The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Bob Melvin Thursday after the team returned from their road trip in San Diego. The announcement was made by General Manager Josh Byrnes. Melvin was named the National League Manager of the Year in 2007.
The club also dismissed Rick Schu as hitting coach and Bryan Price resigned as pitching coach.
After nearly making the playoffs last season, the team is off to a lackluster start in 2009 going 12-17 for the season and losing 6 of the last 10 games. The Diamondbacks are tied with the Rockies for last in the NL West and sit 8.5 games behind the Division leading Dodgers.
"Bob has done great things for this organization," Byrnes said. "Having worked with him for nearly four years, I have a great deal of respect for his character and skills. This is a difficult decision, but I feel that our organization needs to move forward with a new voice. I am grateful for all the success and memories associated with Bob."
The D-backs will announce the club's new manager at a press conference Friday at 3 p.m. Director of Player Development A.J. Hinch is expected to be announced as Melvin’s replacement, according to the Arizona Republic.
According to the report in the AZ Republic, another factor in the dismissal centers around “a deteriorating relationship between Melvin and Byrnes, who gave the manager a three-year extension after Melvin guided the team to the National League Championship Series in 2007.”
Melvin, 47, was named the fourth manager in D-backs history on Nov. 5, 2004, after spending the two previous seasons as manager of the Seattle Mariners. He has a career 493-508 record in six-plus seasons as a manager. Melvin had the D-backs in first place for a franchise-best 136 games from April 6-Sept. 6, 2008, the third-most of any team in the Majors in 2008.
Schu, 47, was hired as the D-backs hitting coach on July 11, 2007. He served 11 plus years in the organization, including time as the minor league hitting coordinator in 2003 and 2005-07 and as a minor league coach with four affiliates from 1998-2001.
Price, 46, was hired as the D-backs pitching coach on Oct. 17, 2005. He was named Major League Coach of the Year by Baseball America in 2007 after the D-backs pitching staff ranked fourth in the NL in ERA. Price spent six seasons as the pitching coach with the Seattle Mariners from 2000-05, including two seasons when Melvin was manager from 2003-04.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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