From the Press Box
In case anybody forgot. The last three managers of the San Diego Padres were rookie managers at the time they were signed. This next season the Padres are going for the experience. In 2022 they will have an experienced, steady, and calm hand at the helm. Melvin managed the A’s for 11 seasons and leaves very good memories with the Oakland A’s fans in the Bay Area and everywhere. With constant personal changes every year, Melvin led the A’s to three (3) AL Western Division titles and six (6) playoff berths.
The three-time Manager of the Year (2007 Arizona and 2012 and 2018 Oakland) will take his managing skills and relaxed style to beautiful PETCO Park in downtown San Diego, where he will be managing such players as Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, and Jay Cronenworth. The Padres were the biggest underachievers in baseball. Many picked them to rival the Dodgers in the NL West but ended in third place 28 games out of first place. They also suffered some key injuries and it was an ugly year for the Friars.
Bob Melvin is truly a Bay Area original, born in Palo Alto, went to High School on the Peninsula, and the East Bay at the University of California at Berkeley. Played as a catcher for 10 years in the major leagues including from 1986 to 1988 with the San Francisco Giants, his longest tenure among the seven teams he played for.
Melvin is well known for developing good relationships among his players. He listens to them, communicates well, and sometimes sends a player a text message or two. He knows his players, leads them on the field, and guides them to navigate the world of Major League Baseball, especially the young players that come to Oakland. Yoenis Céspedes (a star outfielder and one of A’s fan favorites) told me once about Melvin: “es un buen manager, me conoce como jugador y siempre me mantiene al tanto de todo” (trans) “he is a good manager, he knows me as a player and he keeps me aware of everything going on”. Communication is never overrated for a manager, especially in today’s game, where it is becoming more of a players game and so many decisions are made from “upstairs” inside the front offices of many ball-clubs, without the human element and where computers and statistics in this fast world of communications are running the show.
I was always impressed with Melvin’s style of manager and often told him, “someday you are going to be a General Manager”. He usually smiled and dismisses it not saying much about it. From his days in Seattle to his time at Oakland where he managed the longest, 11 years, he will be missed. We will miss him, affable, always available to the media, and definitely a fan favorite for Oakland A’s fans. Definitely a Bay Area original.
We wish BoMel nothing but the utmost success in one of America’s Finest Cities.