With his banged-up team mired in a nine-game losing streak, and rampant speculation about the tenuous status of manager Bob Geren, general manager Billy Beane felt he had no other choice than to make a change at skipper.
The A’s on Thursday fired a manager during the season for the first time since axing Jackie Moore in 1986, letting Geren go after four-plus seasons and bringing in former Arizona and Seattle manager Bob Melvin for the rest of the season.
“It felt like at this point a change was necessary,” Beane said.
Geren’s tenure in Oakland was marked by numerous injuries, a lack of offense and questions about his communication skills as he was unable to post a winning season after taking over an AL West championship team from Ken Macha.
Geren posted a 334-376 record, including a 27-36 mark this season.
Melvin, 49, posted a 493-508 record in seven seasons as manager with Seattle and Arizona. He led the Diamondbacks to the NL West title in 2007 and also won 93 games in his rookie season with the Mariners in 2003.
Melvin is a Bay Area native – born in Palo Alto and went to college at Cal – and spent time in the major leagues with the San Francisco Giants (1986-88).
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “This doesn’t happen very often in baseball, where you literally get to come home in the capacity that I do.”
Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow, a startling injury that’s likely to require Tommy John surgery and end his season.
A test Thursday revealed the tear. It came a day after New York put Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff elbow.
Chamberlain said he was “kind of in shock” and he didn’t know how or when he hurt himself.
The Marliners hired ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez to replace John Mallee as hitting coach. Perez played 43 games for the Mariners in 2006, hitting .195, before retiring to work for ESPN. Seattle acquired Perez from Cleveland for prospect Asdrubal Cabrera, now the starting shortstop for the Indians. ... The Royals called up third baseman Mike Moustakas, the No. 2 overall pick in 2007. ... First baseman Anthony Rizzo, one of three prospects acquired in the trade with Boston for Adrian Gonzalez, was called up by the Padres. ... Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, threw out the first pitch at the Brewers’ game against the Mets. ... The Pittsburgh Pirates placed catcher Chris Snyder on the disabled list with a herniated disk. ... Dennis Mascari, who created the ultimate final resting place for die-hard Cubs fans, “Beyond the Vines” (a replica of the Wrigley Field outfield wall at a cemetery), has died. He was 63. ... World Series MVP Edgar Renteria was given his championship ring before his first game in San Francisco since joining the Reds in the offseason.