
West division title. After the past two series where the A’s have lost five games out of six that were played, it has become clear the A’s need to make some major adjustments. 

That would involve making trades for a big time bat in the lineup. The only problem is, what self-respecting player would want to play for Bob Geren? This was shown by the most recent trade the A’s have made. 

Instead of getting a big bat from Arizona which has been rumored to be trading pretty much its entire roster, the A’s could only come up with Conor Jackson. No offense to Jackson, who’s a solid hitter, but he’s not the guy who’s going to be a savior for the A’s inept offense. 

Over the last few games there’s been countless times the A’s have had scoring opportunities and the A’s have come up empty each and every time. It hasn’t helped that manager Bob Geren has been shuffling the lineup since the arrival of Jackson either. 

In the second game against the Chicago Cubs, Rajai Davis was benched in favor of Ryan Sweeney in center field. Jackson was actually the leadoff hitter for the A’s. Davis was out of the lineup after going 3-5. 

Just inexcusable managing by Geren. To make matters worse, today’s game was lost because Geren took out Dallas Braden way too early from the game. 

That’s just icing on the cake for how Geren manages the A’s. He doesn’t know what it takes to win because every season the A’s have been nowhere near a playoff spot. This year has been a surprise and with the A’s strong starting pitching they should be able to remain close. 

The issue is, can the A’s bring in a bat to help with the offense? At this point there’s really no positives going for the A’s team. Their next series is against the St. Louis Cardinals and they will be facing Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainright.

Even if the A’s had one of the better offenses in the league, it’d be a scary matchup, but it’s much worse with the pathetic offensive lineup. 

At the end of the series against the Cardinals, the A’s could be easily suffering their fourth straight loss along with having lost eight of their last nine. Even at that point in the season the A’s chance at a playoff spot will be slim to none. 

Lack of confidence for such a young team and will lead to the young starters, specifically Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Vin Mazzaro, to try to make the perfect pitches. 

The end of the season will be a disaster if the A’s can’t find a way to bring in more than just prospects. 

In 2008 the A’s traded Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox for Ryan Sweeney and Gio Gonzalez. While, Sweeney has been a solid player for the A’s he’s nowhere near the power threat that Swisher was. 

The most homeruns in a season by Sweeney has been six compared to Swisher who as an A hit a career high 35 in 2006. Gonzalez has come along very well for the A’s and has been one of the more consistent starters for the A’s but it took him some time to get to the big leagues. 

Dan Haren trade along with Connor Robertson for Chris Carter the A’s best power prospect, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez, and Greg Smith. 

Anderson has become one of the A’s best pitchers but is currently injured. Carter again is the best power prospect for the A’s but hasn’t shown the stick yet at Sacramento to be called up, Eveland is gone, Gonzalez is gone, and Smith is gone. 

Gonzalez showed promise for the A’s but was part of the trade that brought in Matt Holliday. Which, will go down as one of the worst trades that Billy Beane has made. 

Holliday was eventually traded for Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson, and Clayton Mortenson. Wallace is gone, and Peterson and Mortenson down in the minor leagues. 

Joe Blanton was traded for Adrian Cardenas, Matt Spencer, and Josh Outman. Only Outman has seen time in the big leagues and is currently recovering from major surgery. 

Question is where is the Major League talent being traded for? There hasn’t been much and a majority of the players are either in the minors still or have been traded away in parts of other trades. 

The common denominator is the clueless man managing the team, Geren! 




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Bob Geren and His Legendary Incompetency Continues to Grow

Today continues the legacy of Bob Geren’s incompetency as the Oakland Athletics manager. How he got invited to be one of the managers in the all-star game by Joe Girardi is beyond me. 

There’s no manager in baseball as clueless as Geren is! Today’s game is just another fine example of just how clueless Geren is on the bench. 

In the top of the seventh inning, the Oakland A’s took a 2-1 lead against the Chicago Cubs. Dallas Braden had his groove going and the Cubs were off balance against him. After throwing 27 pitches in the first inning Braden settled down. 

He was only at 83 pitches after six innings. There’s was no reason at the time to take Braden out of the game; he wasn’t struggling and he wasn’t being hit hard. Braden probably could have gone two more innings, allowing for Andrew Bailey to get a save opportunity. 

Unfortunately for Bailey, he had the opportunity for a save, but was put in a situation where he was going to most likely fail. Michael Wuertz got one out in the eighth inning, but gave up back to back singles before walking the next batter. 

