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Old 06-09-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,239,527 times
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Oakland Athletics fire manager Bob Geren amid nine-game skid - ESPN

Quote:
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics have fired manager Bob Geren in the midst of a nine-game losing streak that has sent them tumbling to the bottom of the AL West standings.

Oakland general manager Billy Beane immediately announced Thursday that former Arizona manager and broadcaster Bob Melvin will be the interim manager.

The A's went 334-376 in four-plus seasons under Geren, a longtime friend of Beane. The beleaguered manager had come under criticism from his bullpen in recent weeks for a lack of communication, and a sluggish offense combined with a rash of injuries to the rotation spelled the end of his tenure.
Hmmm....in order of the most at bats, the OPS posted by the nine A's with the most trips to the plate:
.689
.603
.533
.690
.755
.662
.653
.577
.615

They are in last place in AL runs scored. No team in MLB has hit fewer than their 34 homeruns. (describing their offense as "sluggish" seems ironic.)

It has been years and years since the team spent any real money to boost their offense, and that last player was Jason Kendall.

So, I guess it was all Geren's fault. If only he had communicated better...like "Shouldn't you guys be hitting more?"
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,285 posts, read 15,362,117 times
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Year .OBP/.SLG wOBA wRC+

C Suzuki - has been a bit better, about the same
2010: .303/.366 .296 83
2011: .312/.350 .300 90

1B Barton - Has been terrible. Nada in the power department
2010: .393/.405 .359 127
2011: .329/.274 .278 75

2B Ellis - literally half as good with the bat as last year
2010: .358/.381 .326 104
2011: .245/.287 .245 52

3B Kouzmanoff - looks like he might just be a BABIP casualty
2010: .283/.396 .296 83
2011: .252/.353 .274 72

SS Pennington - close to the same guy, just a bit of drop off
2010: .319/.368 .315 97
2011: .312/.342 .288 82

LF Willingham - BB/K 2010=.79 2011=.29. He's striking out a ton and not walking.
2010: .389/.459 .378 134 (with Washington)
2010: .317/.438 .335 114

CF Crisp - walk rate cut in half has killed his OPB
2010: .342/.438 .361 128
2011: .296/.393 .311 98

RF DeJesus - BABIP of .254 in 2011 and .354 in 2010
2010: .384/.443 .363 124 (with KC)
2011: .316/.374 .308 96

DH Matsui - walk rate is half 2010's. BABIP is 60 points lower. ISO is almost half
2010: .361/.459 .356 122 (with LA Angels)
2011: .260/.316 .254 58

In 2010 the A's hit .324/.378 .315 97. The wRC+ of 97 says they were 3% worse than the average offense.
In 2011 the A's are hitting .304/.346 .293 85. The wRC+ of 85 says they are 15% worse than the average offense

I also noticed that in 2010 the A's were the best defensive team in baseball at 35 runs above average. So far this season they have been the second worst fielding team at 15 runs below average.

None of the hitters outside of Suzuki and maybe Willingham have come close to expectations. I'd find this hard to blame on Geren. I don't know how you'd pin the defensive performance on him either.

I don't think the A's players can continue to be this bad all season, there is going to be some regression to the mean that occurs. So, when they start to look better under Melvin don't automatically assume that the manager is the reason.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 7,117,586 times
Reputation: 4898
As an A's fan, I'm happy to see this move. In my personal opinion, the players long-since stopped believing in Geren or the team itself - going back to his soured relationships with players on the team, including Brian Fuentes.

Geren can't be blamed for the injuries or some of the poor hitting, but he can he blamed for his poor moves. Obviously, everyone can nitpick managers, but Geren mismanaged Bret Anderson on multiple occasions both this year and last. I'd often find myself questioning his bullpen relief moves and the benching of Ryan Sweeney coming out of Spring Training directly go to Geren and Beane.

From day 1, they ran with the wrong lineup and that's unfortunate. But most A's fans are applauding this decision.

