The Oakland Athletics beat the Angels and do-everything superstar, Shohei Ohtani, 3-1 on Friday night behind solid pitching from starter Sean Manaea and smart hitting at the plate as the A’s lineup faced Ohtani from the mound.
But there’s one man behind everything the A’s do on the field, and that’s manager Bob Melvin. Friday’s win tied him for the most wins for a manager in Oakland A’s history. Melvin will soon pass former World Series champion in the green and gold, Tony La Russa.
Looking at Melvin and La Russa, their experiences as Oakland A’s managers have been strikingly different. La Russa oversaw some of the most talented clubs in recent baseball history and the A’s franchise was booming. Melvin has often been strung out on one-year contracts as he’s asked to cobble together players from the A’s farm system and castoffs from other clubs.
During Melvin’s tenure, the A’s have been spendthrifts, but he’s done too good of a job to consider letting him go, even during some down years. It’s been mostly good for Melvin in Oakland, however. Overall, he’s 798-710 since taking over in June of 2011.
The ultimate goal is to win it all, as La Russa did. Despite the Oakland A’s thrifty ways, the team has championship potential. And that likely means much more to him then this distinction, for now, at the least.
(Photo credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)