The Raiders have their best season since 2002, the coach gets axed, and we know why.
Because the boss wants more from the Raiders.
The Warriors have their most encouraging season in three years, the head coach gets fired, and we all know why.
Because the boss, the new boss, wants more from the Warriors.
That brings us to the third and final East Bay professional team, the voluntary stepchildren who on Friday returned home to a typically tepid reception at the Coliseum.
The A's season thus far has been less than anticipated and, suddenly, its manager is working up a sweat. Bob Geren is dodging darts and arrows and rocks. These projectiles are being thrown not only by fans -- many of whom never embraced him -- but also by his own players.
Fans are questioning strategy, as they should be; Geren sometimes seems a beat behind the game, especially in interleague play. Fans, unable to understand why Daric Barton, batting .206, has more plate appearances than anyone else on a club that supposedly tuned up its offense over the winter, are turning on the manager.
When former closer Brian Fuentes gripes about poor communication from Geren -- and is demoted -- new closer Grant Balfour validates the allegation by conceding he hadn't been told he's the new closer.
Put simply, the A's these days are a mediocre stew on simmer, neither looking nor smelling particularly good, lumbering along under a fifth-year manager who has yet to experience a winning season.
If Tom Cable wasn't good enough for the Raiders, and Keith Smart wasn't good enough for the Warriors, how much longer can the A's continue to say Geren is good enough for them?
That's the word for now. Managing partner Lew Wolff, speaking in Anaheim this week, not only defended the manager but also jumped over Jupiter to shower Geren with general abundant praise -- practically kissing Geren on the forehead.
Then there is general manager Billy Beane, whose promotion of Geren -- his longtime good friend -- in November 2006 was, on the surface, an example of brazen cronyism.
"You have to keep it in context," Beane said of the zings directed at his manager. "It's been an emotional week."
Beane cited recent events that have chipped away at the team's physical structure and, perhaps, its emotional fiber. There was the May 19 injury that sidelined starter Tyson Ross, who was replacing Dallas Braden, who underwent surgery May 17. And starter Brandon McCarthy was placed on the disabled list May 20.
The A's have been shaken up, as has their roster. There are plenty of reasons, some legitimate, for Oakland's sub-. 500 record.
But how long can the bosses continue to buy into those reasons, citing them to validate their unwavering support of Geren?
"Bob knows we've got a better club this year," Beane said. "Certainly, with the free agents we brought in, we have some expectations. But the team we envisioned has not been there. We haven't had our closer (Andrew Bailey), and we've lost three starters.
"That said, this game is about results. Bob is aware of that. And Bob is in the last year of his deal."
Geren's lame-duck status provides hope for those fans whose groaning has advanced to wailing. They've seen Geren, they're not impressed, and they want him gone.
They applaud when former closer Huston Street wallops Geren with derogatory insinuations, implying he can't be trusted. They wince when former A's starter Dan Haren, who played one year under Geren, speaks well of the manager, as did Eric Byrnes, the retired player who credits Geren for much of his development in the minor leagues. It's evident, though, that Geren has lost the fan base, and it's apparent his relationship with the clubhouse is lacking. Team shot-callers may not give a hump about the former, but they ought to respect the latter.
That takes me back to the day Wolff unveiled his own personal heaven, a prospective ballpark village in Fremont, subsidized by Cisco Systems. Another unresolved issue, a baseball matter, also was hanging in the air.
Beane had dismissed manager Ken Macha not because the team had failed but because their relationship was colder than a Wisconsin winter. Beane sought someone with whom he would have, for lack of a better word, chemistry. Geren, a baseball lifer, was a finalist.
While others were fawning over the artists' rendering of Cisco Field, a respected member of the organization approached to offer a simple but unforgettable comment.
"If Billy hires Bob Geren," the employee whispered, "he's putting himself in risky territory. Eventually, he's going to have to fire his friend."
He almost certainly will, if he wants more out of the A's. And at this rate, we'll all know why.
Contact Monte Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org.