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Lowell Cohn: A's skipper Bob Melvin on precipice of greatness (w/video)

  • Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has had great success. But, general manager Billy Beane says the best is yet to come for the skipper and the team. (BEN MARGOT / Associated Press)

PHOENIX -- The Bay Area has two superstar sports managers/coaches. Name them.

Bruce Bochy and Jim Harbaugh.

No argument allowed in either case. Bochy has won two World Series and will enter the Hall of Fame after he retires. And Harbaugh turned the 49ers from nothing into, once again, the most significant sports franchise in Northern California, perhaps in all of California.

Superstars.

There are two other superstars, if you consider college coaches — Tara VanDerveer and David Shaw. Fantastic at what they do. But let's limit this discussion to the pros and ask one more question: Is there an emerging superstar among the other professional coaches and managers?

Dennis Allen? Please.

Mark Jackson? The man is promising but has not won anything. He exists in the “seems OK for now” category, currently a million miles from superstar. Recently, his owner, Joe Lacob, expressed impatience with him. Jackson did not handle that well, lashing out at the press — an irrelevant move if there ever was one. No superstar yet.

Then there is the amazing case of the A's Bob Melvin, an emerging superstar, a unique man who has one foot in the door of the superstar room and could burst through this season — not that there actually is a superstar room.

He's been A's manager for two-plus seasons and his record in Oakland is 237-186. He's won the American League West title two years running despite having only one potential superstar player, Yoenis Cespedes, and a revolving roster.

Unlike some other managers, he communicates with his players. This is known. He tells them clearly where they stand even if where they stand isn't so hot. No room for doubt on the A's. A grown-up corporation.

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