ANAHEIM -- A's owner Lew Wolff, making an appearance at Angel Stadium on Wednesday, defended manager Bob Geren in light of reliever Brian Fuentes' public criticisms that surfaced two days prior regarding the skipper's lack of communication.
Wolff called Geren "fantastic" and said he likes "the way he deals with everyone." And when asked of his evaluation of Geren specifically as a manager, the team owner replied, "I think Bob's fine, terrific. It's a tough job."
It's been widely speculated that Geren, under contract through the current season, has kept his job amid questionable managing because of his long-standing friendship with general manager Billy Beane, for whom Geren served as best man at his wedding. Wolff quickly denied such a notion and said he didn't think "it has one thing to do with it."
"I really don't," Wolff said. "If it did, I would tell him that."
Wolff, in fact, noted he believes Beane and Geren's relationship actually made for hesitation on Beane's part when promoting Geren from Triple-A Sacramento to take over duties as Oakland's manager in 2006.
"Billy delayed Bob's career for reasons like that, which I thought was silly," Wolff said. "Billy's goal is to win ballgames, and he evaluates everything."
Prior to batting practice on Wednesday, Geren held a private team meeting that lasted just under the 20-minute mark but did not delve into why or what was said during that time, other than confirming he was the one who called for it.
"Just a meeting to talk about the team, and that's it," Geren said.
Pressed again about the matter less than a minute later, Geren replied, "Just a team meeting, and that's all I'm going to say about it."
Wolff was present for the meeting, but did not participate, and he told reporters that he does not view the conflict between Fuentes and Geren -- which has since been resolved -- as a concern, noting he doesn't like the word "communication" because "it usually takes two people."
"I think it's true if you're in the army," Wolff said, smiling, "or if you live in my house."