Sources in the Giants front office confirmed that Bob Melvin will be the next Giants Manager. It is assumed the formal announcement will be made today. Bob Melvin, the former Padres Manager, was rumored to be one of the candidates for the Giants in their Managerial search. It is exceptionally rare to see a Manager leave for another team while he is still employed, particularly for a team in the same division. In fact, in my forty eight years of baseball fandom I don’t recall it ever happening before.
Obviously the interview process was swift and the Giants would not have asked the Padres for permission to interview Melvin unless he was their first choice. Can you imagine where the Giants request extraordinary permission to hire a current Manager with a division rival, then interview him and say. “uhm, no thanks.”? NO. So, it was Melvin all along.
The Melvin hire fulfils all the requirements I had for the new Giants Manager. Who says the Giants and their front office personnel don’t read Together We’re Giants?! If you recall in my post:
The new Giants Manager must have managed a Major League team before. The San Francisco Giants are not the place for a first-time Major League Manager. Just no.
I had a long list of criteria but this was the most important.
Andrew Baggarly was the first to announce the hire last night in his Athletic article.
This is from the Baggarly piece:
Melvin would be entering his 21st season as a major-league manager — a successful second career that began when the Seattle Mariners hired him to replace Lou Piniella prior to the 2003 season. He won a National League Manager of the Year award during his five seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and added two American League Manager of the Year distinctions while leading the Oakland A’s to the postseason in six of his 11 seasons there from 2011 to 2021.
I will say that the Melvin hire seems to be a popular choice among most fans. There are a few skeptics with the line “Well he couldn’t win with the Padres roster what the hell do we expect him to do with this Giants roster that is at best a .500 club?”! The answer is….
Maybe not much, maybe a lot.
Which brings me to…
The Arizona Diamondbacks Win the National League Pennant
Just like we all predicted at the beginning of the season and at the beginning of the postseason, it will be the Rangers and the Diamondbacks in the World Series!
This has got to be the most improbable World Series in the postwar era.
Last night the Arizonans defeated the Phillies in game 7, 4-2, to take home the NLCS! It was an exciting game. I never thought the DBacks had a chance. Evidently neither did the Phillies because they definitely succumbed to a bad case of over-confident and cocky after smashing Arizona in Games 1 and Game 2. The DBacks bounced back with a savvy mix of small ball (Stolen Bases! Bunts! Taking the Extra Base!) as a counter to the Phillies homer-happy offense that saw their big guns come up empty in the final two games of the series. This is a lesson for all teams: Good pitching can beat good hitting in the postseason and if you build your team around homer-hitting sluggers and rely on the long ball to propel your offense most of the time you are likely to run into a slump in the postseason. Speed never slumps. Defense never slumps. That’s why the Diamondbacks won this series. They are a tough, determined and talented team, make no mistake.
In a moment of pure Philadelphia class, in the eighth inning of the seventh game of the NLCS with their team down only two runs the Phillie fans actually booed their team!!!! I couldn’t believe it! That says it all.
So, on Friday we will begin a World Series with two teams that lost more than 100 games just two seasons ago. This brings me back to the Giants, a team that is not a 100-loser squad that, potentially with key free agent signings, a few rookies blossoming, and a great Manager, could end up going all the way, if you dream big, if you squint your eyes just right…. You just never know.
I’ll have my World Series preview and prediction on Friday.