Athletics manager Bob Melvin humbly accepted a personalized bottle of wine from executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane prior to the game. The A’s also played a special tribute video for him.
It was in celebration of becoming Oakland’s winningest manager. The A’s 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks put Melvin’s win total at 803.
Starter Chris Bassitt always aims to do well in front of Melvin, but even more so on Tuesday night.
“I want to put my best foot forward in front of BoMel every night so tonight was sure a little more special than others, but yeah you always want to make BoMel happy,” Bassitt said following the game.
In seven innings, Bassitt struck out six, giving up four hits, two earned runs and walking one. He also retired 15 batters in a row.
In the tribute video to Bob, Bassitt said the honor couldn’t have happened to a better person. When asked to expand on that, Bassitt put into perspective just how popular Melvin is throughout the game of baseball.
“Pretty much exactly what I said,” Bassitt explained. “You look around -- and obviously he broke a record -- but you look around with how many people have reached out and I know we’ve seen a lot of people reach out, but I guarantee there’s a thousand more people behind scenes that mean a lot to this game that have reached out to BoMel and said, ‘Listen, you’ve earned every bit of this.’
“He’s obviously well-respected among the league, but again he’s just such a good person, he’s such a good human that we couldn’t be more blessed to have him as a manager -- I mean we really couldn’t,” Bassitt said.
There’s more to it than that, of course. Bassitt credits Melvin for helping him get to a higher level by simply letting him be himself and guiding him as a pitcher, but also as a man.
“I could talk for 45 minutes about that one, but the biggest thing is just knowing who I am as a person,” Bassitt laughed. “I mean -- he’s allowed me to make a lot of mistakes, but also kind of guided me to being the person I am today on the field and off the field of understanding the game, understanding what it takes to be in the position I am, how much work it takes on and off the field and again, I owe him so much it’s not even funny.”
“It was all a surprise,” Melvin said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I really don’t forecast stuff like that.”
Melvin -- as humble as ever -- added that since the 799th win itself took place on the road last Tuesday, the celebration occurred a little bit later than he would have wanted, but still remained special.
“It’s lingered on a little bit longer than I would prefer, but to see so many guys that are really close to me and were huge in my career,” Melvin said. “I don’t know who was responsible for that, but I need to thank them at some point.”