1.29: Web Exclusive: A's Manager Bob Geren with Mychael Urban
Here with the a's manager Bob Darren thanks for joining us spend some time for spend the night on the town -- your lovely wife let's first talk about. Last week a week ago today in fact Billy -- They suggested that he wasn't going to be finished with his offseason dealings in a week later he stunned the baseball world with Ben Sheets were you stunned. I'm not at all we had conversations all along and if the winter meetings on -- meeting with his -- and Casey close is actually guy played with. In the minor leagues and sun news -- an outside chance but hasn't. Weeks go on the months go on -- you know our chances went up and it was still there abilities take a shot at a very happy about it. Clinton obviously you know Billy talk about things like this have covered this for about a decade three managers it seemed like you out of the three managers have the most input. On the way the team is constructed now that's one of the positives of working with a good friend and Billy is that to you what are some of the negatives of working with a good friend. I've really experience any other than. Reality he's upset about something if I am you know it's just. It's not really big deal that can really think -- negative but other than you know when you lose you feel bad because. Your. You know you lose your your team has lost a gamer in a losing streak and you feel like you know. You -- during camp because not only you know for the team the community but your friend you know -- he wanted to -- -- let him down and that's also positive too because you know you feel like we're all in this together and he wants it to some -- idea. But what about when you guys have disagreements like say after game he questioned your decision making and game. I would imagine that makes it a little bit more comfortable and you guys can have that kind of back and forth with a friendship. Background. Well -- it really doesn't happen that often but. Knock them perfect turn and had a this only for ways of managing game is very rarity indeed have a total disagreement that when you do -- -- about it and you know you look at different perspective it's it's. You -- up into you as you know GM GM of the year executive of the year you respect. His baseball knowledge you know the friendship is just something on the side. Bob mentioned the way and they when he signed it she says he's going to be opening day starters. Trevor Cahill vin was RO -- Gonzales fighting -- out for the number five spot based on what they did last season who might have the upper hand right now going to camp. What's a difficult one because you know Trevor had his ups and downs he was you know the system is out there. GO actually was up and down from the minor leagues and major reason and he had some games you know. Particular member against the Yankees Red Sox very dominant -- -- injury struggles than -- are actually. Hasn't terrorized his shoulder was shut down early so a lot of -- to depend on on how they look to spurring. And but you said just. Competition's good especially for these young guys and you go out and earn the job and into the way baseball works of the dog after opportunities and one timers. Right now let's run down some of the other offseason additions you got Kevin Kouzmanoff who got Coco Crisp Aaron Miles Jake Fox you brought back Duchscherer you brought back cuts. Whom are forgetting Eric Chavez -- hoping once again that you're gonna get something out of him where the a's stand in relation to the rest avail western your mind. What's your question is its first of all. As were talking here the of the off season's not over west of the -- can be more moves moves made by you know possibly by us by the Seattle. You never know so as we speak right now. I'm not really buying into that the Angels to a huge step backwards and they had 97 wins they've been. You know first place team not reporters and their degree rotation and loses rotation Susan -- -- -- in losing Lackey and an ad in the -- army is their drop off -- or not but. So the Angels you know they lost you know something is probably be the biggest blow on me. They've added Fernando Roger in the bullpen help them Matsu retired -- response to DH and rusher. Who actually have a better year in 2010 I mean -- did slowdown of the second and that's who's been very consistent so. If they they're up 97 when they're giving it to him they are Seattle. We're going on each one -- right right up -- Seattle is is that it you know Cliff Lee tuned to feelings -- -- that's a pretty good 12 punch right there -- said. Angels losing as big as he landed in Seattle sleaze and bring some different dynamic -- each wrote the top of their lineup so. They're gonna have a very improved team. Texas the other had a Rich Harden -- -- -- Millwood saw I'm not quite sure how that's been taken off. I don't want to Millwood -- a more healthy as far as pitching. Every five days but Rich Harden when he's on as you've seen here Michael is one of us in the game. Than they've added -- -- from the Angels so it's kind of all mixed around a little bit I think that. It's all come to. You know little tighter pack on the Angels -- defending champions but. We feel like you know with the additions we've made we can compete with. Saw that being said you're confident about your chances of actually being contenders are trying to right now we look at it as. You know the project what we can do about it by who's going to be on that 25 man roster we should be right there right now your confidence always have to be tempered somewhat by. You know the big gift when it comes to open especially over the past three years which is health. Now the past three years you guys been devastated by injuries they had kind of a two part question one do you have any theories as to why. That was such a huge problem over the past three years into why do you feel like it's gonna be better this year. It's difficult to put figure out because every injury has its own story. There's no -- common thread really between all that wasn't that we don't run enough for we don't throw enough for that. I put pitchers in the game or lead into the long. Hasn't been any one particular reason why we've had injuries. Quite honestly some of the guys we've had we've acquired have had some injury history in the past and that's. You know some of the reasons why we can acquire some of the guys afford them and in this in the smaller market like we are so. They've had little bit of history and sometimes history obviously repeats itself as. Measure that term used a lot but as far as this season. It's still individual Ben Sheets personally told me feels great I watched him throw actually caught him he looks. Fantastic Justin Duchscherer had a lot of contact the last few weeks and he feels both physically and mentally very strong so I'm