Athletics

How Beane knew Melvin was 'the guy' to manage A's years ago

Athletics

The Athletics announced on Tuesday they exercised manager Bob Melvin’s option, keeping him through the 2022 season. It might have been one of the easiest decisions the team has made in a long time.

That might have been because A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane had his eye set on Melvin to takeover since he was the Seattle Mariners manager in 2003 and 2004.

Beane was asked on Tuesday if he had any inkling the team would have Melvin as their manager for as long as they did. Especially after once being the interim manager when he took over the team in 2011.

“Wow, with 10 years -- maybe we did,” Beane said Tuesday. “I will be totally candid here, Bob and I, in his managerial career when he was with Seattle, we would chat. We’re from the same generation, so the idea that he would ultimately be matched up professionally was not a surprise. When he would come to town, there was a little bit of mutual admiration between the two of us so when we decided to make the change, he was kind of the guy.” 

“We used the term ‘interim’ so that we didn’t commit, and everything like that, but I personally had a feeling that this was going to be a great match so 10 years, I don’t know, I didn’t really think of it in those terms, but even though the term ‘interim’ was placed on him, I did think Bob Melvin was going to be a great match for myself and a great match for the A’s,” he added.

 

“I guess the short answer is, I saw it was going to work for long term, 10 years -- I don’t know if I could have predicted that,” Beane said. 

Beane added the relationship between a manager, executive in position and a general manager is critical and that the relationship with Melvin appeared to be seamless. When it was time to bring up his contract extension, the Oakland A’s winningest manager in team history didn’t need to say much. 

As far as what it was that made Beane know Melvin was the perfect candidate for such responsibilities, was both easy to define and difficult to say. 

“Hard to put my finger on it, but it goes to the relationship between the front office and I just felt like for myself, we sort of came from a very similar background,” Beane said. 

The personal connection, and how bright Melvin appeared to be, were both qualities that stood out to Beane.

As much as Beane doesn’t like to make “gut-feel” decisions in his job, his gut feeling about Melvin proved to be correct.

A’s general manager David Forst said the A’s were dealing with a lot of chaos at the time, but when Melvin arrived, that all went away.

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“We just had a couple short term managers, and I think we were both looking for something that was more stable and long-term,” Forst said Tuesday.

Fast forward 10 years later, winning seasons and two Manager of the Year Awards, Melvin once again will bring success into the next season.