MLB Analysis: Oakland A's Have a Problem and His Name is Brian Fuentes

| by Off The Record

Usually, when players in any sport go out there and continually stink up the joint, it’s best to lay low. Someone should tell that to Oakland A’s closer Brian Fuentes, who went off on manager Bob Geren when he was inserted into a tie game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California in the United States of America.

It’s not just that he was put into a tie game, it’s that he gave up three runs to take his fourth loss in his last four outings (A’s record).

So, blame the manager, right?

“There’s just no communication,” Fuentes said, according to “Two games on the road, bring the closer in a tied game, with no previous discussions of doing so. And then, tonight, in the seventh inning, I get up. I haven’t stretched, I haven’t prepared myself. If there was some communication beforehand I would be ready to come into the game — which I was, when I came into the game, I was ready. Just lack of communication. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed.”

But, it seems like Geren was ready to bounce Fuentes from the closer role even before he stunk up the joint and popped off. It seems he was planning on using Grant Balfour as his closer if they rallied and took the lead in the ninth.

“I’ve always said I’ve used a guy in the right situation,” Geren said before the game. “The eighth inning is a good spot for Balfour. If there’s a better spot in reverse, we could do that, too. It’s about winning games.”

If Fuentes hadn’t lost the closer role before running his mouth, he surely has now. Look for Balfour to get the next couple save chances.

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