If I had told you a few months ago — or hell, a few minutes ago — that the San Diego Padres had filled their vacant managerial spot with a long-standing Bay Area manager, you would have sighed and said that was predictable. You would have smiled a poignant smile, feeling a tiny bit happy but also sad for reasons you couldn’t fully put your finder on, and prepare for once again seeing Bruce Bochy in a non-black and orange uniform.
But no. The Padres did not hire the legendary San Francisco Giants manager, who had been linked — in rumor form, at least — to the team pretty much since he announced his upcoming retirement at the start of the 2019 season. Instead they went the surprising route, with Bob Melvin, who has been managing the Oakland A’s since 2011, and who just had his 2022 option exercised by the club.
Sources: The Padres and Bob Melvin have agreed to a three-year deal to make Melvin the next manager in San Diego.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) October 28, 2021
And in the process, a lot of Giants fans are breathing a sigh of relief. A reunion between Bochy and the Padres always made sense, at least from the outside looking in. He’s a Hall of Fame manager, with a skill set that would likely pair very well with San Diego’s ultra-talented roster. He lives in San Diego, has intricate knowledge of the division, and no one really believed that he retired because he was done managing. He’s never committed to the notion of being permanently retired, always leaving the door open with some variation of “who knows.”
Maybe the Padres preferred Melvin to Bochy, but maybe he isn’t interested in returning to the diamond. He’s an adviser with the Giants now, and has talked about how much he enjoys getting to go to the Minor League teams and be hands on with the team’s young prospects.
If he wants to get back into managing, he’ll have every Giants fan’s blessing. But if he wants to just stick around in the capacity he’s currently in ... well, all the better.