Bob Geren fired by Oakland A's

Bob Geren in a May 25, 2011 file photo.

OAKLAND, California - The Oakland Athletics have fired manager Bob Geren in the midst of a nine-game losing streak that has sent them tumbling to the bottom of the American League West division standings.

Oakland general manager Billy Beane immediately announced on Thursday that former Arizona manager and broadcaster Bob Melvin will be the interim manager.

The A's went 334-376 in four-plus seasons under Geren, a longtime friend of Beane. The beleaguered manager had come under criticism from his bullpen in recent weeks for a lack of communication, and a sluggish offense combined with a rash of injuries to the rotation spelled the end of his tenure.

The A's were planning to introduce Melvin before their game at the Chicago White Sox later Thursday.

Players questioned Geren's communication skills, and rival scouts and executives derided him as the worst manager in the game,'s Danny Knobler reports.

"They'll never win as long as he's there," one scout with Oakland ties told me last month, after the firestorm that began when Brian Fuentes and Huston Street ripped Geren in print.

People close to the team said that Geren had lost the trust of his veteran players.

"He could have said the house is on fire, and guys would have stayed, because they wouldn't have believed him," one A's person said.