Monday, October 10, 2005

Who will be the A's next manager ?

Unless you were born and raised in a dark cave, you obviously know that Macha is out. For some of you, knowing that Macha is gone brings a deep feeling of relief. Others felt Macha was a good manager who handled the young staff well. Even a choice few others - from the general public - don't know how the A's will survive next year without Macha. No really, stop laughing, I am serious. I was in the store just yesterday and a woman saw my A's shirt and said "I love the A's but I don't know how they are going to make it without Macha."

I fall somewhere in the middle. While I sometimes questioned Macha's use of the bullpen, for the most part I felt he was a decent manager who worked hard to develop the younger players and keep the team on a generally even, if not always successful, keel. I also felt that the occasional burst of anger and rage towards a bogus call would have, at the worst, bolstered your players' morale and boosted their energy, but I can't recall too many instances when Macha ever ventured on the field to argue a call, and when he did it appeared he was discussing the weather with his next door neighbor much less arguing with the ump. Still, overall he did a fair, if unspectacular, job. I feel no regrets having had Macha as a coach and wish him luck in the future.

That being said, I was not surprised to hear of Macha leaving the A's. Just a few years ago we watched Art Howe go to the Mets where he lasted all of 1 season - after many pundits argued that losing Howe was a blow to the A's. Where is Art Howe now ? Oh yeah, vanished into irrelevance. Macha quickly stepped up to the manager's position where he filled in just fine.

So now with Macha gone, what to do ? Promote from within. The A's organization, above all else and unlike most other teams, is exactly that : an ORGANIZATION. The A's ownership under the general managership of Billy Beane has spent years developing a detailed organization from the bottom up that focuses on choosing quality personnel, whether players or management or front office personnel, and then trains and molds them to fit into the A's unique philosophy of how to run a baseball business. Billy Beane and the A's organization see themselves as a baseball business and they run themselves accordingly.

In the big corporate world, highly successful corporations promote from within. They find employees with the personality and skills that they, as an organization, value most and actively work to develop such employees into valuable human assets. When it comes time to choose a new manager, then the corporation has a variety of choices from within the organization to promote to that position, without having to worry about hiring a potential stranger whom they then have to waste valuable time and money training and teaching to fit into your organization's structure.

With that in mind, the A's currently have 2 candidates from within the organization that they are going to interview for the manager's job - bullpen coach Bob Geren and my personal favorite infield coach Ron Washington.

While I think Ron Washington is an outstanding individual and most deserving of a manager position, I think the job will go to Bob Geren, who is known to be a close friend of Billy Beane's. With Bob Geren, there will most likely be little friction between the manager and the front office of Billy Beane, as has long been rumored with both Macha and Howe. About Bob Geren, I simply don't know enough to have an opinion on whether he would be a good manager or not, but one can simply hope that his knowledge of the A's bullpen will put him in a better position to manage it during tough games next season.

As for Ron Washington, he is the most valuable coach the A's have. Players from all levels of the organization value Washington's expertise as an infield coach and credit him with their fielding success. To lose Ron Washington would be horrible blow to the Oakland A's, but for his own career I wish him the best and I hope that if he does not get the job with the A's that he will go on to manage another major league team. As much as I hate to lose him, he deserves better than spending his career as an infield/3B coach.

Anyways, that's all I have for now, we will keep a close watch on the manager talks and will update you once we have more info.


Post a Comment

<< Home