Fuentes, Geren meet after postgame comments
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Veteran reliever Brian Fuentes did not back down from the comments he made about manager Bob Geren’s lack of communication with him about his late-inning role with the Oakland Athletics following Monday night’s loss to the Angels.
The only thing the four-time All-Star left-hander regretted was venting his frustrations to the media instead of Geren himself. And before Tuesday night’s game they had a closed-door meeting in Geren’s office, where they apparently resolved their differences.
“I meant what I said and I stand behind what I said. It was just the wrong outlet,” Fuentes said at his locker. “I heard a lot of criticism on why there weren’t discussions with the manager first before going to the media. From the outside in, it appears one way, and it’s really not.
“There had been discussions. There had been multiple discussions, and I felt like it wasn’t getting anywhere. It was more of a frustration thing. It still wasn’t right what I did, but it wasn’t getting through.”
Geren was satisfied with the results of the meeting, and said there would be no disciplinary fallout.
“I gave Brian my thoughts, he gave me his thoughts, we shook hands and everything’s fine,” said Geren, who had been using Fuentes to close in place of the injured Andrew Bailey. “We’ve lost some games and people are frustrated.
Geren added, “I told him that until he strings together a few good outings in a row that we would stay with (Grant) Balfour for the short-term. I just told him to be ready late in the game and he has no problem with that.”
Fuentes, who led the majors with a career-high 48 saves in 2009 while with the Angels, had plenty on his mind after becoming the first Oakland reliever ever to absorb a loss in four consecutive appearances.
On Monday night, Fuentes was pulled with one out in the eighth inning and a runner at first base. Geren brought in Michael Wuertz, who gave up a tiebreaking RBI double to Torii Hunter and a two-run single to Jeff Mathis in the A’s 4-1 defeat.
“That’s where it all started. It was a little confusing for me,” Fuentes said. “But I realize that he’s the manager and I’m a player, and his decisions are the right ones – whether I think they’re right or wrong.”
The run charged against the 11-year veteran raised his ERA to 5.06 in 23 appearances. Fuentes has allowed 20 hits and 10 walks over 21 1-3 innings.
“Most importantly, and I know that I need to start pitching better,” Fuentes said.
“Someone said, ‘Well you’re not pitching well, so you shouldn’t say anything.’ But whether I throw up 50 scoreless (innings) or give up 50 runs, if I have something on my mind, I’m going to state it, you know? Should I have stated it the way I did last night? No.”
The controversy was a subject of discussion on the other side of the field, where Angels manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher did their best to stay above the fray.
“We had an open line of communication when Brian was here,” Butcher said. “When he had a bad outing here, his comments were always that he was going to turn the page – even when he had a good game. He was the master at turning the page and letting go of whatever happened that day. He never brought a good or a bad game into the next day. And that’s what makes good closers.”