expecting good things for him Joey DeVine just talked to -- dramatic for young today. He's out tore off the mound today. And he feels as good as he can be after his Tommy John surgery. So you go around the field Eric Chavez's visit visited. He's swinging the bat right now and start throw. But he's feel like he's getting close so you know we sit here you know and -- -- February as we're talking and it's. You have to be positive just vote by what you're hearing from these guys. Right now I heard you mentioned earlier that you -- catch Ben Sheets you strap on the gear your former big league catcher had a difficult standing up after school again into the squad -- a bad days. We that these wooden understands the -- -- understaffed and because I mean is it. Is that simple are not possible and go to Kent special times that it now outside. The hands are still there the guys are okay in the legs are definitely gone crash but. How do you get down there in catches that's not a problem like you said getting up at the end and walking back to the car was only difficult part catcher was asked about Ben -- got a members got almost -- four to one strikeout ratios are great control so very rarely have to move the club more than ten or twelve inches so -- actually quite easy. I know -- looking -- your team right now paper you're gonna have if you're healthy you're gonna have a great rotation you know if you're healthy you're gonna have a great bullpen and I'll just totally agree healthy let's just assume there are -- defense is exceptionally might have three center fielders in your outfield but. On paper you look at the offense that's the least impressive part of the team where the runs gonna come from. Well first of all you that your your. You know view of what we have is pretty correct I think that the defense is your -- Way better than last year one of their defense potentially. The pitching staff I agree with 200% both rotation and bullpen. As far as the office you know we did that's moments of Kouzmanoff but first I think -- -- to run a lot better year. I think -- -- 660 games Clijsters and as more offense. Kurt Suzuki keeps getting better. You know there's no ceiling on him Ryan -- -- the same way Coco Crisp brings a little different element we have a combination of guys a little bit of power and in -- be. And -- is a smart base runners in answer runs there. Pennington is you know -- short and he's still do -- you know the jury's still bodies -- perform this level although we did a great job Sacramento. The only ros Davidson now to get some competition out there or so and we do have our our leading home run hitter Jack Cust coming back so. That being said I do believe that. As far as offense goes we opted to make sure that we take advantage of every opportunity we have to. Increase her percentage of getting runners in third base less than two -- we have to. Excuse -- bright spots when they're called for we have to do is still a real nice job stealing some bases visited last year -- high percentage. And it just it's just fundamental. Type approach that we have to be real good -- win those three to two games were three games is with -- it's a step should be a lot of low scoring games. Should fans expect to see the same kind of daring on the basis that that's on the second half last season that seemed to be what really energize the fan base about the -- you play. Yeah I think that. Hasn't been a part of the Oakland a's offense their their ammo over the past decade or so true it seemed to be it usually hear that you're the manager team to creep into it a little bit more. Well it's not. A change of philosophy on my part it's a change of personnel on. If the first day I got this job people so I imagine going to be. Are you gonna Ronnie knocked around get a bunt and I looked right adamant said I'm gonna play to the personnel try to get whatever I can have a personnel. And you -- Raj Davis -- player reduce it 300 that's what he does well and I had Coco Crisp that same mix if he's in Iran. And you know Jack -- is gonna hit home runs and walked and probably strike out once or twice you know so. It's -- time OK but but that's the team we have and that's what we're gonna do monitor and we can to to use the tools. Of our roster to the best of their ability. So you are confident about your chances of contending let's say that you do stay healthy. For the first time since you've been manager and you don't contend now as your team has slid out of contention over the past three years. Billy's always defended your performance saying look you can't judge a guy -- his teams decimated by injuries and in fact is the team hasn't been. As talented as he would have liked it to have been the past few years should you be on the hot seat if this team stays healthy and doesn't contend. I just you know. That's up and that that as a manager you honestly try to -- do best you can every day and you don't put those things in your mind at all and that's kind of while you sit here as maybe your job or sportswriters jobs that's fine but for me. You know have always been kind of guys that you go out and do your best as a player and let the chips fall into the same as a manager can't worry about it need to try to. Worry about things you can control is is is not not a way to live. So the fact that you're going into the final year contract -- the club has an option for the next year that's not something that. You put some pressure on yourself and we've got to get it done this here. I try to get it done every year every day every game so it doesn't add anything to -- Putting pressure myself not. Okay and one last thing give -- give us give the fans. The name of a player that you think might be the guy. Who breaks out this year last year it was Roger Davis clearly in the second half for his inning guy in particular that you feel like is ready to make that next jump. Well we haven't talked about couple the prospects we have come into camp for Cris Carter Michael Taylor he asked her how Michael Taylor is -- Cris Carter and his numbers. From year to year in the -- of kind of spoke for themselves I think -- fans are familiar with him but Michael Taylor is a guy that. I'm not real familiar with I've just seen some video and -- some scouting reports and and talked a lot of people he's the guy can't wait to see play six foot six. 260 pounds and he can -- he can throw it to do a lot of different things and that's not very -- and industry some reports -- that -- expect to see both of those guys in the big leagues at some pointers that just gonna play out depending on you what the guys at their positions. -- is really depends on the opportunity that that's presents itself right now the way it looks in our team is pretty well set and like you talked about the health there but he. Stay healthy have great years these guys can continue to develop but.