A few thoughts I’ve been bouncing around about Bob Melvin and his future with the M’s.
The Blue Jays fired Carlos Tosca today in the midst of a very disappointing season. I only mention that because Melvin is leading the M’s through an equally disappointing season and there don’t appear to be any signs he’ll be fired before the season is up. And honestly, no matter how you feel about him as a manager in general and whether or not you think he’s done a poor job this season, would it do much good to fire him at this point? Probably not.
That said, I’m sure they’ll evaluate things this winter. I don’t really trust Bill Bavasi to evaluate much at all, but I’m sure they’ll at least make an effort. My point, though, is this — when Bob Melvin was hired, it was said he was a good fit for the M’s because he was generally hands-off and would let the veteran players on a veteran-laden team go about their business. It was what he knew from his time in Arizona under Bob Brenly, and for the most part it worked well there.
Managing the M’s is no longer the same job as it was when Melvin was hired, however. The veterans — those who aren’t already gone — are on their way out. They’ve been replaced by players who, while not young in a baseball sense are still inexperienced as far as MLB goes. The M’s currently have ten rookies on the roster and could easily break camp with a few more next spring, figuring in guys like Travis Blackley and Jeremy Reed not currently on the big league roster.
So you have to ask — is Bob Melvin still the right man for the job? Whether or not he was in the first place is irrelevant, because the job has changed. The M’s now need a manager who can mentor to, teach and be patient with younger and less experienced players. And if you’re iffy on the manager, you’d better surround him with a coaching staff who can fill in the gaps.
I honestly don’t know if Melvin is that guy. Just as when he was hired, we really don’t have all that much information to go on, do we? I hope the M’s have some sort of idea and are willing to consider the possibility that he’s not the right guy, because I think this team could get back to contending for a division title in 2006 if they play their cards right.
Matt Tuiasosopo off to a heck of a start at Everett… .700/.667/1.200 in 10 at-bats.