In order for the San Diego Padres to reach their ultimate goal — winning a World Series — manager Bob Melvin is going to have to clean up his act on the biggest stage. It’d also help if Fernando Tatis Jr., got his act together, but Melvin was at the center of criticism for some of his decision-making in the NLCS.
Still, Melvin was a breath of fresh air for Padres fans after the disaster that was 2021. After the club collapsed in the second half of the year and missed the playoffs with a gargantuan payroll, the front office acted quickly in dismissing Jace Tingler and hiring Melvin away from the rebuilding Athletics.
That moved paid immediate dividends for San Diego, as Melvin led San Diego to its highest win total since 2010.
They also clinched a playoff berth for the first time in a full season (they made it during the truncated 2020 season) since 2006. Further, it marked the Padres’ fourth playoff appearance since the turn of the century, and they advanced as far as they had since they were swept in the 1998 World Series.
Despite all of those accomplishments, Melvin wasn’t named a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year award. In sell-out fashion, the three skippers who led their teams to 100 wins — the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, the Braves’ Brian Snitker and the Mets’ Buck Showalter — are the finalists.
Padres’ Bob Melvin not considered for NL Manager of the Year
We didn’t realize the qualification for Manager of the Year was stockpiling wins with loaded rosters.
You really mean to tell us Dave Roberts deserves to be a finalist? The Dodgers are a shoo-in to win 100 games almost every season, and they have two NL Pennants and a championship in the last six years. Yes, they set the franchise record for wins, but any Padres fan out there recognizes Roberts’ flaws as a manager.
No disrespect to Roberts, but a plethora of managers in MLB would lead this Dodgers team, maybe the best Dodgers team in franchise history, to 111 wins. While playoff success isn’t considered in the voting process, Melvin’s Padres eliminated Roberts’ Dodgers in October despite being heavy underdogs.
For Showalter and Snitker, it’s admittedly difficult to argue against them.
Showalter took over a dysfunctional Mets team that won 77 games in 2021, and steered them into the playoffs for the first time since 2016. New York’s 101 wins were the second most in franchise history. Again, though, it was Melvin’s Wild Card Padres that disposed of Showalter’s Mets in the postseason.
Snitker, meanwhile, piloted the Braves to their fifth straight NL East title despite falling 10.5 games back of the Mets on June 1 and losing Ozzie Albies for most of the year. Atlanta’s 101 wins were its most since 2003, and three of them came at the end of the year when they swept the Mets to put the division on ice.
While Roberts, Showalter and Snitker have impressive resumes, they’re far from bulletproof, and Melvin led the Padres to a 10-win turnaround from 2021 and the NLCS without Tatis, who’s at worse a top-10 player in the game.
You can’t tell us Melvin wasn’t snubbed.