Bring me the head of Ken Macha…

The A’s just got swept by the Cleveland Indians.

I’m appalled. More than that, I’m disgusted. And I blame Ken Macha.

I never thought Art Howe was any kind of genius when he was managing the A’s, but at least he made moves that made sense, and he allowed people to work their way out of slumps. Macha cannot make up his mind what his lineup is going to be or what roles his relievers are going to take. A perfect example – the A’s lost Friday’s game with Jim Mecir on the mound playing the closer’s role when Mecir left a pitch up in the zone to Casey Blake who put it into the seats. Today the A’s dumped a game they’d scratched back to lead when Arthur Rhodes kept serving easy fastball pitches to hitters who are too good to do that to. Then he got flustered and threw away a ball that allowed the winning run to score from third as the ball bounced around the backstop.

Mecir and Rhodes are both good pitchers, but since Macha has effectively been doing a closer-by-committee deal with Rhodes, Mecir and Bradford none of the three of them are as comfortable on the mound in that situation or any other as they might be if any one of them had the chance to get their groove going, knowing when they are likely to be used in a game and against which hitters.

Macha’s incessant fiddling with the lineup is more of a problem. Eric Byrnes, Scott Hatteberg and Erubiel Durazo are all hitting better than .300. And yet none of them is getting consistent playing time. Macha seems obsessed with lefty/righty matchups and with trying to see how many different places in the batting order he can shuffle these guys around to. The only person he’s left alone since opening day has been Jermaine Dye, and I’m willing to bet that has more to do with justifying Dye’s $10 million a year contract than with what makes sense for a given game situation.

Bah and feh. Swept by the Indians. *sigh*

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