Ladies and gentlemen, Bob Melvin.
I guess there’s something about the dorky, anonymous name, and the fact that he played major league baseball for a decade and never made any impression on me I could recall, and the fact that he’s a former Manager of the Year but I can’t distinguish him from Doug Melvin (no relation; the Mariners’ GM), not to mention Bob Brenly, Bruce Bochy and Bruce Botche: They’re all former catchers, broadcasters, managers, or all three.
There was a time I conflated Jerry Manuel and Charlie Manuel, but I don’t make that mistake anymore.
Clint Hurdle reportedly been hired away by Pittsburgh, so it’s looking like Melvin and Terry Collins are the finalists for the Mets managing job. If Hurdle is the cheerleader and Collins the fiery taskmaster, Melvin is the thoughtful temperature-taker whose good moments draw comparisons to player’s managers like Joe Torre. His strategic rep in Seattle and Arizona took some hits likely as a result of acting on those whims, but the numbers indicate he wasn’t a terrible strategic manager overall. Players liked him.
Melvin is also the most likely of the three to one day be identified as a Mets manager; he’s the youngest and his lack of a brand indicates a potential still to grow. A vanilla personality might not go over for a fanbase wishing for Bobby Valentine‘s mad charisma or Wally Backman‘s brand of dirtbag, but for better or worse it sounds as if he’s got both of them beaten already. Could Collins be tougher? Or a fan/media set having the same trouble figuring out who he is?
Melvin wore eight different uniform numbers for seven different teams as a player, suiting up most often in No. 2 for the Orioles. As a manager, he wore No. 3 with both the Mariners and Diamondbacks.