Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Fate of A's coaches/managers.

I know it's old news by now, but the A's got rid of bench coach Chris Speier . No big surprise there, no big loss either.

Billy Beane has assured the world that Ken Macha will be back in 2005. In the same article, though, they mention that the A's are pushing infield master Ron Washington for a managerial position. What ?!?!?! This is the man most responsible for the A's infield success, the man who deserves the lion's praise for players like Eric Chavez, Scott Hatteberg, Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, the list goes on and on. I quote the Oakland Tribune :

The A's will push infielders coach Ron Washington for any managerial openings,
but will be ecstatic if he doesn't get any because he's so valuable...

The A's candidly admit nobody could replace Washington, so they'd love
to have him back.

Perhaps another few seasons of not making the playoffs will wake up A's management to the fact that you can not afford to let your best coaches and managers leave the organization. It is our top coaches and managers who are responsible for developing and training our players. If Ron Washington is so valuable (he is) and so proficient at managing his players (yes, he his) then why not give him the job of running the A's ??

Last year we gave up Rick Peterson, our longtime pitching coach who was one of the key reasons for "The Big Three" pitching as well as they did. We were more than willing to let him go because he wanted to be close to his family, which is fine, but it was a tough loss. We actively pitched Terry Francona for managerial positions after last year's season and he ended up as the manager for Boston. For those of you not paying attention, Boston is in the playoffs, we are not. Sure, Francona has a great team behind him and a solid front office, but he has also done a great job managing the team.

I'm not going to cry any tears over Speier, but retaining Ron Washington is a MUST. The A's front office would be smarter to do whatever it takes to keep Ron Washington in Oakland for 2005 and then hand him the Manager's job after Macha's contract expires in 2006.

No official word yet on the other coaches, if you have any news, let me know. Curt Young deserves to go, but I have a feeling that the A's will hang onto him. Sure, he has done great things with Rich Harden, but what about Zito's inconsistency all season long ? What about Mulder's post All-Star collapse ? What about Hudson's horrible September ? Someone must provide a reasonable explanation for all the problems with the Big Three this season and our oft imploding bullpen. Changes need to be made to fix the pitching or we won't make it to the post-season next year either.


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