It's too bad the owner has his head so far up his a$$ because Billy Beane should be on the hot seat too.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,285 posts, read 15,362,117 times
Reputation: 6658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parti Rhinocéros View Post
the benching of Ryan Sweeney coming out of Spring Training directly go to Geren and Beane.
I don't see any reason to think that Sweeney is better than DeJesus, Crisp or Willingham. Nor do I see any reason to think that Matsui was going to be this terrible so that Sweeney in the OF and Willingham as the DH made any sense.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: ABQ
3,771 posts, read 7,117,586 times
Reputation: 4898
Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
I don't see any reason to think that Sweeney is better than DeJesus, Crisp or Willingham. Nor do I see any reason to think that Matsui was going to be this terrible so that Sweeney in the OF and Willingham as the DH made any sense.
Except that coming out of last season, Sweeney was our best hitter the entire year. In the half season of baseball before he was injured, he was a .300 hitter most of the year and provided the spark that rallied more than a few A's games last season.

Coming healthy into spring training, Beane decided that Sweeney just didn't hit for power enough to rationalize keeping him in the lineup based on the 3 moves he made in the offseason.

As Sweeney has been given opportunities again this season, he's right back where he was last year - giving consistent, .290 / .370 efforts and playing a solid RF.

Meanwhile, you've got long-standing struggles from DeJesus, Barton and at times, Matsui and Willingham, to be sure.

The fact is Beane went away from what worked for part of last year. Did I like his moves? Yeah, but in all honestly, he made one too many because Sweeney should have returned as the starting RF. And if DeJesus is your guy, then let's talk about moving him to 1B and moving Barton, who is continuing to prove why he's not a legitimate starting 1B in this league.

Beane's eye for talent isn't quite as keen as we all thought after reading Moneyball =P. The list of hitters that are pushing the all star ballots in other cities simply grows while the A's struggle to put major league talent on the field. In my mind, he's as much on the hot seat as Geren was.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,239,527 times
Reputation: 21241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parti Rhinocéros View Post
Beane's eye for talent isn't quite as keen as we all thought after reading Moneyball. In my mind, he's as much on the hot seat as Geren was.
I do not think that it is a matter of Beane's talent evaluation abilties having been overrated or having gone downhill.

The idea behind moneyball was finding talent which everyone else was overlooking because they had inferior understandings of talent value. Beane was able to field competitive teams which cost a great deal less than his rivals...on the basis of his rivals failing to grasp exactly what he was doing.

That of course ended when "Moneyball" was published and Beane's "secrets" suddenly were not so secret any longer. The rivals GM's wised up and not only began to incorporate Beane's evaluation process into their own approachs to talent gathering, they also were now able to identify the types of players that they should deny to Beane.

So, Beane has been trying to find the next great innovation which could restore the advantage he once had, but lost. He thought that it might be a concentration on undervalued defensive players, but that has not translated into winning seasons for the A's.

Compounding the problem has been the on/off business about the team finding a new home. When the club thought that it was all set to build and open a new field in the South Bay by 2011, it sort of abandoned attempts at being competitive in the present, stocked the roster with a bunch of stop gap players, and embarked on a rebuilding plan aimed at having a competitive team in place in time for the 2011 new stadium opening.

When all the South Bay plans blew up on them, they were left having to try and scramble to put a legit product out on the field. So far, they have not.

It is a mess. The team has no stars to attract fans, isn't being competitive, wants to move elsewhere but has been frustrated in this desire...all things which drive down attendance...which in turn compounds the economic problems....which in turn leads to more non competitive ball and non ability to pay stars...a downward spiral.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,285 posts, read 15,362,117 times
Reputation: 6658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parti Rhinocéros View Post
Except that coming out of last season, Sweeney was our best hitter the entire year.
2010 A's wOBA and wRC+ (min 300 PA)
Cust .371 135
Crisp .361 128
Barton .359 127
Ellis .326 104
Davis .321 100
Sweeney .319 99

He wasn't the best hitter. Not by a long shot.