This left the bases loaded for Bailey to come into the game. Bailey gave up a sacrifice fly, but was able to get out of the inning with only one run scoring. That tied the game up at 2-2. 

Instead of leaving Bailey in the game, another pinch hitter was used, leaving Jerry Blevins to pitch the bottom of the ninth. What manager brings in a reliever who’s specialty is getting left handed hitters out, to face right handed hitting batters? 

Secondly, what manager in the ninth inning intentionally walks a hitter to put runners at first and second with one out? The answer is no competent manager would do that, because you don’t put runners on with the game on the line. 

Blevins ended up walking Ryan Theriot to load the bases. This meant the infield was in and the outfield was in as well. Kosuke Fukodome came up and hit a hard grounder through the infield which won the game. 

If the A’s had been playing their defensive normally, that’s a double play ball. It wasn’t like the A’s needed to bring the infield in either, because Geovany Soto was the runner at third base. 

Again another game, another loss at the hands of Bob Geren. When is Geren going to be shown the door? It’s obvious that Geren does not have what it takes to field a winning team! 

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Seven Things the Oakland A’s Must Do To Make the Playoffs

The Oakland A’s are currently in a battle between two other teams for the American League West title. The A’s have some things that they need to work out to even consider being in contention for the division.

So, here are the seven things the A’s must do in order to win the American League West division.

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Screwing with Confidence: Oakland’s Tyson Ross Needs To Be Sent Down

Oakland A’s manager Bob Geren nearly blew another game by having Tyson Ross come into the ballgame to face Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins. With Joe Mauer on base via a free pass, in came Ross to face the right-handed hitting Young. 

Ross immediately fell behind 2-0 to the free-swinging Young. The next pitch that Ross threw was the last one he would for the game, he gave up a two-run home run that went out of the park in a hurry. 

There’s really one simple solution to help Ross though because during the season he has been used as a reliever and a spot starter. Ultimately, Ross is seen as a starter but is currently in the bullpen due to the injuries the A’s have suffered this season.

In the first few games of the season Ross looked good and that he belonged in the Major Leagues. As the season has progressed it has become clear that he is not ready for the Major Leagues.

He has great stuff, specifically his fastball which reaches 95 mph plus and a nice slider. The problem is that he hasn’t been able to consistently throw strikes and he’s been hit.

So far he’s appeared in 17 games as a reliever and two games as a starter. For the season he’s got a 1-4 record with a 6.14 ERA, one save, 22 strikeouts to 13 walks, and 29.1 innings pitched. 

Over the past six appearances for Ross, he has given up four hits, seven runs, and has pitched 2.2 innings. Half of the appearances has resulted in Ross not recording an out and his record in that span is 0-2. 

In the last eight games, Ross has a record of 0-4. He threw an additional 7.2 innings giving up 10 hits and six runs. 

With his current struggles it is clear that Ross needs to be sent down to Triple-A Sacramento to work on his command, and most of all, his confidence. With Michael Wuertz back it would allow for Ross to be sent down. 

Then the A’s could either call up another reliever from Sacramento such as Jon Hunton who currently has a 2.32 ERA in 21 games or Sam Demel who has a 1.04 ERA and five saves.

If not another reliever to take the place of Ross a starter could be brought up such as Clayton Mortenson with a 7-2 record, 4.30 ERA, and 49 strikeouts to 25 walks. 

Vin Mazarro could get another chance in the rotation if he can consistently throw strikes. 

Even Kyle Mittleton who has appeared in 11 games with five of those being starts, he could be a perfect fit to take the place of the struggling Ross because he could be used as a long reliever. 

If Geren and the A’s continue to use Ross as he struggles more and more at the Major League level, he could lose confidence in his abilities and never live up to the expectations that were held for him. 

So, the A’s need to send Ross down to Sacramento so he can get the confidence to succeed as a starter or reliever at the Major League level. 

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Oakland Athletics Open a Window into the Reality of Major League Baseball

During his pregame session with the media, before the Oakland Athletics took on the Texas Rangers, manager Bob Geren revealed that Justin Duchscherer “had an MRI and it said there’s just some inflation” in his left hip.

So it goes in the mental and physical siege known as the Major League Baseball season.

