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Fuentes clears air with A's manager Geren

Fuentes clears air with A's manager Geren

Fuentes clears air with A's manager Geren
ANAHEIM -- Less than 24 hours after relaying a handful of choice words about Bob Geren to reporters, reliever Brian Fuentes talked to the A's manager and said the issue was behind them.

After voicing displeasure Monday over the way he had been used, the left-hander told reporters Tuesday he would say those things again, "just not to you guys."

"It was the wrong outlet, out of frustration for other things that have taken place," Fuentes said Tuesday afternoon. "I don't want to go into those, but it was the wrong way to go about it, and I think I knew that when I did it. We discussed it, and we'll move on, and it's all good."

Fuentes apologized to Geren for his statements, and noted he and the skipper -- whom he deemed at fault for an "unorthodox managing" style on Monday -- are now on the same page. However, he remained mum on the extent of their conversation, which took place Tuesday after a passing in the clubhouse hallway.

"It went well," Geren said. "I talked to Brian. I gave him my thoughts. He gave me his thoughts. We shook hands. Everything's fine. ... It's behind us. We're all going forward."

Following the club's sixth straight loss on Monday, when Fuentes was handed his career-high seventh defeat of the season after his entering his fourth tied game in as many appearances, the veteran southpaw said there has been "zero" communication with Geren and that he had been managing him "pretty poorly."

On Tuesday, he made clear that there had been "more than one discussion" with Geren about his role prior to Tuesday's meeting, but they had never solved anything. Hence the frustration that surfaced.

"I've always said if there's someone who can do the job better than me, I have no problem with pitching in any situation, whether it's the fifth or the ninth," said Fuentes, who is 1-7 with a 5.06 ERA. "It's not about that. It's just about a line of communication, and there was a lack of that often here, and it got to the point where it was very frustrating and I decided to talk about it. We cleared it up."

Asked if Fuentes' concerns regarding the lack of communication were legitimate, Geren said, "That's fair to say, but communication is a two-way street."

A's general manager Billy Beane agreed, all the while expressing understanding of Fuentes' comments in the midst of a general frustrating time for the team, which has already lost three starters to injury this season and is still waiting for its offense to consistently produce.

"Was it the preferred forum for Brian to make those comments? No," Beane said. "But it was a symptom of frustration. Right now, the way we're operating, there's no margin for error, but there needs to be a perspective that it's a frustrating time for a lot of people right now. It's been a tough week. After a great series with the Angels at home [last week], not a lot of things have gone our way."

Geren said Fuentes will be inserted into a setup role until he strings together a handful of good outings, while right-hander Grant Balfour gets a shot at closing duties.

"He had no problem with that," Geren said. "He understands."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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