A’s pick up Bob Geren’s option for 2011

Lots of news today, and the A’s and Red Sox haven’t even taken the field! …

–The A’s exercised the 2011 option on manager Bob Geren, meaning he’ll return for a fifth season as skipper. This decision was an absolute given, as Geren has gotten 100 percent backing from the front office regarding his performance since taking over before the 2007 season. Certainly the win-loss record leaves something to be desired — the A’s are 296-329 (.474 winning percentage) under Geren and haven’t posted a winning record over his first three seasons. They’re 70-70 with 22 games left this season. Geren has come under media scrutiny for some strategical moves this season, and I get the feeling this decision won’t exactly be embraced by many A’s fans based on the lack of wins under his leadership.

But GM Billy Beane maintains the same rationale as past seasons in giving Geren a thumbs-up to this point. He maintains that Geren has been operating short-handed due to many injuries. Given that, Beane likes the direction the A’s are headed, particularly with one of the majors’ best young pitching staffs. He was asked why he decided to pick up Geren’s option now rather than wait until season’s end. “Usually if you’ve made up your mind, it makes sense to do it. And we had made up our minds,” Beane said.

–As for whether the rest of the coaching staff returns in 2011, Beane said those decisions will be made after the season. Ditto on whether to pick up the 2011 options on third baseman Eric Chavez, second baseman Mark Ellis and center fielder Coco Crisp. As we all assume, the A’s will likely buy out Chavez’s contract at $3 million rather than bring back the oft-injured veteran at $12.5 million.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Hermida RF, Davis LF, Larish 3B, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.

Red Sox – Scutaro SS, McDonald RF, Martinez DH, Beltre 3B, Lowell 1B, Lowrie 2B, SAltalamacchia C, Hall LF, Kalish CF, Lackey RHP.

Joe Stiglich