That drumbeat you hear from the right field bleachers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum may not be a crowd rallying for the A's offense. It may be a crowd rallying the cry for the dismissal of Oakland A's manager Bob Geren.
Yes, the same Bob Geren whom the A's just gave a generous extension right before the beginning of the season. But that was before we saw how truly awful these 2009 Oakland A's would play. Tuesday night's knockoff of the defending AL Champion Rays notwithstanding, the A's are dead last in the AL West and have the third-worst record in baseball.
Athletics Nation started the calls with an open letter to Billy Beane, a screed calling out Beane on his personnel decisions that currently has 639 reader comments -- mostly in favor of firing Geren.
Author "Nico" puts things rather hilariously, saying to Beane, "You have "rebuilt" a team whose infield doesn't have a single player who has any bright future with the team, and doesn't have a single player who one can reasonably expect to be getting better in 2010. Chavez, Garciaparra, Cabrera, Kennedy, Crosby, Giambi, Kennedy, and an aging injured Ellis. It's an octet of filler. Your "Plan B" for the past 5 years, if an increasingly crippled Eric Chavez didn't work out, was apparently "to lose a lot of games."
Cute stuff, but it at times calls Beane out rather pointedly. "It is part of your job not to put your personal relationships with Bob Geren and Eric Chavez ahead of the best interests of the organization, and your competence has to be measured against these decisions."
The impatience wiuth Geren has now gone out of the blogosphere and into the regular newspapers. Or at least, the regular newspapers' own blogs. Tim Kawakami addresses it head on in his Mercury News blog, and details a convincing list of reasons why Geren's uninspired tenure would have probably already ended under a different GM. But that may be the rub -- Geren was the best man at Billy Beane's second wedding, and the two are exceptionally close.
Kawakami also floats a surprising replacement candidate -- Orel Hershiser. They already interviewed Hershiser before deciding on Geren in 2006. Hershiser is one of the few candidates the A's interviewed in '06 who is not currently employed by a ballclub. And some of those candidates on whom the A's passed are doing pretty well for themselves.
Three consecutive losing seasons is typically enought to determine that a team has tuned a manager out, and he should be asked to move on. If the A's have two consecutive losing seasons and are gatecrashing a third, why wait to complete the year?
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would like to point out that the domain name FireBobGeren.com is, in fact, available.