There is no questioning Bob Melvin‘s performance with the Oakland A’s. His 11 years on the bench were mostly successful as he took a perennially low budget franchise and found a way to get them to contend. At times, his performance was borderline magical as he was able to take a flawed roster and win.
Melvin was able to make history during his time in Oakland. His 853 wins are the most of any manager in franchise history since the team moved to the west coast. He was able to reach the postseason six times, capturing three AL West pennants. Melvin was named the AL Manager of the Year in 2012 and 2018, a testament to how he was able to get the most out of those teams.
What could have been for Bob Melvin and the Oakland A’s
And that is how he should be remembered. Now that Melvin is heading off to San Diego, presumably with a better chance at winning a World Series, one has to look back at the success he had with the A’s. No matter the budgetary concerns, he was typically able to keep the team in contention.
But Melvin’s tenure also leaves one to ask what could have been. The A’s had several teams with an excellent core during his time on the bench, but were missing those final pieces to truly be a championship team. Those years ended in disappointment even though there was so much promise.
That comes down to the front office. While they would occasionally make moves designed to win a championship, such as getting Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija in 2014 or Starling Marte this past year, those teams would still be missing a piece or two. In the end, those missing pieces would cost the A’s in the postseason.
Unfortunately, that is Melvin’s other legacy. He had some truly talented rosters that should have gone further in the postseason than they did, the one blemish on his time in Oakland. But even then, that is not his fault – he could only manage the players he was given. It is enough to wonder what could have been in those years.
Bob Melvin leaves an impressive legacy behind now that he is heading to San Diego. But one still has to wonder what could have been.