ARLINGTON -- Even as they battled it out for eight seasons as AL West foes, A’s manager Bob Melvin and former Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre formed a special bond in that time, so it’s fitting that Oakland is in town for Beltre’s special day.
Before the start of the nightcap of a doubleheader on Saturday, Beltre will have his uniform No. 29 retired by the Rangers in a pregame ceremony. Melvin plans to be on the field to watch Beltre receive the honor.
“You look at the numbers and contributions, the All-Star Games and everything he did, but it’s the personality that I remember the most,” Melvin said. “He’s such a fun personality, and he and I always had a banter back and forth.”
Melvin recalled a game in Arlington in 2012. It was Yoenis Cespedes’ rookie season with the A’s, and he had just pulled up with an injury after sliding into third base. Being that it was Cespedes’ first season in MLB, there was a bit of a language barrier between Melvin and the Cuban-born player, so Beltre stepped in to help.
“Beltre was interpreting for us. It was really funny,” Melvin said. “That’s just the way he is. He always enjoyed the game and that’s probably what I remember most, other than the thorns he’s stuck in my sides during games. We’ll all miss him. I’ll be out there for the celebration tonight because not only has he meant a lot for baseball, he meant a lot to me, too.”
Bullpen in better shape
The A’s still have a couple of relievers unavailable on Saturday after the high workload they’ve received over the past week, but having only used Yusmeiro Petit and Blake Treinen in Friday night’s 5-3 win over Texas, Melvin said he might have some extra arms at his disposal than originally anticipated.
“It’s not full, but a lot better than I expected,” Melvin said. “Going into last night, I only had a few guys I was going to use. Being that we only used two guys out of the bullpen was huge, so we probably have a few more guys today.”