PHOENIX -- Even the defending American League West champions need a pep talk every now and then.
There was never a better time for one than Sunday, when the A's gathered around manager Bob Melvin in their clubhouse at Phoenix Municipal Stadium shortly before their first full-squad workout.
"Go about our business the same way we did last year, prepare very hard," said Melvin, in relaying his message to reporters. "You take pride in what we did, that's for sure. You want to carry that forward but also understand that this is a new year, and you have to let that go. But once you let that go, you have to reflect and ask yourself, 'What made us good?' What made us able to win the West?'
"We had a lot of success, and we should be very proud of the fact that we did, but this is a new season, and unless you're moving forward, you're moving backward."
Players were also treated to a five-minute video montage that included highlights of their inspiring 2012 season. Soon after, Melvin was roaming around the multiple fields at the club's Minor League complex, the early stages of his evaluation process underway.
Melvin will have to make several tough decisions this spring, as an influx of infielders -- particularly at second base -- and relievers crowds his roster.
"There's competition here," he said. "We still have to find out where all of the pieces fit. There might not be too many 25-man roster spots open, but within the 25-man we're still trying to figure some things out. It's a good thing. You always want competition, guys going out there with a little extra edge playing to make a job, whether it's more at-bats or whatever."