“Padres Ownership–What is Next?”
This has been awful, this historic collapse of the Padres from potential World Series challenger to not even making the playoffs.
Hard to watch, imagine the season ticket holders, those in the dugout, the front office…and in the owner’s suite.
Monday cannot come quick enough to stop this horrible bleeding.
Monday is the day somebody needs to make a decision on the future.
Owner Peter Seidler, a man of wealth, benevolence and intelligence has a very hard decision to make.
It’s more than just about wins and losses. It’s about vision and trust and direction.
Seidler gifted his GM-AJ Preller a budget of 171M.
He, as co-owner initially, allowed the GM to spend over 101M over a 3-year span to sign draft picks and international free agents. Virtually none of those players are on the Padres roster at this hour.
He signed off on massive free agent contracts and approved taking on big salaries.
And he gave the green light to his GM eating some 65M of brutal contracts to get rid of bad player acquisitions.
So here we sit the final weekend of a God-awful baseball season, with a tattered-battered-shattered baseball team that won’t be in the playoffs. The Padres are not the 100-loss Orioles-Pirates or Diamondbacks. But San Diego has so much talent, making so much money, this feels like Baltimore, Pittsburgh or Phoenix.
Petco Park, a great destination point all year long for the fans, has turned into a burial grounds for bad baseball.
Does Seidler hold AJ Preller for all the deals made that failed? For trading away an entire farm system? For taking on bad contracts? For the overwhelming medical care issues for all the pitchers who broke down?
Does he sign off on the firing of Manager Jayce Tingler, dedicated to the game, but too protective of his players, and who has refused to invoke the ‘accountability clause’ in talking about his players failures this year. The managerial mistakes are as staggering as the horrid losing streaks.
Seidler loves the team, the town, the aura of Padres baseball. But he cannot love what this turned into.
Would you have believed in April and May, this team would give you stretches of (2-9)…(2-12)..and (3-14) baseball? Could you ever believe his team would be (11-32) staggering to the finish line?
Does he, can he, trust his GM much longer considering the failures of the last two managers he hired? Is he willing to continue to grant the leader of the club a blank check to continue to acquire more talent? Does he sanction the dismissal of so many so called ‘inner circle’ people ?
Does he beg patience to see what this franchise would be like if all the injured pitchers came back next year healthy, begging the question could they be an elite team if the entire team was on the field rather than the disabled list?
In 33-years of doing sports-talk, play-by-play, TV anchor work, and writing on my website, I have never called for the firing of a GM or manager of the Padres. And that encompassed bunches of bad baseball including Larry Bowa-Greg Riddoch-Pat Murphy and the bad leadership of Chub Feeney or Tom Werner and the Gang of 15.
Part of me says this organization cannot return the same people on the field or in the front office next year. Part of me says this is an aberration of a bad combination of injuries and managerial mistakes both upstairs and downstairs.
Part of me realizes Padres fans are appalled at the Dodgers spending spree; appalled at how the Giants have made themselves the best team in baseball. What they should be appalled about is a clubhouse with a bunch of independent contractors of the roster, and the mountain of mistakes the GM and the Manager have made.
Padres-Giants doesn’t mean much Friday-Saturday-Sunday.
What happens beginning on Monday is the first step towards fixing all the problems, tons of problems, on this Padres check list.
Owner Peter Seidler has an enormous decision to make, on the field, off the field and in terms of leadership-ownership credibility.