It’s like a stain on your brand new tie…a stain on your white shirt…a stain on the carpet..tough to make it go away.
So there, it’s over, the last fragments of former Padres ownerships, removed from the team, the firing of General Manager Josh Byrnes.
The last remaining reminder of the sad ending of the John Moores era, and the error that was the brief ownership of Jeff Moorad. Both left with lots of profits and left a mess behind.
Josh Byrnes, hired as GM, then fired as GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, gets jettisoned now in San Diego. But this exit isn’t just about him, but rather, and more-so about the ownership that hired him.
For all the great things John Moores did in San Diego, a high payroll, a World Series team, the building of Petco Park, his enormous charitable contributions, you mention his name now, and you get a reaction like sipping sour milk.
Fair or not, people think of Moores, the divorce, the benign neglect of the team, and how he ran it in his final years.
You think of the former super-agent Jeff Moorad, and you get an obscenity at the front of his name, the hiring of Byrnes, the failed attempt to gain full ownership of the team, and the facade presented of who he wanted to be, but probably never was.
So the Padres will set sail now on a search for a new leader.
Byrnes is not totally to blame. He traded for Andrew Cashner, Huston Street, Ian Kennedy, and two from Tampa Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn.
But he burned alot of small market money on Carlos Quentin and Josh Johnson, stuck the team with a disappointing Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal, dealt away Mat Latos, and signed big money extensions for young guys not producing yet. There probably is still hope for Gyorko-Maybin and others.
And he left the farm system in better shape than when he got here.
It’s always easier to fire 1-guy than a whole team, but understand this, this ownership groups bears some burden too. They signed off on some of these deals too.
There are a lot of really good exec out there. I’d look hard at hotshot young guys like Bobby Evans of the Giants and Logan White of the Dodgers. I’d take a real run at Tampa’s whiz-kid GM Andrew Friedman. And of course a veteran guy like Larry Beinfest.
The Padres cannot afford to make a mistake. They are eating 3-years of Byrnes contract, and will probably swallow some more money at the end of the season with other front office execs. This is such a critical hire.
As bad as Padres baseball is now, this is just not on Josh Byrnes alone.
I just cannot find a way to get that stain off my tie, my white shirt and the carpet. It may be awhile before the end years of Moores-Moorad can be bleached out of Padres minds.