Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. A’s fans, click HERE to learn more and join FanPulse.
A’s fans were asked this week if they approve of the job manager Bob Melvin is doing in Oakland, and the results were unanimous!
Not every team can say they got 100% approval ratings for their manager, but it’s not a surprise to see Melvin get this kind of support. He is beloved among the Oakland faithful in a way that managers rarely are. He’s a local guy, born and raised in the Bay Area, and he’s a product of UC Berkeley. He’s warm, friendly, and genuine with both the media and fans, and the players all seem to love him too (or at least, there’s never been a peep otherwise in nearly a decade).
Of course, it helps that he also wins. He took the job in mid-2011, then went to three straight postseasons with a team that was supposed to still be in the thick of a rebuild in 2012. After three losing seasons, he took another ragtag team to an unexpected playoff berth, making it 4-of-7 full seasons that he’s reached October. He also owns three Manager of the Year trophies, two from his time in Oakland, which puts him in the upper echelon of skippers from the last few decades.
It’s no coincidence that Melvin is one of the highest-paid managers in the sport, on a team notorious for not paying people. He’s the real deal, and A’s fans recognize that.
Survey participants were also asked about the following A’s topics. Here’s how they responded:
Will the A’s win the World Series this year?
Are you confident in the direction of the A’s?
While it’s not surprising to see A’s fans support Melvin, I wasn’t expecting the unanimous support for the team’s direction. The A’s do weird, creative stuff all the time, and they have to make tough, unpopular financial decisions on a regular basis, and along the way some folks are going to disagree with some of it.
However, it appears that the fans are also able to step back and realize this club has gone to the postseason every other year on average during this century, even despite the limits of their notoriously low budget, so their zigging and zagging often work out well. They’re also in a great place right now, coming off a Wild Card and looking ahead to a strong window of contention. We all complain about some short-term stuff, but we still believe in Billy Beane and David Forst in the long run.
And of course, on top of that, President Dave Kaval has revolutionized the organization off the field. Not only is a new stadium finally being planned, but the Kaval-led front office has put forth enormous efforts to reengage a jaded fanbase — from improvements to the current Coliseum, to stirring up the local Giants rivalry, to the A’s Access cheap-season-ticket plan that is already catching on around the league. Team president isn’t a role that fans talk much about, but Kaval is turning out to be an absolute ace.
The A’s home opener begins in just a couple hours. Let’s go make that 38% chance come true!