Bob Melvin gets 3-year contract to manage Padres

Oct 31, 2021, 9:04 PM | Updated: Nov 1, 2021, 2:51 pm
New San Diego Padres baseball team manager Bob Melvin speaks during an introductory press conferenc...

New San Diego Padres baseball team manager Bob Melvin speaks during an introductory press conference Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

(AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bob Melvin put on a Padres home pinstriped jersey and stated the obvious about becoming San Diego’s new manager.

“What an opportunity. I’m probably as surprised to be here as you all are,” Melvin said Monday after being introduced at a news conference at Petco Park.

The hiring of Melvin, who has 18 seasons of big league managerial experience, was a surprise for a few reasons. He was still under contract for one year with the Oakland Athletics, where he spent the last 11 years, and Padres general manager A.J. Preller had a proclivity for hiring skippers with no previous big league managing experience.

Melvin inherits a team that had five All-Stars — including Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth — but underwhelmed after the trade deadline and finished with a losing record for the 10th time in 11 seasons. The Padres were 79-83 and third in the NL West, 28 games behind San Francisco.

Melvin signed a three-year contract to replace Jayce Tingler, who was fired after the worst collapse in team history dropped the Padres from a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot on Sept. 9 to elimination with more than a week left in the season.

The Padres and Melvin were able to keep their courtship under the radar. Melvin lives in Arizona in the offseason and his first meeting with Preller was at the team’s spring training complex in Arizona.

“Once I got here and met A.J. in his gym shorts and his T-shirt and four basketballs sitting behind him, that was the first hook,” Melvin said about the gym-rat GM.

Melvin came to San Diego to meet with other Padres executives.

He said the big attractions are Petco Park, where the A’s played a two-game series in late July, and the Padres’ roster.

“We came here on a Tuesday night and there were 40,000 people here and it was electric,” Melvin said. “Your would have thought it was the playoffs and it resonated with everybody in our dugout. We’re all looking around at each other going, ‘Wow.’

“The ballpark is fantastic,” Melvin added. “It is a true destination. And now with the fan base and the enthusiasm here and the roster; the roster is the real hook.”

Melvin called Tatis “the most exciting young player in the game” and said Machado is a “stud” and “a potential MVP every year.”

Melvin said that after hearing about all of the Padres’ attributes for two days, “it was really an easy decision to make, and I was in a place for 10-plus years. It kind of all came together quickly. I had a great feeling about it from the very beginning. I couldn’t be happier.

“I don’t know if there’s a better destination in baseball to be able to come so I’m a lucky man.”

Preller said he was initially rebuffed when he asked Billy Beane, Oakland’s executive vice president of baseball operations, about Melvin’s availability. Preller said Beane told him, “basically, no chance. Go to hell,” but then said the A’s would do what was best for Melvin.

Melvin was 853-764 in 11 seasons with Oakland. He also managed the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks and is 1,346-1,272 overall.

He won the AL Manager of the Year twice with the A’s and once with the Diamondbacks.

“I was lucky enough to manage a team for 10-plus seasons,” Melvin said. “I was the longest-tenured guy. I grew up in the Bay Area. It was a hometown team of mine. I was as fortunate as you can be to manage that team but there comes a time when you know it doesn’t go forever.”

Melvin said hearing about the Padres’ interest in him “was a surprise. I didn’t expect it. Once I was given the opportunity to listen to people here it became clear pretty quickly this was the place for me.”

Melvin has led his teams to seven postseason appearances and four division titles. By comparison, the Padres have been to the postseason only six times since their inaugural season of 1969.

The Padres ended a 13-year playoff drought during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. They won a wild-card series against St. Louis before being swept in the division series by the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier compete in the pairs short program at the U.S. figure skating cha...
Associated Press

World champs Knierim, Frazier dazzle in Day 1 at nationals

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — They held their on-ice embrace a little longer this time, kneeling in an end pose moments after a near-flawless short program. Overwhelming favorite and reigning world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier scored a personal-best 81.96 on Thursday for a commanding lead in the first day of the U.S. Figure […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game aga...
Associated Press

LeBron, Giannis chosen as captains for NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James is closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record. And now, he has caught Abdul-Jabbar on another page of the All-Star record book. James was announced Thursday as an NBA All-Star for the 19th time, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star tying Abdul-Jabbar for the most selections in league history. James — the […]
18 hours ago
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy pushes a cameraman away while walking off the field after a...
Associated Press

Quinn returning to lead defense as Cowboys shuffle coaches

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — A shuffling of the coaching staff for the Dallas Cowboys won’t include defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is returning after another year of receiving interest from teams seeking head coaches. Coach Mike McCarthy said the club’s decision not to renew the contracts of six members of his staff, including one with […]
18 hours ago
The Meyer Shank Racing team, from left, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Michael Shank, Colin Bra...
Associated Press

Meyer Shank Racing aims for 2nd consecutive Rolex 24 victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Shank bookended last year’s sports car season by winning the most prestigious endurance race in North America and then the IMSA championship. In between, he expanded his IndyCar program and followed a scrupulous plan to build Meyer Shank Racing into an elite motorsports organization. Now he’s set to lead […]
18 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan speaks at a news conference before an NFL football pra...
Associated Press

Final 4 NFL teams all feature offensive-minded head coaches

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Chris Foerster had spent nearly two decades as an assistant in the NFL when he first crossed paths with Kyle Shanahan long before he became one of the NFL’s most-accomplished play-callers. Shanahan was in his third year as an offensive coordinator in the NFL when Foerster joined head coach Mike […]
2 days ago
FILE - Car owner Bryan Herta in the pit area during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at ...
Associated Press

Herta wants to run Wickens in next year’s Indianapolis 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indianapolis 500 as early as 2024 — a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver. Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie […]
2 days ago
Bob Melvin gets 3-year contract to manage Padres