Was surprrised to get several e-mails this week regarding the demotion of A’s catcher Adam Melhuse to Triple-A Sacramento. Melhuse must be a popular player among the fans out there, because I’d never imagine such a fringe player creating so much interest. Other e-mails concerned Bob Geren, and whether he has what it takes to be a successful manager.
1) I’d be patient with Geren. The truth is, he probably has a little more power than Art Howe and Ken Macha did, because general manager Billy Beane probably has a greater comfort zone with Geren. I don’t think it’s fair to judge him until he has a healthy team under him. I do wonder about his use of the bullpen, and whether he’ll overuse guys. I also think he needs to do a better job of stretching his starters a bit. The players seem happy with him.
2) I doubt the A’s will trade Melhuse. I also wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he does not return. Melhuse is a classic 4A player, meaning he’ll always be very good at Triple-A but never an impact guy in the majors. He’s a good hitter, and he could probably make a National League team very happy as a pinch-hitter. But he’s not a good defensive catcher, he doesn’t call games well and his lack of versatility hurts him on a team that is so concerned about money.
Which brings me to a point I empahsized when Brad Halsey popped off in another paper last week. The A’s make their decisions with business the top priority, and the human part of it the second priority. Which makes them the same as probably 90 percent of the corporations that now exist. Beane told me once that Bill Walsh was an executive he admired, and Walsh had no qualms about getting rid of even the most legendary players when the time came.
Speaking of football, I was very happy to see the Raiders take JaMarcus Russell. I’m not an NFL expert (but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express), and if all the commotion about Russell is true, then it seems to me the Raiders got themselves a franchise quarterback. I don’t see how you could pass up that chance.
Anyway, blog any questions you might have regarding the A’s and Giants and I’d be happy to post them here and answer them the best I can.