10.16.06

A’s Fire Macha

Posted in Baseball at 4:03 pm by

From the A’s press release :

Oakland Athletics vice president and general manager Billy Beane announced today Ken Macha has been relieved of his duties as manager of the club.

Macha compiled a 368-280 record in four seasons as manager of the A’s. He joined the Oakland organization in 1999 as bench coach and was named the 27th manager in franchise history on Oct. 29, 2002.

The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser details just a few of the reasons why Macha was let go, despite an impressive record.

Macha has had issues with players in the past, including outfielders Terrence Long, Adam Piatt and Chris Singleton, as well as former batting coach Thad Bosley and former pitching coach Rick Peterson. This year, Macha had differences of opinion with outfielders Jay Payton and Mark Kotsay and reliever Scott Sauerbeck.

Toward the end of the season, one member of the starting lineup was openly critical of Macha in the clubhouse. By the final weekend of the regular season, another prominent member of the team had joined in the criticism. Several players went so far as to take their complaints to Beane, telling him they did not want to return to the club if Macha remained as manager, according to sources.

On Sunday, backup catcher Adam Melhuse joined the list of disgruntled players, saying, “For the last two years, our relationship has deteriorated to nothing. He didn’t even speak to me for well over the last month. For me, as a backup, all I want is communication. Every other coach, I get along with great, but with Macha, it is not an exaggeration to say he doesn’t speak to me — not ‘Hi,’ not anything.

“It’s tough to go to work every day knowing you’re working for someone who doesn’t think much of you as a player and on top of that, doesn’t even acknowledge you.”

Macha has upset several players over the course of the season with his reaction to injuries.

When Joe Kennedy and Rich Harden were on the disabled list, he referred to them as “non-entities.” Asked if he was concerned about Bobby Crosby’s back injury affecting the shortstop’s future, Macha responded that he hoped Crosby is back next year and can play 150 games, “but if he can’t, someone else will.” And he raised eyebrows when asked how he felt about Mark Ellis’ broken finger, which knocked the second baseman out of the playoffs, especially considering Ellis’ tough injury history.

“It’s part of the game,” Macha responded. “A lot of people get hurt.”

Macha questioned Kotsay’s inability to play in a road game against Tampa Bay the day after a day off, calling it “puzzling” — two days after Kotsay admitted that it took “duct tape” simply to get him on the field with his balky back.

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