Quote:
Coming healthy into spring training, Beane decided that Sweeney just didn't hit for power enough to rationalize keeping him in the lineup based on the 3 moves he made in the offseason.
ZiPS projections for 2011
Willingham .348 114
Matsui .345 112
Crisp .325 98
DeJesus .322 95
Sweeney .323 96

Willingham and Matsui were obviously expected to be the biggest bats. Crisp, DeJesus and Sweeney are all pretty equal. Those three are all quite similar players.

PLAYER Career BB%, K%, ISO, OBP, SLG, wOBA, UZR/150
DeJesus 8.3, 14.6, .137, .358, .424, .340, 4.5
Sweeney 8.0, 14, .098, .344, .384, .322, 11.3
Crisp 7.4, 14.7, .133, .330, .409, .327, 12.3


Quote:
Meanwhile, you've got long-standing struggles from DeJesus, Barton and at times, Matsui and Willingham, to be sure.
Each of those guys was a better hitter than Sweeney last year

2010 wOBA
Sweeney .319
DeJesus .363
Barton .359
Matsui .356
Willingham .378

Quote:
The fact is Beane went away from what worked for part of last year. Did I like his moves? Yeah, but in all honestly, he made one too many because Sweeney should have returned as the starting RF. And if DeJesus is your guy, then let's talk about moving him to 1B and moving Barton, who is continuing to prove why he's not a legitimate starting 1B in this league.
DeJesus derives a good bit of his value from defense. Moving him to 1st wouldn't be a good idea. Move Willingham to first, if anyone.

Barton was an excellent player last year. His 5 WAR was 7th in baseball.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,285 posts, read 15,362,117 times
Reputation: 6658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Hmmm....in order of the most at bats, the OPS posted by the nine A's with the most trips to the plate:
.689
.603
.533
.690
.755
.662
.653
.577
.615
Since the A's play in such an offense depressing home stadium it's probably better (it's almost always better) to look at adjusted numbers.

Using wRC+ (100 is average. 90 is 10% below average), OPS+ and average OPS+ for the defensive position
Barton 75, 71, 123
DeJesus 96, 92, 120
Crisp 98, 91, 107
Willingham 114, 108, 102
Ellis 52, 48, 92
Suzuki 90, 85, 97
Pennington 82, 83, 96
Matsui 58, 60, 110
Kouzmanoff 72, 70, 92

The A's are getting below average offensive production out of every position except LF.

This is mitigated, somewhat, by the fact that (historically) most of these players have been excellent defensively.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,239,527 times
Reputation: 21241
Quote:
Originally Posted by filihok View Post
Since the A's play in such an offense depressing home stadium it's probably better (it's almost always better) to look at adjusted numbers.

.

True, however in the case before us, a team which is last in scoring in its league, we may probably assume with safety that regardless of their park, they have an inadequate offense.

Further, so far this year the Coliseum has been playing hot, a park factor of 1.147 in runs scored. The A's have averaged 3.93 runs per game at home and 3.21 per game on the road.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,239,527 times
Reputation: 21241
Bob Melvin is 0-1 as the A's manager, steering the club to a 9-4 loss to Chicago in his debut. Oakland has now dropped 10 straight. Trevor Wilson combined wretched luck (four infield singles) with wretched pitching (three walks and an Adam Dunn homerun) and was chased in the third inning.
Quote:
"I felt like my stuff was decent, I just couldn't get anybody out," Cahill said
.

After the game Melvin channeled Art Howe, saying:
Quote:
"It would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle tomorrow."
and:
Quote:
"I did like the way just didn't lay down and die," Melvin said. "We kept grinding our bats and kept hustling out there."
Oakland Athletics vs. Chicago White Sox - Recap - June 09, 2011 - ESPN
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