In honor of the firing of Bob Geren, The Common Man updates and re-presents his study from a year ago in which he examined whether changing managerial horses in midstream actually helps teams. The short version: eh, not really, at least from a won-loss perspective. But it’s entirely possible — and in the case of Geren, probable, based on what we’re hearing — that not changing him would have been way worse due to the risk of even more clubhouse strife.
Oh, one other random note on Geren: John Shea of the Chronicle tweeted a little while ago that Billy Beane said that one of the reasons the move was made now was because Bob Melvin was available.
Hey, good luck to Melvin and the A’s and everything, but he’s been available for, like, two years now, and he hasn’t exactly made anyone jump at him. And I’m sure that, had Beane waited three months to fire Geren, Melvin would have been available then too. So, nice not to throw Geren under the bus here, Billy, but there was a reason why he was fired today, and it had little to do with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snag The Bob Melvin.
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.