0

Melvin’s pregame meeting doesn’t seem to help A’s much

Manager Bob Melvin held a pre-game meeting Saturday to loosen the club up, but A's lost 2-0 anyway

Manager Bob Melvin held a pre-game meeting Saturday to loosen the club up, but A’s lost 2-0 anyway

A’s manager Bob Melvin believes in meetings, lots of them.
Pitchers and catchers meet every day. Hitters have a meeting before each series. Sometimes it seems as if here are meetings to schedule meetings.
Melvin is fond of meetings just to make sure everyone is one the right page, and for the most part it works. They are ordinary meetings, expected meetings.
Saturday afternoon, however, he had a meeting of the less frequent kind. The A’s had lost the first two games of the series to the Angels and they’d lost center fielder Coco Crisp to the recurrence of a neck injury in the process.
It was the time for the skipper to step up and say a few words. The A’s had already clinched the first losing month since 2012.
It was not a nagging or a scolding.
“He had a meeting today to try and loosen the guys up a bit,’’ a clubhouse source said. “I think it was a good idea. A very good idea. He just reminded us of what we’re trying to do. Nobody has to take it on themselves to be a hero. We play as a team. We’re going to win or lose as a team.’’
Then the game started, and even Melvin admitted there were hitters trying to shoulder the burden themselves.
“We are pressing offensively some, obviously,’’ Melvin said. “We’ve got guys who want to be the guy who gets us out of this thing.’’
“This thing’’ is a 22-inning scoreless streak for the offense. Oakland was shut out on five hits Friday, then were shut out on three hits Saturday with the Angels, short of starting pitching, basically throwing eight relievers at them.
“We are team-oriented,’’ the manager said. “What we’re good at is passing the baton and moving on, but every one of these guys wants to be the guy and get big hits for us, but it’s just not happening right now.’’
And they’re losing as a team.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.