OAKLAND (AP) – When the Oakland Athletics reached out to Bob Melvin in the middle of the 2011 season, they were looking for stability in management.
Melvin has won it and more from what he’s done on and off the field and the respect he has gained from his players for being fair, personable and not afraid of taking chances for the youth.
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The Oakland team’s most successful manager in history will stick it out for at least next season after the club exercised Melvin’s 2022 contract option on Tuesday.
“Bob brings a real human touch to a world that is heavily influenced by data,” said Billy Beane, executive vice president of baseball operations at A. “Bob just kept up and kept pace.”
Melvin has led the A’s to a record of 808-715 since taking office on June 9, 2011. He recently overtook Tony La Russa for the most wins from an Oakland manager and became the 35th person in Major League history last weekend with 1,300 managerial wins.
Melvin said he was grateful to Beane and General Manager David Forst for handling staffing matters, so his job is to focus on the players and the daily schedule. In fact, when it comes to contracts, Melvin’s conversations with Beane don’t even take five minutes, as they’re always on the same page and Melvin hasn’t even used an agent since joining the organization. Discussions about a new deal beyond 2022 will likely take place after this season, Beane said.
After the season, Melvin doesn’t think much about victories and his place in A.
“Maybe more at the end of the year – I’ve been thinking a little about getting basically everything out of the way here in a week,” Melvin said. “… The great thing about this job is that I know where my trail is and it’s easy to stay in it and it’s easy to prepare like that.”
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Melvin’s A teams have made three playoffs in a row, winning AL West during the shortened season of 60 games last year after consecutive wildcard placements. In 2020, Oakland defeated the White Sox in the wildcard round to end a nine-game losing streak in winner-take-all postseason games, a major league record dated back to the 1973 World Series he beat rival Astros in a four-game AL division series.
The A’s had lost six straight playoff series since defeating Minnesota in the 2006 Division Series.
59-year-old Melvin, a manager of the year in both leagues, previously led the Mariners and Diamondbacks then took over the leadership of the A’s in the 2011 season following the sacking of Bob Geren.
In 2012, Oakland became the first team in major league history to win a division or a pennant after playing five games under 10 and beating Texas three times to win the division over Rangers.
The A’s have repeatedly shown their commitment to having the Bay Area native and former catcher as leader on the field, and he has overcome the challenge of an ever-changing young team and a number of injuries during his tenure to continue with a low Win Profit – Budget Franchise.
“Honestly, he has a legacy here,” said Beane. “It’s one thing to work and be successful for a few years, but creating the legacy Bob has is an honor for him and I think David and I and the rest of the staff will appreciate having identified him to have.”
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