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If At First You Don't Succeed, Fire Your Coaches
2007-10-06 17:12
by Philip Michaels

Larry Davis might have been given the corner office treatment, as Ken reported in this space earlier, but three members of the coaching staff are not so lucky. Susan Slusser reports that Rene Lachemann, Brad Fishcer, and Bob Shaefer have been told they won't be back next year. This is apparently the chickens from Billy Beane's season-ending mutterings about letting Bob Geren have more of a say in picking his staff coming home to roost.

It's unclear from the blog post whether Lachemann, Fischer, and Shaefer are out of the organization altogether or if they'll be offered jobs elsewhere within the A's empire. I'm guessing a Davis-like title of Coordinator of Coaches is probably out of the question.

Bob Schaefer's most distinguishing feature is his resemblance to Ken Macha from behind, so much so that I did a double-take at Spring Training this year when I first clapped eyes on him. "Didn't we fire you?" I murmured under my breath. To his credit, Schaefer didn't turn around.

I kind of figured Lachemann's days were numbered when, in the wak of the Mike Coolbaugh tragedy, he started wearing a helmet and standing as far away from the coaching box as he possibly could while still remaining on the field of play. It is possible that the A's figured that perhaps Lachemann's heart wasn't in the third-base coaching gig so much anymore.

I'm shocked about Brad Fishcer being shown the door, or as shocked as one can be when the bullpen coach is let go. Fischer just wrapped up his 29th season in the A's organization. Perhaps he answered the bullpen phone with a funny voice one too many times for Curt Young's liking -- I don't know. I met Fishcer once at an A's Fan Fest, and he was very friendly and cordial, moreso than a lot of people might have been under similar circumstances. I hope he and the A's don't part ways entirely -- it seems like he really enjoyed being part of the organization and he certainly served it well.

In a related note, it looks like Ty Van Burkleo has survived the Curse of A's Hitting Coaches that has claimed your Gerald Perrys, your Dave Hudgenses, and your Thad Bosleys in years past.

2007-10-07 14:30:44
1.   Arturo
No special insights here on the purge of coaches. Just a hat tip here to people that notice a strange sign along the Nimitz. One that sounds like yet another political slogan here in the Bay Area. NO NUKES! NO WAR! STOP CASTING POROSITY!
2007-10-07 14:46:34
2.   Boo Wolfe
Brad Fischer (51) parlayed his single season in the A's rookie league (1978) into a lengthy coaching career. Newly minted manager Art Howe promoted Fischer to bullpen coach in 1996. Fischer lives in Wisconson. Perhaps it was a mutual decision?
2007-10-07 18:18:32
3.   Jason Wojciechowski
Isn't the helmet crack a low blow? Tons of coaches started wearing them right after the Coolbaugh incident.
2007-10-07 19:19:29
4.   Philip Michaels
3 I honestly didn't mean it as a low blow. Obviously, coaches should do what they need to do to feel protected out there. The more significant aspect, from my point of view, was where Lachemann stood on the filed -- if you watch the A's broacast, at least once a week, they would go to a long shot where Lach was practically sitting in the mezzanine seats, and Fosse and Kuiper would have a good-natured chuckle about how far back Lachmeann was situated. Because I am a cynic at heart, I naturally took that as the A's not-so-subtle signal that it did not approve.

I'm sorry if my natural flippancy obsucred this point.

2 Fischer's comments in Sunday's Chronicle suggest that the parting is anything but mutual:

2007-10-11 16:00:38
5.   christie
An Event that A's Fans WILL NOT want to miss! 10-22-07 in San Francisco!

On Monday October 22, LEWIS WOLFF, Co-owner and Managing Partner of Oakland Athletics will speak at the Commonwealth Club of California!

"If You Build It, Will They Come?"

With four World Championships since 1968, the most successful Major League Baseball team in the Bay Area has plans to leave the city that gave it its identity. The Oakland A's are poised to move to Fremont, where they are betting on Silicon Valley money to help them return to the top of the MLB world. Wolff will lay out his grand ballpark/village plan that he hopes will return the A's to their glory days. But will it work?

MAKE A RESERVATION at or call (415) 597- 6705

5:30 p.m., Wine and cheese reception | 6:00 p.m., Program | Club office, 595 Market St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco | Free for Members, $18 for Non-Members

2007-10-13 08:23:53
6.   Boo Wolfe
5 Will it work? The answer is in transportation. Recent parks like Petco or SF's phonepark depend on transit--heck I took a pedacab to Petco. Fans at the Coliseum wave their BART cards. Wolff's vision is dependent on access via an overloaded freeway--a prescription for failure, not a fun outing!

As for Fremont vs Oakland baseball lore, it is easy to memorize the only two contributions from Fremont: Randy Ready and Russ Swan. Oakland has contributed eighty-eight major-league players. Let the Silicon Valley types play with their computer games modeled after real baseball!

2007-10-25 14:29:21
7.   Ken Arneson
6 Um, Dennis Eckersley, anybody? Born in Oakland, grew up in Fremont.

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