After guiding the Oakland Athletics to a startling American League West Division Championship and pushing the eventual A.L. Champion Detroit Tigers to the deciding game of the division series, Bob Melvin was given a two-year extension by the team, according to The San Jose Mercury News.
Melvin was named interim manager on June 9, 2011 after the Athletics let Bob Geren go after five and a half disappointing seasons. The team was gutted of many of their established major league pitchers between the 2011 and 2012 seasons and had a losing record through much of the first half of 2012.
On June 10th, 2012, the A's were nine games under .500. As late as June 30th, they were 13 games out of first place. On July 7th, 2012, they still were a sub-.500 team languishing in third place.
After that day, Melvin's squad went 52-25, best in the majors, to storm into the playoffs and clinch the division against the two-time defending American League Champion Texas Rangers on the last day of the season.
Melvin has quietly put together an impressive managerial resume. He earned the 2012 American League Manager of the Year honor for his work with the low-budget A's.
He previously had won the award in the National League when he piloted a surprising Arizona Diamondbacks club (who had a negative run differential) to the best record in the league and a trip to the NLCS in 2007.
He joined Bobby Cox, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland as the only managers to win the prize in both leagues.
As written in the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis (and dramatically portrayed by Brad Pitt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the movie), the role of the manager is sometimes undermined and not as valued by the A's as with other clubs.
But certainly Billy Beane and the rest of the front office see what Melvin can do with this team. Maybe with a bounce here or there, Oakland will have that elusive trip to the World Series under Melvin's watch.