Relief pitchers are sort of like NFL kickers. They are their own breed of people and need things to be structured in a certain way. Ask a kicker to kick more 40-yard field goals in practice than he normally does and he’ll probably have a nervous breakdown. Ask a relief pitcher to help the team out in the 7th inning when he has been a closer most of his career and he just might have a stroke if his name is Brian Fuentes.
Fuentes has never really been a phenomenal reliever, but he’s had some solid years as a closer. On Sunday, A’s manager Bob Geren brought Fuentes into a tied extra inning game on the road. The move was a bit unordinary for a closer on the road, but certainly not unheard of. Fuentes was very vocal in disagreeing with the move, but it wasn’t until Geren chose to use him in the seventh inning on Monday that the gasket really blew.
“I thought the games in San Francisco were some unorthodox managing, but I thought it was maybe the National League, maybe that had something to do with it,” Fuentes told The Oakland Tribune. “But tonight was pretty unbelievable.”
“There’s just a lack of communication. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed.”
Fuentes also added that he has “zero” communication with Geren and thinks the bullpen is being handled “pretty poorly.” Somebody call the whambulance. For a pitcher with a 1-7 record and a 5.06 ERA, Fuentes thinks pretty highly of himself. As a professional reliever being paid $5 million this season, you would think Fuentes would be able to just go out and do what’s asked of him. Instead, he needs to know exactly what inning he’ll be pitching before the game. Geren may be mismanaging his bullpen, but I certainly wouldn’t stand for being blasted like that because a guy can’t handle what’s asked of him. Maybe his arm is fatigued and could use some rest.
UPDATE: Fuentes isn’t alone in his complaints about Geren.Google+