Notes: A learning experience for Geren
Manager responds to allegations of disharmony in clubhouse
ARLINGTON -- A day after his least pleasant day as a big-league manager, Bob Geren was in a reflective mood.
Clearly disappointed with the portrait painted Sunday, in a San Francisco Chronicle story, of a fractured clubhouse under his leadership, he vowed to learn what he could from the first public criticism of his first year as the A's skipper.
"I don't want to get into this too much, because I met with the team [Sunday morning], and it's really something that should stay in the clubhouse," Geren told MLB.com before the opener of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark. "But it obviously caught me off-guard. I mean, I don't even know who said what, or if they said it at all, or if it was one guy having a bad day or what. I just wish they had come to me.
"That part of it's disappointing."
The story suggested that several players were unhappy with Geren for being, among other things, too positive and unwilling to criticize. Ironically, the man Geren replaced, Ken Macha, was blasted by some A's players, in a Chronicle story that ran the day after Macha was fired last October, for being too negative and critical.
The other difference between the Macha story and Sunday's story about Geren is that the players who ripped Macha allowed their names to be used. All of the criticism leveled against Geren came from anonymous sources.
"That's a little confusing to me," Geren said. "I guess I just don't know much about the media business. ... But I told everyone from Day 1 that my door is always open, that I want them to come to me if they have a problem with anything I'm doing, or anything we're doing as a team.
"Hopefully this is all going to die down, and it's something I can learn from. Everything to me is a learning experience. If I make a bad decision in a game, I try to learn from it. If I make a decision that works out, I can learn from that, too. So if someone says something negative about me, or even something positive, I want to learn as much as I can."
On the road; not on the mend: Third baseman Eric Chavez, who was placed on the disabled list last week with lower back spasms, made the trip to Texas with the team so he could see a doctor here Wednesday. Depending on what the doctor tells him, he might then head for Southern California for another opinion.
"It doesn't look like I'll be playing baseball any time soon," conceded Chavez, who has had two MRIs on his back, the most recent one while the team was in Seattle (July 26-29). "At least a couple weeks."
Head athletic trainer Larry Davis told Geren it might be closer to three weeks before Chavez is cleared to resume any baseball activities.
"It's obviously not good," Geren said. "Back problems are really tough to get a handle on."
Chavez vaguely suggested that his condition is comparable to the one that resulted in surgery this spring for outfielder Mark Kotsay, but for the time being, he'd like to stay away from such comparisons.
"We don't want to think like that, but we don't know," Chavez said. "Hopefully we will sometime this week."
Dribblers: Righty Esteban Loaiza, who had right knee surgery on May 31, was scheduled to make his second rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, with a pitch limit of 80. He'll start for the River Cats again Saturday in Las Vegas, with a pitch limit of 100. Geren said Loazia's fastball topped out at 84 mph on two different radar guns in his first outing; Loaiza typically works at between 87-91 mph when he's completely healthy. "I'd like to see him get his arm strength and velocity up," Geren said, but as far as the radar guns is concerned, he added, "I don't think there's a magic number." ... The weather in Arlington was typically hot and humid, and the A's cut short their batting practice by about 10 or 12 minutes. The game-time temperature was 92 degrees. ... As the result of a fan survey conducted in the offseason, the Rangers are starting their weekday night games at 7:35 p.m. local time this year instead of 7:05, but it's not a concession to the stifling heat. The later start is designed to give fans driving from the Dallas area more time to get to the park after work.
Up next: A's righty Chad Gaudin (8-7, 3.88 ERA) takes on Rangers rookie lefty Kason Gabbard (4-1, 3.86 ERA), who was acquired last week in the trade that sent Eric Gagne to the Red Sox, in the second game of the series on Tuesday. The first pitch is set for 5:35 p.m. PT.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.