Bob Geren's definitely under a harsh spotlight, given Brian Fuentes' comments Monday night, and with ex-A's closer Huston Street now weighing in. John Shea (via SFGate):
In September 2008, Street had to be separated from Geren by shortstop Bobby Crosby after getting pulled from a game in Detroit. Calling himself "selfish," Street later held a meeting to apologize to his teammates.
On Tuesday, Street, now with the Rockies, offered his harshest public criticism of Geren in a text to Chronicle reporter Susan Slusser:
"Bob was never good at communication, and I don't want to speak for anybody else, but it was a sentiment reflected in many conversations during the two years I spent in Oakland, and even recently when talking to guys after I left. For me personally, he was my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27. I am very thankful to be in a place where I can trust my manager."
Since Fuentes popped off, a fair number of my baseball-writing friends have suggested, in no uncertain terms, that relief pitchers should quit whining and just $%&@# pitch when their manager tells them to pitch -- save situation, non-save situation, whatever.
Well, sure. It would be lovely if the world worked that way. But one of a manager's jobs -- shoot, maybe his most important job -- is to know, with some degree of precision, how his players will respond in various situations.
According to John Shea, "In his 11 save opportunities, Fuentes has a 2.92 ERA and has converted nine. In 12 non-save chances, Fuentes is 0-6 with an 8.00 ERA."
Does Fuentes perform worse in non-save situations because it's all in his head? That's an interesting theoretical question, but practically speaking it's irrelevant. Once you've got Brian Fuentes on your roster, all you can do put him in positions in which he's most likely to succeed. Considering Fuentes' seven losses, it might be fair to say that Bob Geren has failed to do that.