Did the SF Giants pick the wrong former catcher to be manager of the team?

Perhaps the Giants should have gone with a different former catcher as their head coach.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The SF Giants hired Bob Melvin as their manager this offseason in a move that seemed designed to bring some more order and respectability in the clubhouse. Given the team's lackluster play, maybe they should have gone with former Giants catcher Stephen Vogt instead.

Did the SF Giants pick the wrong former catcher to be manager of the team?

Melvin served as a catcher for the Giants in 1987 and 1988 while Vogt served as a catcher for the Giants for one season in 2019 in which he won a Willie Mac Award. While Melvin has decades of experience as a manager in the big leagues, Vogt had never managed a big-league club prior to this season with the Cleveland Guardians. The Giants even interviewed Vogt for the managerial position, but decided to go a different direction. It makes sense why the Giants went with Melvin, but the results thus far have favored the rookie manager.

The Giants are currently below .500 and are floundering. They are playing uninspired baseball which has led Melvin to call their play "awful." It is far too early to seriously entertain firing Melvin or taking any drastic step like that, but winning is the best recipe for a good clubhouse and he has not fostered a winning culture as of yet.

Meanwhile, Vogt has the Guardians playing great baseball in 2024. They are currently 40-20 and have a 5-game lead in the AL Central. That is not too shabby for a rookie manager. This is coming on the heels of a 2023 that saw the Guardians end up with a record of 76-86, missing out on the playoffs. The fact that Vogt has seemingly immediately turned the Guardians around from mediocrity while Melvin has overseen a continuation of mediocrity for the Giants makes one wonder if the Giants made the wrong decision.

It is not as if the Guardians went out and loaded their roster with top tier free agents. Sure, they have Jose Ramirez who has been a consistent contributor for them and is having a stellar 2024, but it seems like a culture change brought about by Vogt could be a big reason behind the team's success.

Vogt is younger than Melvin and played the game more recently. Perhaps this gives him a better ability to actually connect with and relate to players. Melvin, despite all of his experience, can seem like more of the old guard and may be more of a domineering presence for players. Plus, it must be mentioned that he inherited one of the most talented rosters in baseball with the San Diego Padres and oversaw disappointing seasons there as well.

It is far too early to say that Melvin is a disaster or that Vogt is manager of the year, but the early returns at least plant the seed that perhaps the Giants made the wrong decision on who their manager should be.