Former A's manager Melvin praises Kotsay in return to Coliseum

Former A's manager Melvin praises Kotsay in return to Coliseum originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Athletics' weekend series with the Padres marks the first time former manager Bob Melvin has returned to the Coliseum since leaving for San Diego after the 2021 MLB season.

NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil had a chance to catch up with the A's longtime skipper, who shared what returning to Oakland has meant to him.

"It was surreal. I got here plenty early today… I ran the stairs like I typically do here," Melvin told Brazil. "I gave myself plenty of time, but coming back and stepping on this field and looking around, it got me a little bit, so I'm glad that I got here early.

When asked if there was somebody or something he misses most from his time with the A's, Melvin paid his respects to many of his former colleagues, but made it clear the Coliseum holds a special place in his heart.

"Just the atmosphere here, so many friends, obviously the coaching staff, most of the coaching staff's here that was with me," Melvin explained. "Billy [Beane] and David [Forst], I went to dinner with Mickey Morabito last night, I had breakfast with David Forst this morning. It was catching up with everybody, but really, it was more than anything walking on this field, looking around and knowing I've been on this field since I was like 12 years old."

Current A's manager Mark Kotsay spent five seasons as a coach on Melvin's staff in Oakland before taking over after the departure of his former boss.

When asked about how his successor has done in nearly two seasons on the job, Melvin had immense praise for Kotsay and his ability to galvanize this upstart A's team.

"He's done fantastic," Melvin said. "So the record really isn't indicative, certainly, of what he's accomplished here. You watch these guys, and I've watched video here recently. These guys play hard every single night, maybe playing the best they've played all year at this point in time now, too. That is hard to do when you are going through 100 losses, to make sure that that attitude and that will to win is there every single game. They have held that throughout not only last year but this year. A lot of credit, certainly a tip of the cap to Mark Kotsay from me."

As a Bay Area native who spent 11 seasons managing the A's, it's clear that this weekend series in Oakland means a lot to Melvin.