In the wake of the Oakland Athletics’ complete demolition at the hands of the Twins in the final weeks of the pennant drive, Oakland owner Charlie O. Finley has fired Manager Hank Bauer. This was Bauer’s second stint as manager of the Athletics, and it lasted 13 games shy of a full season despite an impressive ______ second-place record. Finley made the announcement in a hastily called news conference 50 minutes before the A’s game with the California Angels. Bauer, 47, will be replaced by coach John McNamara.
Bauer previously managed the Athletics when the team was in Kansas City in 1961 and 1962. He quit that time to join Baltimore as a coach and later as manager. Bauer guided the Orioles to the American League pennant in 1966. He was replaced by Earl Weaver during the 1968 season. Under Bauer, the A’s had climbed into contention in the American League West Division before being swept in a four game home series by Minnesota, including an embarrassing 25-5 rout in the finale. The Twins took the final two games in the clubs’ series in Bloomington this week. The Twins overwhelmingly took the season series 16 games to 2.
McNamara, 37, was given a contract through next season, Finley said. He joined the A’s as a coach last year after a 14-year playing career as a minor league catcher. The last nine years he also managed in the A’s system. Finley offered Bauer a five-year contract as his administrative assistant but Bauer refused to say if he would accept the offer. Finley said he had been contemplating the switch “for some time”, and had met several times with Bauer recently to discuss it. The controversial owner refused to say why he was firing Bauer, but Finley has voiced displeasure recently about the team’s recent drop from contention and sagging attendance at the Oakland Coliseum.