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With familiar message, Melvin speaks to team

PHOENIX -- Bob Melvin is carrying the same message into a new year.

The first day of full-squad workouts is an annual rite of spring, and for all clubs they begin with a team meeting that typically includes addresses by everyone from ownership down to coaches.

Melvin, beginning his third full season at the helm of the A's, marked his speech with a message "similar to the last couple of years," he said.

"We certainly go over the format and what's expected going into this season and what our expectations are," he said. "Pretty simple, really. No secrets. As you go along during the season, you try to reinforce these things. But we stay pretty focused on what we need to do, and we don't get caught up in any expectations other than the ones we have for ourselves."

Expectations from the inside and outside are naturally high, following a second straight American League West championship and another productive offseason that resulted in an upgraded roster.

The A's won 96 games in 2013 after totaling 94 the year before, and many around the league would not be surprised if they reached the three-digit plateau.

"You look at the numbers last year, we have one of the better offenses in the league, one of the better pitching staffs in the league," Melvin said. "So everyone's excited to get out here the first day with the full squad. Today is always a good day.

"You feel like a kid in a candy store on the first day, yet the goal is to feel like that every day."

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