On the verge of his 10-year anniversary with the Athletics, Bob Melvin now stands alone in franchise history as the winningest manager in the team's time in Oakland, earning his 799th victory Monday in the A's 12-6 win over the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Melvin surpassed Tony La Russa, who managed the A's from 1986 through 1995. On Saturday, the current Chicago White Sox manager spoke about Melvin's impending record.
“I’m really close to Bob, and I already know what the text is going to be,” La Russa told local reporters on Saturday. “He’s been a better manager for Oakland than I was. I was loaded with talent, and he’s done it with good talent, but not like some of the clubs I had so. There isn’t anybody in the major leagues, for years now, that does it better than Bob Melvin. That’s the truth and that’ll be my message when I talk to him.”
Melvin now is 799-712 as the manager of the A's, but beyond the numbers, he has become one of the most respected skippers in the game. He has made an impact on so many current and former players.
“Meant a lot,” A's third baseman Matt Chapman said Friday, when Melvin tied La Russa's record.
“He’s the only manager in the big leagues that I’ve ever had, but talking to other guys who have played for BoMel and have gone to other teams, or someone like Jed [Lowrie] who’s played for BoMel, gone to another team and came back, you just see how good of a manager he is and how lucky all of us are because he was never too hard on us when we were young, gave us the opportunity to continue to work and grow."
“He was patient with us in 2017 when all a lot of us young guys came up and I think he’s always believed in us,” Chapman added. “I owe a lot of success I have to BoMel for giving me the opportunity and believing in all of us. He shows up every day and he wants to win. He’s always there for the guys. He treats everyone the same whether you’re a young guy or a vet. BoMel is a guy you can learn a lot from on and off the field.”
Former A’s pitcher Jarrod Parker, who played in Oakland in 2012 and 2013, also detailed what Melvin meant to him during his time with the team.
“Everything,” Parker told NBC Sports California on Saturday. “Bob was the key to making me feel welcome in Oakland after being traded there [from Arizona]. His impact on a clubhouse is indescribable.”
Ex-A’s shortstop Marcus Semien spoke to reporters when the Toronto Blue Jays were in town at the beginning of May, and he said Melvin was a father figure to him during his six years with the team. Melvin, a fellow Bay Area native, said it was hard to see someone like Semien wear any colors other than green and gold.
Melvin also has an impact on fellow managers. Even those he’s not that close with.
Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spoke highly of Melvin during their last meeting at the end of April and beginning of May.
“I think Bob Melvin is one of the best at what we do, how he manages the club,” Hyde told local reporters. “Everybody who leaves Oakland praises Bob Melvin, and somebody that I’ve always looked up to and like to model myself after of how he runs the game, but also the things I hear. I don’t know Bob very well, or the people over there very well to be honest with you, but everything that I hear is amazing about how he treats people.”
While Melvin has the most wins in Oakland history, he likely won't catch Connie Mack for the most in franchise history. During his 50 years managing the Philadelphia A's, Mack won an astounding 3,582 games.
Regardless of the franchise record, Melvin's Oakland feat is worth celebrating.