If I had the chance to be the Oakland Athletics general manager for a week, there are a variety of changes the team would go and these changes would help the team go into a positive direction, not a nasty spiral of playing piss poor baseball.
Here are the changes I would make:
The first thing I would do as general manager would be to fire Bob Geren. I would say to him that there's no excuse for such a young team to play such uninspired baseball since you took over as the manager, so hit the road Jack. Your services are no longer needed.
Now for the tricky part bringing in a manager who can deal with the young talent and the learning progressions of each of the young players. So, the replacement for Geren would be Tony DeFrancesco who's been in the A's organization for 14 seasons.
During those 14 years he's coached the A's Rookie League, Single-A, Double-A, and now is the Triple A coach. In 2008 he did not manage in Triple-A he was actually up in the Majors serving as one of the coaches for manager Bob Geren.
Another coach that would be fired would be Jim Skaalen. The A's offense has not improved for the terrible season of 2008 and he would be gone as well.
With that move, it would be time to bring in Rickey Henderson to the team. It has been said that Henderson wants to be apart of the A's organization in a coaching capacity. I would put him as hitting coach.
The A's now have a new manager in place and then it would be time to look at the players and the lineup. The first thing I would do is release Jason Giambi. Giambi hasn't shown any signs of being anywhere near the player he once was. He doesn't even look like the guy who hit 32 homers and drove in 97 runs for the Yankees in 2008. That experiment has failed and it is time for his release.
Another player that should be released immediately is Russ Springer. Springer at 40 has proven he's done. He can still get strikeouts, but when he misses his pitches he gets hit hard and gives up way too many runs. Not exactly a good thing for a reliever to be doing.
To replace Springer the A's could bring up Kevin Cameron, Jeff Gray, Jerry Blevins, Jay Marshall, or Hendry Rodriguez. I would lean towards Jay Marshall who's a deceptive left handed reliever.
With Giambi gone it means moving Cust to the designated hitter position where he truly belongs. Cust is serviceable in right, but the A's need an outfielder that has a strong arm in right.
I would put Ryan Sweeney in right field so he knows he's getting consistent playing time. If Scott Hairston is out for an extended period of time then Sweeney should still be in right field.
In center field you go with the guy who's swinging the bat well and that is Rajai Davis. His speed is also a huge factor because he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. He doesn't have as strong of an arm as Sweeney, but he can cover a little more ground than Sweeney.
In Left Field is Matt Holliday and at this point in time trading Holliday doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless he starts hitting more homeruns and starts driving in more runs. So he'll likely stay for the rest of the season.
Theres not much that should be changed regarding the rest of the lineup except for at first base. With Giambi being released it would mean making a callup from Triple-A. I would bring Daric Barton up and see what he can do for the rest of the season.
He's still a young talent who is leading the A's Triple-A team in rbis and has rebounded from his poor start to the season.
Another callup potentially for the A's sometime soon should be Tommy Everidge who was called up to Sacramento would be Everidge who can play third base and would add power to the A's lineup.
With the callup of Everidge then the A's could call Chris Carter up to Sacramento too see what he can do. Carter is the A's best power hitting prospect.
The very last thing I would do is to work on a contract extension for Adam Kennedy. He's been one of the most consistent A's this year and his versatility to play in either the infield or the outfield is definitely a good thing for the A's.
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