The Padres numbers are right there, and with baseball being baseball, that is always important.
- 74 wins, their fewest since 2011.
- 86 which is what the Padres did to interim manager Pat Murphy.
- 18 games behind the first-place Dodgers.
- 2 strikes in one year by general manager A.J Preller.
Preller met the media on Monday, while reality shook hands with assumptions.
Preller thought the Padres were going to be special after his offseason makeover.
Preller thought booting Bud Black out the door for Murphy was a keen move to jump-start a mix-and-not-match roster.
Now Preller has his bat on his shoulder, ready to take a swing at hiring his first manager.
Let’s hope he chokes up and at least makes contact.
The Padres are diving into an offseason every bit as critical as last year’s. Few things are more crucial for a franchise than picking the right guy to man the top step.
What is Preller seeking?
“Somebody who has presence, somebody that has energy, somebody that can get our players to play at a high level,” Preller said. “Someone the players will respect and want to play for. Someone the organization can rally around and can establish a culture. Those are factors.”
Read between the lines and Preller isn’t pleased with how his charges went about their business. There are no more damning words to professional athletes and it so happens, they are the ones Preller collected.
But Preller has a chance to change all that. The sooner he gets busy, the better.
The Padres are entering a market which is flooded with openings. There could be 10 teams looking for new leadership, so time is of essence for Preller and pals.
He figures to cast a wide net, stressing that successful managers come with lots or little experience, that some played in the majors and others didn’t, that in-house candidates will be considered as will those across the baseball landscape.
Coaches Dave Roberts and Mark Kotsay deserve an interview, as does former Padre Phil Nevin, now Arizona’s Triple-A skipper.
Don’t discount Jason Varitek (no experience) or Ron Washington (took two Rangers teams to the World Series).
Others include Ron Gardenhire (experienced) and Alex and Joey Cora (no experience).
But wouldn’t Ozzie Guillen be a hoot to shake a franchise which has been in a nine-year slumber of missing the playoffs?
Guillen won’t take gruff from anyone and has proved it time and again.
Guillen knows baseball, playing for 16 years and in nearly 2,000 games.
In an eight-year stint as the Chicago White Sox manager, he was 61 games over .500 and won a World Series.
In a disastrous season with the Miami Marlins, Guillen was 69-93 in a dysfunctional organization.
He’s Venezuelan, which makes him a good fit for the transformation baseball is undergoing with the influx of Latin American players.
Guillen could be the Padres answer, and maybe not even for a long time.
His shelf life might be that of sour cream. But it wouldn’t be boring, it wouldn’t be quiet and there would be little doubt of the man in charge.
The Padres need a culture shift and that is coming straight from Preller.
The blunt Guillen would provide that and we’ll be surprised if his tires aren’t kick by Preller.
It’s clear Preller can’t boot this decision elsewhere. He stressed that while the Padres’ brass of Peter Seidler, Ron Fowler and Mike Dee will have a voice, Preller’s will be the loudest.
“It’s my call at the end of the day,” said Preller, after the Padres’ fifth straight losing season.
A new day is coming for the Padres. It can’t get here soon enough.
+ Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.