The Angels beat the A’s 4-1 Monday night in a game that saw very little action until the 8th inning when the Halos got big hits from Torii Hunter and Jeff Mathis (of all people) to score three runs and all but put the game away. The post game proved to be more exciting – as former Angels Closer / whipping boy – Brian Fuentes lashed out at A’s manager Bob Geren for not “communicating with him correctly”. Fuentes who with A’s closer Andrew Bailey sidelined had been used primarily as Oakland’s closer was apparently upset he was called on to pitch in the 8th inning with the scored tied 1-1.
“There’s just no communication,” Fuentes said, according to MLB.com. “Two games on the road, bring the closer in a tied game, with no previous discussions of doing so. And then, tonight, in the seventh inning, I get up. I haven’t stretched, I haven’t prepared myself. If there was some communication beforehand I would be ready to come into the game — which I was, when I came into the game, I was ready. Just lack of communication. I don’t think anybody really knows which direction he’s headed.”
This is the sad case where an athlete gets caught up in their role and perceived “status” rather than whats good for the team. Lets get all hypothetical and pretend that Fuentes is actually the A’s best reliever and therefore deserving of the closers role. You could argue that keeping the game tied in the 8th inning is even more important than closing out the game in the 9th and preserving the win. Instead of stating the affirmative , Fuentes chose to take the bush league route and not only pimp slap his manager but also deal a significant blow to team morale. It’s long been said there is no “I” in team – apparently Brian Fuentes missed that tidbit of “communication”.
- Up Next: Dan Haren will be looking for some run support as the Angels Face the A’s in game 2.