Bob Melvin toiled for eight major-league franchises as a player, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the San Francisco Giants, but was never much of an offensive player. A backup catcher during his career, he finished his playing days with a batting average of .233 and 35 home runs. But he has been a hell of a manager in his still-young career. He won 93 games as manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2003 but was let go after the next season, when the team lost 99 games. Shit happens!
He returned to the Diamondbacks, where he'd been bench coach, in 2005 and led the team to the National League West Championship last year, going on to manage the D-Backs to a sweep over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series, only to see his team swept by the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS. But it was a marvelous journey, one that earned Melvin National League Manager of the Year. The poorest offensive team in the National League would never have gone as far as it did without "The Mad Scientist," which is what broadcaster and former D-Back Mark Grace dubbed Melvin because of his frequent juggling of winning lineups.
He did a whole lot last year with a team of promising youngsters and only one real star, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Brandon Webb.
This year, he had a few more stars but (at press time) was seemingly less successful. Melvin has a quiet intensity on the field that inspires the confidence of players and fans. We pray (as we always do when in comes to the D-Backs) that the Mad Scientist can connive a way to get us into the World Series — someday. Bob, go back into the lab and conjure up a potion.