You’ll forgive Geren if one conversation bleeds into another, even if it is only May and the 162-game slate is less than 20 percent complete. I mean, can you really blame his subconscious for transposing the American economic plight with that of his charges?

You’ll also have to forgive him if your initial reaction to his handling of the Show’s external forces is similar to mine. That is, this guy isn’t exactly warm and cuddly.

Baseball can be a grind in the best of times and the A’s are currently experiencing the gloomier of the Dickensian options.

With player after player coming up with bumps and bruises ranging from day-to-day hot spots all the way through certified tickets to the disabled list, the 2-6 mark in the club’s last eight games is really the least of Oakland’s worries.

Tuesday’s hard-fought victory over the first place Texas shows the A’s have enough firepower to stay the course.

For now.

However, if Duke, Kurt Suzuki, and Brett Anderson don’t hurry back from the shelf, the 2010 season could be in danger of flying out the window. After all, the old diamond adage is that pennants can’t be won in April and May, but they most certainly can be lost in the early going.

Often, that’s exactly where a team derails—classic September meltdowns notwithstanding.

So there is the onrushing precipice gnawing at Geren and his White Elephants, which can weigh on your mind and wear on your patience.

Consequently, it’s no surprise that warm-ups prior to Monday’s date with the Rangers had a noticeably more subdued feel than those I witnessed during my previous trip to the Oakland Coliseum (a game against the Cleveland Indians with the team sitting in first at 10-7).

Losing guys and games can have that effect.

Complicating matters is the standard tedium.

It’s nobody’s fault because the demand for information—any information—drives the sports journalism industry. Plus, there’s no real penalty for failing to pose a genuinely useful question.

Frankly, half the battle seems to be just getting the target talking.

Nevertheless, I’ve now been a part of several Ultimate Fighting Championship press conferences, a couple similar sessions hosted by MLB, and a few other Q & A’s with persons paid to compete.

From what I can tell, most of the questions asked of professional athletes are underwhelming to say the least. They often require the responder to provide the substance by asking yes/no questions in a setting where a simple yes/no reflects unflatteringly on the utterer.

For example, here are some of the queries faced by the A’s manager (including all of the good ones):

—Did he have a chance to talk to Duchscherer after his doctor visit?

—Will how Duke responds to treatment determine whether he goes on the DL?

—How is Suzuki coming along and what kind of exercises is he doing?

—Will his injury affect him as a backstop more than it would, say, an outfielder?

—When Gio Gonzalez is on, is he as good as anybody in the game?

—When a pitcher faces a team he’s been a part of, who has the advantage (the team was facing ex-Athletic Rich Harden)?

—Is the pitching depth nice to have with all the injuries?

—After all that traveling (to Tampa Bay and then Toronto), is it good to be home?

—Have you seen anyone giving Dallas Braden a hard time over the pitcher’s mound incident?

Again, I’m not trying to clown the reporters looking for the info; that’s their directive and the majority of the worthwhile probes will be dodged anyway. In other words, the options—go with the canned stuff or keep quiet until inspiration strikes, if it strikes—aren’t terribly attractive.

Still, it’s gotta be frustrating to have to craft interesting replies to uninteresting prompts. Especially when you have to do it day after day after day for five months.

Sooner or later, you’ll get a curt comeback and, voila, there’s the villain for the day.

Which is something to keep in mind when one of those scandalous remarks gets ripped out of context and slathered across the front page.

I’m not suggesting anyone have unblinking sympathy for these men (a few of which are still boys) or that they constantly deserve the benefit of the doubt.

The Major League minimum is now $400,000.

I’d wager that maybe one of my Stanford friends is making that sum and we’ve been out of school for almost a decade. Several of us have been to and graduated from one prestigious law/business school or another.

Meanwhile, a lot of these kids are new to the whole legally drinking thing and never stepped foot inside a classroom beyond high schoool.

Furthermore, they’re getting these absurd paychecks to roam the country and play baseball.

As Geren understated it, in response to the travel question, “the way the team travels is a pretty nice set-up.” Or as Johnny Damon said recently , “even our tough times are so much better than what other people have going on out there.”

Nope, the “woe is me” card is one perk in which the pros do NOT get to partake.

But it’s still important to remember that the Milton Bradleys of Major League Baseball are the exceptions, not the rule. Most of these men are perfectly decent, but they’re human.

Their mythical powers don’t exist unless they’ve got leather or lumber in hand.

And, sometimes, they prove it.

Oh well.



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