The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today the club's all-time winningest manager Bob Melvin has rejoined the organization as Special Baseball Advisor and will report to President & CEO Derrick Hall. Melvin will assist the Baseball Operations Department and other business divisions of the organization in his new role, including, but not limited to, working with managers in the minor league system, scouting domestic and international professional and amateur players, assisting the D-backs Baseball Academy with youth baseball initiatives, making appearances in the local community and serving as an analyst on select team broadcasts.
"Bob and I have had several conversations of late and both agreed that this is where he belongs," said D-backs' President & CEO Derrick Hall. "He will be a tremendous help to so many departments with his wealth of knowledge and relationships that he has already established. Bob is a great man and baseball mind and we are thrilled to have him back in the fold."
Melvin compiled an overall record of 493-508 in seven seasons as a Major League manager from 2003-09 with the Seattle Mariners (156-168, 2003-04) and D-backs (337-340, 2005-09). He led the Mariners to a 93-69 record as a rookie manager in 2003 and won National League Manager of the Year honors after the D-backs finished with a league-best 90-72 mark and won the NL West Division in 2007. Melvin also was the D-backs bench coach on Bob Brenly's coaching staff from 2001-02, when Arizona won the World Series in 2001 and the NL West Division in 2002. He also served in scouting and coaching positions with the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers.
[Press release ends]
Hat-tip to IHSB for getting the news up first, and Mike D for the press release. It's an interesting move, and I can't think of another team which have had a manager fired, then bring him back in to the organization, barely two years later. One does have to wonder whether this is some kind of lurking presence - to mis-quote Voltaire, "pour encourager Kirk Gibson." It certainly would seem another tacit admission by the organization that the original firing of Melvin at the start of the 2009 season, as having been a mistake.
There's also little or no doubt that he still wants to be a manager. He was interviewed in that capacity by the Brewers and Mets organization over the winter, and was thought to be among the front-runners for both positions. One of the big points stressed in spring training was that competition - be it for playing time, roster spots or roles - was going to take place. As we discovered then, even veterans like Joe Saunders needed to earn their way onto to the club. Does this move indicate that the manager. too, should be aware that there is always someone who can take over his role?
Melvin is going to be available to the press this afternoon after Gibby's usual pre-game session, so I'll update this later with the audio clippage from that.