With a nine-game losing streak pushing the A's out of the AL West race for the time being, A's GM Billy Beane made the surprising, but reasonable move to fire manager Bob Geren, who was in his fifth season as the manager.
The reason I call it a surprise is that Geren and Beane have a friendship that goes far back and was likely a factor in getting Geren the job.
Geren never posted a winning record with a team he inherited from Ken Macha after the A's went to the 2006 ALCS, where they were swept by Detroit, and Geren didn't look like he was about to get that winning season this year, either.
Macha and Geren were alike in one way: Neither had a good coach-player relationship with the team. Macha was not on good terms with some players, but at least he won games. Geren was recently in a feud with closer/relief pitcher/closer again Brian Fuentes about the pitcher's role with the team. Fuentes got backup from former A's closer Huston Street, who told the San Francisco Chronicle that Geren is the "least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports."
Geren deserves some slack if you look at the team payroll, injuries and constant trades that send away the superstars and bring in prospects. But this past offseason, the A's went out and got Josh Willingham, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui, which voids that last excuse for Geren.
Bob Melvin will now join the A's tonight as they open a series against the White Sox. Whether or not Melvin will be a success remains top be seen, but the move to let Geren go is already a success.