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Melvin still gets goosebumps as camp opens

MLB.com @JaneMLB

MESA, Ariz. -- Restless nights typically precede the first day of full-squad workouts for many managers around the game.

That hasn't changed for A's manager Bob Melvin, even after 12 seasons as a big league skipper. He has sharpened his public speaking skills in that time, though, always looking to perfect that first-day message to 60-plus players.

MESA, Ariz. -- Restless nights typically precede the first day of full-squad workouts for many managers around the game.

That hasn't changed for A's manager Bob Melvin, even after 12 seasons as a big league skipper. He has sharpened his public speaking skills in that time, though, always looking to perfect that first-day message to 60-plus players.

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"My first year in Seattle when I addressed the team, I wrote out every word, and that didn't go very well," Melvin said Friday, smiling. "I was clearly reading it for a while, then I tried to put it away and I didn't know what was on there and it didn't go well. So over the years you find what works best for you."

These days, Melvin keeps it simple.

"Just kind of how we expect things to go here, what our expectations are during camp, what we're trying to accomplish, and kind of the history," Melvin said of his speech. "I always bring up the history of the organization and the success that we've had here since it's been in Oakland."

A's co-owner Lew Wolff was on hand, walking out to "Louie Louie" and joining several front-office members for the meeting ahead of Friday's workout, which Melvin said went off without a hitch -- thanks in large part to new bench coach Mark Kotsay's efforts.

"First day, if you've ever done this job before, it's a sleepless night before," Melvin said. "You're worried about everything, you're looking at the schedule saying, 'How can this go right?' And it went perfectly. All four fields at the end ended at exactly the same time, and that's what you want. You want players to know that you're organized and things are gonna go on time and you know what you're doing, and that's exactly what happened."

Worth noting

• A's top pitching prospect Sean Manaea continues to impress in the early stages of his first camp with Oakland. On Friday, he was one of several pitchers to take part in live batting practice, throwing a combined 30 pitches against Jed Lowrie, Marcus Semien, Billy Burns and Chris Coghlan.

"Same impressions I get every time," Melvin said. "Now you start to see the swings, too, though the pitchers are going to be way ahead of the hitters right now, and a lot of the veteran guys you'll see just taking, but it just feels like an uncomfortable at-bat and you have to work to get a good swing off him."

Tweet from @Athletics: Take a round of BP with Khris Davis in six seconds. Bonus points if you can name the A's player that says "... https://t.co/eJ49nvVToE

• Closer Sean Doolittle also threw batting practice, and Melvin says the lefty already "looks like the Sean Doolittle we've seen in the past" after missing most of 2015 with shoulder injuries. Melvin was also pleased with the work of right-hander Ryan Dull, a strong bullpen candidate following a breakout September performance.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

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