Boy, what a difference a week makes. This time last week, the A’s were fresh off getting swept by the Yankees, still in the race for the AL West, and I was writing about how important the upcoming stretch of games was.
Fast forward seven losses later, that stretch proved to be very important but for all the wrong reasons, Brett Anderson and Mark Ellis are on the DL for the foreseeable future, and there has been a managerial change.
That’s right, folks. Bob Geren is out and Bob Melvin is in as interim manager. Now, before everyone leaps for joy and hopes for a resurgent comeback, I beg of you, temper your enthusiasm. Bob Melvin is not the answer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock Bob Melvin (even though the Diamondbacks fired him midseason during his last gig) I just think that this season is lost. I know we’re only 8 games back but we’re behind every team in the West so it’s not like were only chasing Texas. And to make up all these games against their entire division the A’s would need an offense (which they don’t have) and stellar pitching staff (which they had and then lost to injury). They still have a shut down bullpen, sure, but that doesn’t matter because they never have a lead to get to the bullpen.
But I don’t want to make it seem like I’m putting all the blame on Bob Geren, either. Geren can’t make players do their jobs they’re being paid to do, and he can’t keep the players healthy by himself. Bob Geren was fired because the media began focusing on whether or not he should be fired. Billy Beane said as much, “We’d gotten to a point where the focus was on the status of the manager on a daily basis and was no longer on the field.” When Brian Fuentes publicly spoke out against Geren, it was really only a matter of time, and though I don’t want to let the players off the hook, it was the right move.
So what now?
Well, for the immediate future, Bob Melvin will get almost two thirds of a season to prove he’s the right guy for the job next year, but I’m not sure how much winning that will include. Beane is going to evaluate Melvin thoroughly during the rest of the season and conduct a full manager search at the end of the season so I wish luck to them both.
From a player standpoint, however, things have drastically changed. Last week I wrote about possible players the A’s could be targeting via trade to help them into the playoffs, but since then I’ve done a complete 180 and now think it’s time to look to unload our limited talent for prospects. And while I think Beane agrees with me, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle states that Beane will never give up on a season in early June no matter how far out they are and no matter how many injuries they have endured. We’ll see how long that lasts; I’ll probably do an article soon on who I think we should trade and for whom.
Look, obviously it’s never over until it’s over, but it’s as close to over as it can be in June. Maybe the A’s break out of their slump and Melvin sparks a fire under out players that starts the unlikely comeback of the decade. If that happens though, stay indoors A’s fans because we will have used up all the Karma we’re going to get for the rest of our lives. In other words, the fat lady is finished with her warm-ups and is about to take the stage.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.