“You have to really be patient and stay with what you’re doing. Our owner has allowed us to do that here.”
It remains a matter of debate how patient Melvin’s previous employer, Hicks, was with his general manager and how committed he was to Melvin’s plan… When Hicks fired Melvin on Oct. 7, 2001, Hicks cited the lack of promising pitchers in the farm system, adding: “I was afraid we’d be in the same place two years from now.”
“Tom Hicks treated me very well,” Melvin said. “He let me do what I wanted to do. Things changed a little bit when we signed A-Rod. People say, ‘Well, Tom did it.’ But I was in favor of signing A-Rod.”
Melvin recalls advising Hicks that it would cost $20 million a year to sign Rodriguez because Carlos Delgado had just signed a $17 million-per-year deal, and Manny Ramirez and Derek Jeter were negotiating similar numbers.
“The years (in A-Rod’s deal) might have been long and the extra money, but our entire infield was going to be young other than A-Rod,” Melvin said. “It would have been inexpensive for three years, and that’s where we said A-Rod would be making the money. There’s clubs out there now with more than $25 million in infielders.
“Tom takes a lot of abuse for that, but I think it’s unfair, in that regard.”