If Bob Melvin finishes his newly extended contract managing the A's, he would be in rare company.
Melvin is now signed through the 2016 season, meaning he is set to run the club for most of six seasons (including 2011, when he managed 99 games after replacing Bob Geren), placing him behind only Tony La Russa (10 seasons) and Art Howe (seven) in longevity since the team moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968.
If the team approaches the kind of success it enjoyed under Melvin during its improbable and engaging drive to a American League West championship overtaking and sinking the vaunted Texas Rangers was a thoroughly satisfying piece of baseball history one might expect an even longer tenure.
Melvin's two Manager of the Year awards, one with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007, the other after the charmed 2012 season with the A's, indicate he has plenty of ability, as does a lifetime managing record above .500.
The A's appear to have talent, and anyone who thinks a manager is going to win consistently with inferior players is wrong. A savvy manager can give a boost to teams with mediocre players, but consistent success comes from a combination of effective managing and day-in, day-out production from the guys on the field.
Conversely, good players can sag under a poor manager.
The good news for the A's is that they have Melvin calling the shots for this talented young group, a combination that can lift a team's fortunes for a long run.
Melvin's extension could portend more good things for the A's.
What to watch
NBA, Kings vs. Wizards, 7 p.m., CSNCA: The Kings look for their second consecutive win before a three-game trip.
How long will Bob Melvin manage the A's?
Fired before end of '16
Signs another extension after '16
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Whom will the 49ers rely on most to beat the Falcons?
Colin Kaepernick: 42%
Frank Gore: 8%
Total votes: 406
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