Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Athletics extend manager Bob Melvin

Leave a comment

The Athletics announced on Thursday that manager Bob Melvin agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Oakland through the 2019 season. Melvin signed a two-year extension with the Athletics in September 2015, so he was already under contract for next season.

The Athletics are a meager 73-85 this season and won fewer than 70 games in both 2015 and ’16. But the club has certainly shown improvement this year, particularly in September, winning 15 of 25 games for its first .500 or better month of the season.

Melvin, 55, has managed the Athletics since 2011 to a collective regular season record of 535-532. The team made the playoffs three years in a row from 2012-14 but is currently on a three-year playoff drought.

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

Getty Images
Leave a comment

I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.