Athletics fire Geren

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 3:06 PM ET

OAKLAND -- Stuck in last place and mired in their longest losing streak in nearly three years, the Oakland Athletics fired manager Bob Geren on Thursday and named Bob Melvin as his replacement on an interim basis.

Geren was 63 games into his fifth season managing the A's, who haven't won since May 29 and have been swept in consecutive three-game series by the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles.

The nine-game losing streak is their longest since a 10-game slide from July 28-August 7, 2008.

Melvin, a former manager for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks, was set to take over in Chicago for the opener of a four-game series against the White Sox on Thursday night.

A's general manager Billy Beane said on a conference call earlier Thursday that it was the right time to make a move.

"It felt like, at this point, change was necessary when it got to the point where the focus was the status of the manager and not what was happening on the field," Beane said.

Geren originally signed a two-year contract to replace Ken Macha, who was fired two days after the A's were swept out of the 2006 ALCS by Detroit. Geren's contract was renewed each of the last three seasons.

But the A's, plagued by injuries, finished with a losing record in each of his first three seasons, only reaching .500 for the first time last year when they were 81-81. Geren went 334-376 as their manager.

"Whenever you replace a manager, it's a drastic move. And I'm not sure you ever know when the right time is," said Beane.

Melvin will be in charge of trying to turn things around, at least for the time being. He takes over a team that entered Thursday 27-36 and eight games behind American League West leader Texas.

Five pitchers who have started games for the A's this season are currently on the disabled list. Dallas Braden in out for the season after having shoulder surgery last month.

"Bob Melvin will inherit the problems that [Geren] had," Beane said.

Melvin, who led the Mariners to 93 wins in his rookie season as a manager in 2003 and guided the Diamondbacks to a first-place finish in 2007, will be introduced at a Thursday afternoon press conference in Chicago.

He was plucked out of the Diamondbacks organization, where he had been hired last month as a special baseball advisor to team president and chief executive Derrick Hall. The A's did not have to compensate the D-Backs, Beane said.

Geren originally joined the A's organization in 1999 as manager of Single-A Modesto and spent the next three seasons at the helm of Triple-A Sacramento.

A former major league catcher -- he played four seasons with the Yankees, and one with the Padres -- Geren also managed in the Red Sox farm system for three years.

Melvin is also 49 and also was a major league catcher for 10 seasons with the Tigers, Giants, Orioles, Royals, Red Sox, Yankees and White Sox.


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