SAN DIEGO — Bob Melvin praised the Padres organization, its fanbase and the talented squad he has inherited during a news conference Monday as the team introduced him as the new manager.
“It all came together quickly, had a great feeling about it from the very beginning, culminating in a day like this,” Melvin said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Melvin said his “first hook” in his decision to become the new manager was when he met A.J. Preller, the president of baseball operations and general manager of the Padres.
“Once I got here and met A.J. in his gym shorts and his T-shirt and four basketballs sitting behind him, that kind of was the first hook, but having some conversations with him, his passion for baseball is immense,” Melvin said. “We went out and had a couple of dinners and you would think dinners are typically a couple of hours — they are flicking the light to get his attention at 11:30 because we are having these long baseball conversations.”
He also expressed his appreciation for the team’s chairman, Peter Seidler, and his passion for the team and people of San Diego.
Melvin inherits a team that had five All-Stars — including Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth.
“To be able to come here, and like A.J. said, ‘It’s all about winning at this point,’” Melvin said. “When you have a roster like that and you have all the people that give you the resources and the backing to do it, I don’t know if there’s a better destination in baseball to be able to come, so I’m a lucky man.”
When his Athletics team would make the trip out to San Diego, Melvin explained how much his players would be excited to be in the ballpark because of the fans.
“We came here on a Tuesday night, there were 40,000 people here and it was electric,” he said. “You would’ve thought it was the playoffs and it resonated with everybody in our dugout. We are all looking around at each other going, ‘Wow.’”
Melvin replaces Jayce Tingler, who was fired after the worst collapse in team history dropped the Padres from a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot on Sept. 9 to elimination with more than a week left in the season.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.