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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

October 12, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Bob Melvin, Bryan Price up for jobs

Even though Bob Melvin and Bryan Price both grew up in the Bay Area, and both attended Cal-Berkeley within a few years of each other, and both had come to live in the Phoenix area, they had never met before Melvin become the Mariners manager in 2003 and inherited Price as his pitching coach.

Well, they became fast friends, and when Melvin was fired as the Mariners manager after the 2004 season, then landed as Diamondbacks’ manager in 2005 when initial choice Wally Backman self-destructed, it was inevitable that they would be re-united. Price worked one more year in Seattle under Melvin’s successor, Mike Hargrove, before quitting and joining Melvin’s Arizona staff as pitching coach.

When Melvin was fired as Diamondbacks manager in early May of 2009, Price quit in protest, even though he could have stayed under the new manager, A.J. Hinch. As many ex-Mariners do, Price landed a job with the Phillies working with their minor-league prospects, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets another job as a pitching coach. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Price eventually manages in the majors, if teams can overcome their prejudice against hiring pitching coaches as manager. Price actually interviewed for the Mariners’ managerial job after Lou Piniella quit but was passed over in favor of Melvin.

Now comes word today that both Melvin and Price are up for jobs — Melvin one of several candidates to manage the Houston Astros, and Price as pitching coach of the Florida Marlins. The Marlins’ team president is Larry Beinfest, who worked for years in the Mariners organization while Price was there.

Price told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that the Marlins are one of several teams that have called. If Melvin should get the Astros job, however, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of his first hires is Price.

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