The Chronicle’s Ray Ratto breaks down the numbers that are up against the A’s fourth year manager:
There have been 663 managers in major-league history, 176 of whom have
held the job since 1980. Of those 176, 46 have held the same job for
more than four years, which is where Geren would be at season’s end. Of
those 46, 10 have held the job for at least four years without taking
that team to the postseason. Of those 10, only four have not taken any team to the postseason. And only one has a lower winning percentage than Geren’s.
Ratto notes, however, that Geren and Billy Beane are really, really close and that the A’s, in general, are notoriously dismissive of a manager’s impact on wins and losses. Geren is cheap, both this season and in terms of his 2011 team option, and there isn’t any strong reason to believe that he’s either the cause of the A’s recent woes or an impediment to future success.
I think more telling than anything the team does with Geren this year is whether the fans and newspapers in the Bay Area will be calling for his head if the A’s get off to a bad start. I bet it will be rather quiet. Why? Because my fear — and what should be the fear of the A’s front office — is that people in Oakland are far less angry at the course the team is taking than they are utterly indifferent.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.