Battle of the Bay: Who is best Bay Area manager?

Battle of the Bay: Who is best Bay Area manager?
July 9, 2014, 8:00 am
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Bob Melvin's A's are 57-33 and in first place in AL West; Bruce Bochy's Giants are 49-41 and in second place in NL West. (USATSI)

Editor's note: We're asking a new question each morning of the Bay Bridge Series. Tune in tonight when Insiders Andrew Baggarly and Joe Stiglich will provide their answers to today's question on Giants Pregame Live (6:30pm on CSN Bay Area) and A's Pregame Live (6:30pm on CSN California)

Who is the best Bay Area manager?

Here are Insiders Andrew Baggarly and Joe Stiglich's picks:

Joe Stiglich - A's Insider:
A’s Bob Melvin – In June 2011, Melvin took over a team that hadn’t enjoyed a winning season since 2006, and he’s turned them into the majors’ winningest team since the start of 2012. Yes, the roster has changed dramatically over that time, but that also speaks to Melvin’s strength. No manager is better at taking all the different pieces he’s been given and fitting them together into a winning machine.

Over the past two years, Melvin has effectively utilized a platoon system at several positions, making frequent in-game changes to get the pitcher-batter matchup in his advantage. His players have flourished in their platoons. It’s easy for guys to grumble when they’re only playing half the time, but Melvin finds a way to utilize all 25 players on his roster, so everyone feels like he’s playing a role in the winning cause. That breeds a healthy clubhouse atmosphere, and there’s no doubt that good chemistry has been a key ingredient in the A’s success.

Melvin is one of only six men to have won Manager of the Year in both leagues. He is equal parts general, strategist and cheerleader. He’s led the A’s to the best record in the majors so far this season, and he’s played a huge role in shifting the fortunes of a franchise that was stumbling for several seasons before his arrival.

[BATTLE OF THE BAY: Best position player? | Best pitcher?]

Andrew Baggarly - Giants Insider:
Giants' Bruce Bochy - There’s an old joke about Bruce Bochy. What would you rather have, a million bucks or Bochy’s hat full of nickels? Either way, there’s a wealth of baseball knowledge in between those ears. He has managed 20 years in the NL West, maybe having the division’s top payroll in one or two of those years, yet he has six division titles over that span.

And anyone who watched the Giants maneuver their way to World Series titles in 2010 and ’12 know that Bochy didn’t just roll out a dominant roster and watch his boys go to work. Bochy used his roster like the Laokta Sioux used the plains buffalo, using up every bit at his disposal.

He took a problem in the rotation, Tim Lincecum, and turned him into the most lethal relief force the postseason has ever seen. He trusted a broken down infielder, Edgar Renteria, and watched him become a World Series MVP.

He is a master at managing resources over the long haul too, especially with a bullpen. Trevor Hoffman probably doesn’t save 500 games without Bochy’s discretion. It’s a great time to be a baseball fan in the Bay Area in part because the game’s two best managers might be found here. Bob Melvin is smart, personable and composed. It’s not like we’re picking between Bochy and a robotic yes-man like Bob Geren or a clearly disaffected and powerless manager like Ken Macha. The A’s are in good hands, too.

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